She crawls, pulls herself up, and cruises. That is all a baby needs to destroy the house.
And there's nothing I can do about it.
Not that I don't want to encourage her independence and curiosity. Far from it. I let her get up, fall down, bang her head, pull down books and pictures and tear apart magazines. I'm Libertarian in my parenting.
Seriously, I let Toodles do all of those things. The problem is, time is not on my side. With JD potty training (slowly) and Toodles taking forever at the dining table, attempts to keep a respectable house are futile.
Her eating takes forever. I am grateful for her appetite. Something has to sustain her remarkable growth chart (95% height, 75% weight at her 9 month checkup.) Tonight at dinner, she took down 1/4 cup of brown rice, 1 tablespoon each of black beans, peas, and broccoli and 3 chicken nuggets. Other days she'll eat a cup or more of soup and a half slice of wheat bread. Meals take 30-60 minutes.
Oh, and she isn't feeding herself. Not at all. I think she ate some string cheese today when we were at the Museum of Science and Industry (new members! - Thanks LB.) I pulled about a quarter of the stick in string-style and gave it to her. After attending to JD, I looked back to find that it was gone down to her fist. Otherwise, no Cheerios, no bread, no bananas, no blueberries, no corn, no peas. Nothing goes from her hands to her mouth.
Well, just not food. Cars, blocks, balls, books, magazines, remote controls, cell phones, cordless house phones, cookware, cooking utensils and any other inanimate non-food item finds its way into her two-toothed mouth.
On a normal day, Toodles wakes at 7, JD at 7:30am. She'll take down a bottle, play, then we'll have breakfast all together. That takes us to 8 or 8:15. Then I have to clean up breakfast. Unload the dishwasher from last night, dirty dishes into the dishwasher, clean the high chair, sweep the floor, wipe off the coutertops, put the milk and any other perishables back into the refrigerator. That's around 15 minutes. By now, Toodles has dumped out her small bowl of kitchen toys, played with them, and has moved down the hall to the living room where JD has managed to turn on CNBC or NHL on the Fly. She begins playing with some alphabet blocks, then pulls out some action figures, then decides that the books on the shelf are in entirely the wrong order and must be pulled down, two at a time. The magazines on the coffee table are far too old and the only way to get me to throw them out is to dismember them and drool on them, making them illegible. She'll finally make her way to the basket housing the changing materials and take out several diapers in an obvious attempt to show that one is badly needed, not that the scent couldn't be traced down the hall. But if I don't put JD on the potty, then he'll either soil himself or the living room carpet. And he certainly can't be left alone on the toilet, so I spend 10 minutes in there reading to him. Toodles may or may not stay with us, but by this time there is little more damage she can do elsewhere. By this time, it is either time for her nap or time for a shower. Not to mention routine things like garbage, laundry, dry cleaning, packing the diaper bag for whatever outing, making the grocery list and coordinating that with coupons, taking out something to defrost for dinner . . .
Nine-and-a-half months. Just wait till she can walk and decides to negotiate the 30 stairs that separate the 2nd floor from the basement. I don't think the gates will stop this one. I can see it now: JD and Toodles escaping to the 2nd floor and dropping things from the balcony on to my unsuspecting head.
Then again, I was folding laundry this afternoon and what did she do but crawl up and on me with a big smile and sit in my lap playing with a pair of mommy's socks.