Monkey is a busy boy. A very busy boy. And a determined one, too. His problem-solving skills as of late are mind-blowing. He’s 16 months old! The way he figures out how to get what he wants just by going another way, moving something, adding something …. mind-blowing, I tell you! And a little scary.
Monkey is also a climber. Talk about scary.
He literally climbs on, up, and over everything. The couch, the stairs, his play kitchen (he can’t figure out how to get down yet, which is interesting, considering it’s two feet off the ground, if that), the chairs, the table (he fell off a few days ago; did that deter? Hell to the no!), the half wall (he has made many attempts to climb OVER it with both feet!!), and today, the gates we use to keep him out! Ahhh!
Well, he’s a boy. That’s that. And we love him more than life itself. But really, he’s going to seriously injure his precious little body.
So we’ve started doing a little bit of discipline. I mean, as much as you can discipline a 16 month old.
When he climbs on the half wall or table, we tell him, “No climbing” firmly and get him down. He gets three chances. Third strike, out. At that point, we tell him, “That is not safe. You are going to go to your play room where it is safe.” His playroom has two entryways, both are secured with gates (for now). For a while, this was ok. He’d go in, get distracted, come out, and he would not immediately go back to the climbing. Sometimes there wasn’t the opportunity. Sometimes there was, but the interest was gone. Later, he’d do it again, but it felt … manageable.
Lately, this tactic is not working. He’s mad, people. FURIOUS. He’s in there, screaming, crying, telling me, “Nooooo!” He’s hanging over the edge of the gate nearest the hallway, arms out, sobbing, tears running down his face. My heart breaks, I tell you. It just breaks. What are we to do?
(Tomorrow, we will be removing the chairs and putting them back for meal times only. I don’t know about the half-wall yet, maybe get a chainsaw?!?! Any suggestions, I’m open.)
There was a lot of redirection into the playroom this morning. It’s necessary because at any moment where we are not paying direct attention to him, because you know, we’re like, COOKING, or cleaning up after cooking, or doing some other required adult thing in order to maintain life in the home, he’s on that darn table or the half wall, LAUGHING! It becomes impossible to complete a single task while also maintaining his safety.
Well, after one such occurrence, it got quiet in there. Then I heard gentle voices. I peeked in ever so slightly and saw this …
Girlfriend had stopped what she was doing and joined her brother. They sat there for what seemed like forever, but was really only about 15 minutes, reading books together.
Girlfriend just might be THE best big sister in the world.