Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Daredevil

In a recent discussion on a forum I visit, a mom asked about using a playpen to confine her infant, and future toddler, to keep him safe while she homeschooled her older child.

In thinking about this, I first thought about how we've managed. We've never owned, or used, a playpen. Neither have we used a crib. Neither of my two older children liked baby swings and we didn't have one for Josh. We never had a Johnny Jump-Up; we tried to with Josh but they wouldn't work with our trim. We never had a walker but we did get an exersaucer for Josh after seeing that he liked the ones in the church nursery. He only used it for a couple of months before we had to pack it up and put it away.

We did we have to put the exercauser away? Because I could see that he would find a way to fall out of it. By 8-9 months old, he was standing upright in it at its highest setting. He was pretty wild in his attempts to stand and jump in it. I just did see it as safe.

Worrying about safety is funny with this child. He started walking at 10 months. Within a week of taking his first steps without support, he could walk across two rooms unaided. Not long after that, he was climbing and going down the stairs. I don't remember how old he was, but it was probably around 12 months or so that we quit gating the stairs to keep him safe. He was quite safe coming down them by himself; he'd flip over on his tummy and slide down each stair one by one.

He was also quite young when he started climbing up onto the couch. Then he was climbing up onto the back of the couch. There's a high window up there that he wanted to look out of. It didn't take us long to realize that he wasn't going to fall.

Of course, he climbed all the usual places, too. The coffee table is one of his favorite places to stand. His current favorite thing to do at the coffee table is to launch himself off of it and land on the couch, or you, if you'll let him. He also spends a lot of time on the dining table. Just recently he learned how to dismount from it. When I say dismount, I'm talking about hanging his legs off the edge of the table so that his pelvis is resting on the edge of it, then swinging his leg and pushing off on the upswing so that he lands on his feet about a foot away. It's very much like a simple dismount down by a gymnast coming off the uneven parallel bars.

He scares all of the other parents at at the park who try to rescue him from his climbs that he's more than capable of doing. I have to step in and tell them he's ok. "Watch," I say and they are amazed. No just barely two year old should be able to climb what he climbs.

I now understand the parents of climbers who are calm when I'm freaking out about their child falling and killing themselves. The only difference is that mine is younger. We fully expect him to be one of those kids who is on top of the swing (the overhead vertical post) rather than in the swing or one top of the play structure rather than in it on the walkways.

Confine this child to a room, let along a playpen? No way that's going to happen.

It makes me wonder what his future holds. It wouldn't surprise me to find him playing the part of the stuntman in Diehard 2025.

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The Four Week Vegan said...

I was once told by a wise mom that if they can climb it, then they can find a way down. I think she was right. If they are brave enough to try and able to figure a way up, they are usually safe to come down too.

Twisted Cinderella said...

I just wanted to stop by and check in to see if you give a future homeschooler any advice.

my email is aftertheglassslipper AT hotmail DOT com.

I have just decided that the public school environment is not the place for my 7 year old daughter right now. I get so much further at home with her than her teacher does at school. I understand her and how her mind works. For this and other reasons, I want to teach her at home starting in September.

Do you have any advice on how to get started?
How do I get a curriculum and lesson Plans?
How long do you spend in "schooling" each day?

While I am excited to be doing this and I want to make sure I do it right, I haven't gone public about it to my family and friends yet. I want to have a complete plan first.

Twisted Cinderella