Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Never Turn Your Back

Ways that the child has tried to give me a heart attack in the past week:

1. Being approximately 1 mile away from where I leave him after I step into the kitchen for a moment. This happens EVERY SINGLE TIME I step out of eyeshot of the child. And while his hybrid, right-leg-dragging (and pet-hair-pick-upping) crawl is certainly not Natty Bumppo-like, he still manages to be awfully quiet when he's trying to scare me to death. He likes to crawl back toward me after I quaver "LO...?" while trying not to panic. He has a shit-eating grin on his face each time he does this to me.

2. Learning how to climb stairs and not telling anyone. Yesterday, I left the munchkin happily playing on the first floor (that is, happily removing every item from his toy box and then strewing all the toys so that they cover every square molecule of the living room floor) and ran upstairs for some socks. A questioning "Ba?" (LO's favorite word) drifted upstairs, so I called out: "Mama's upstairs. I'll be right down."

"Ba!" he replied, but it was clear that the sound was much closer this time. I peeked down the stairs to find LO on about step five, grinning at me and reaching for step six. I hurried to him in a way that did not look like I was hurrying (because I was sure that I would scare him into falling) and brought him back upstairs with me. I set him on the floor and shut the door. He immediately burst into tears.

"Dammit, Mama! This is NOT what I want!"

3. Discovering the bottle of whiskey sitting on the bottom shelf of our baker's rack in the kitchen. Because it's not enough that we have perfectly safe tupperware, straws and cheesecloth in a drawer that he may play with. No, the child must pick up a glass bottle nearly as big as he is and make motions like he is planning on banging it on the floor.

4. Pulling on the baby gate we have installed at the top of the basement stairs. He looks something like a prisoner who is protesting his innocence. But he is also stronger than any of us realize. Apparently, the last time I closed the gate, it wasn't entirely locked because the gate shifted slightly while he demanded his lawyer and his phone call. Not enough to send him hurtling through the air with the greatest of ease, but enough to turn a few more of my hairs white.

5. Crawling directly toward the edge of the bed with the same assurance as the Road Runner, despite the fact that I know he has Wile E.'s gravitational skills. Every morning, J and I need to play "Catch that KID!" before anyone has had coffee. It doesn't help that LO is most definitely a morning person. It's as if he is ready to get the day started while his slothful parents are doing such unnecessary activities as turning on lights and shutting off alarms. So he sets off in the direction of his grand plans, because "if Mom and Dad aren't going to get my day started, then by Golly, I'll do it myself!"

Right off a cliff. Or, more accurately, the edge of the bed.

And these, ladies and gentlemen, are the reasons why LO goes to daycare while I do my writing. His baby show isn't even enough to distract him from imminent destruction anymore. If the next time you see us, LO is happily burbling "Ba Ba Ba" and my hair has gone completely white, you'll know that I'll have returned from the restroom to find him wrestling with a Great White shark.

"I would have won, too," LO will assure you.

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