The not-yet-toddling menace

by DaniGirl on April 16, 2009 · 13 comments

in Lucas

I am finding this particular stage of Lucas’s development exhausting. No, really? EXHAUSTING. Also exasperating, challenging, and frustrating. (And, to be fair, delightful and charming and wonderful.) But mostly, exhausting.

He stubbornly refuses to walk on his own, even though he can stand with no problem, has walked across the room unaided, and can perch himself precariously on a peanut butter jar, presumably to get the jam hidden on a higher shelf in the pantry.

But he can climb up and down an entire flight of stairs, make his way on and off the sofa, and simply cannot resist an opportunity to clamber onto something… chairs, end tables, diaper crates and toy boxes (not to mention, as I said, peanut butter jars.) The good thing is that he really is getting pretty good at getting himself back down again, so if I’m nearby I can at least supervise and let him climb up and down to his heart’s content. This assumes that I am at liberty to stand benevolently nearby for the 16 hours per day he would prefer to engage in his furniture-scaling adventures.

When he isn’t trying to climb every elevated surface within two feet of the floor, he’s dumping stuff. Emptying cupboards of their pots, drawers of their tea-towels, and bookshelves of their books is *almost* as much fun as climbing into the cupboard and drawers and onto the now-empty bookshelves.

In the 10 minutes it takes to make sandwiches for lunch, he can create a mess that takes me 20 minutes to clean up. I pick up the books, he dumps the plastic plates and cups from the cupboard. I pick up the plastic plates and cups, he ransacks the shoe closet. I rearrange the shoes, he dumps the books off the book shelf. I found the TV remote in the dog’s food bowl yesterday and he unfolded an entire basket of folded laundry in the time it took me to answer a telephone call.

Did I mention exhausting?

At the end of a long day, I look at Tristan and Simon and think, “They survived — and I survived them. Surely this phase doesn’t last forever.” It just seems particularly taxing, not to mention early, to be struggling with this at only 14 months. It’s a good thing he’s so darn adorable, I tell him frequently. Only the cutest babies get away with that kind of ongoing mischief without finding themselves packed up and shipped off to Granny’s house!

84:365 Brothers

It’s hard not to indulge this kind of cuteness. But please tell me that this phase is a short one! The toddler years are not yet upon us and I’m already running out of reserve energy!!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Slouching Mom April 16, 2009 at 8:04 am

I remember it well. Shudder. A shudder of sympathy.

2 liz April 16, 2009 at 8:11 am

Like a kidney stone, this too shall pass.

Suggestion: get a play yard and use it as a ball pit (shallow!) and put the pumpkin in there when you need ten minutes. This only works if you use it sparingly, like once or twice a day.

3 Wendy April 16, 2009 at 8:23 am

At 16 months my niece fixedly refused to walk without an adult hand to hold, until we eventually spotted her secretly toddling about unaided. She is 50% of twins and part of a larger same-aged family team: at 11 her attention-getting skills still leave the rest of ’em miles behind coughing in the dust.

Few toddler ‘phases’ last longer than 3 months – but some surely seem endless. Good luck.


4 alison April 16, 2009 at 11:23 am

Good luck, Dani! *heaving sigh of relief that this particular part of child-rearing is behind me*

5 Amy @ Muddy Boots April 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I feel like I’ve spent the last year walking from room to room in Simon’s destructive wake. I’ll refrain from listing all of the things he’s climbed, colored on, broken, and eaten that he shouldn’t have… just this week.

He’s almost 2 1/2 BTW.


6 Rebecca - @bitofmomsense April 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm

My first was a late walker, a cautious/non-risk taking little guy. He didn’t want to climb the stairs (even though he could) when left to his own devices.

Now, I find myself fearing that my little girl will be his opposite, and I will so not be prepared!

It will pass, and like you said, his adorable smiles will get him out of trouble šŸ˜‰

7 raino April 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm

ah, but he IS so darned cute!

8 Marianne April 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm

I didn’t particularly like the 11 to 15 month stage (compounded by my return to work during that period). She was mobile but not steady, wanted to do everything herself, but was unsuccessful and needed to have mom or dad beside her every second. Then she reached 16 months and went back to being funny and cuddly, but also now independent and playful. At almost 18 months, I’m loving getting to know and more about the adorable little person she is!

9 Amber April 16, 2009 at 9:33 pm

I am just entering this again. My own little one is only 8 months old, but he’s crawling and he’s learned how to pull himself up and also open cupboard doors. I remember saying that the time from when my first started crawling until age 2 or so was the busiest I’d ever been in my life. Now that I’m embarking on it again I’m feeling pretty scared.

10 Janet April 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm

I remember 14 to 16 months being the most challenging phase. My son had to touch (or ransack) everything he could lay his hands on in the entire house. And then, one day, he just stopped needing to do that anymore. I remember is being particularly exhausting because I was still trying to settle in to the back to work routine, plus he wasn’t sleeping through the night.

11 Shannon April 17, 2009 at 9:32 pm

We just got out of that phase! C refused to walk, would THROW himself down when you took his hands encouraging him to walk. Ugh.

Have you heard the new song by Darius Rucker? It won’t be like this for long…so true….enjoy it while it lasts!

12 Javamom April 18, 2009 at 5:39 am

I hear you. 18 months our little Sonja is and I swear she’s more trouble than the boy was….Here’s my recommendation:

Coffee in the morning.
Chocolate in the afternoon.
Wine in the evenings.

And don’t forget to take those pictures!

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