Monday, October 5, 2009

Playing with Fire

My boy is thirteen months old now. He has seen a lot in his short life, travelled, and experienced the love of his parents and family. He had a good run as a baby, and now we are rapidly moving into the land of Toddler, also known as the Land of the Lost.

I say Lost, because that is how my Toddler seems. He can't say real words yet, and really only points at what he wants. We tried to teach him some signs, but he seems to prefer the "Uhh-uhh-uhhh" that is so effective when coupled with a pointed finger or hand. At times, he seems to want everything, and nothing at once. He is exploring everything, which makes the Daddy Life very nervous.

Over the past week we have had a cold in the Daddy Life household. This means that we are home more, wearing sweats and slouching around the house. The kitchen is a minor wreck, and on top of that, the Indian Summer has turned into Fall Chill. One of my many household duties, The Daddy Life started a fire in the fireplace.

This has provided young Jeep with one of the first opportunities to test the limits of his parents and their newfound parenting skills. The fireplace is one of the first arenas in which we are beginning to struggle with the magic word: NO.

Actually, I don't say NO at all. I say BE CAREFUL, IT'S HOT. And then of course my young Toddler looks at me to make sure I am watching, and moves to touch the fireplace screen anyway, which isn't really that hot. So then I pick him up and move him away and we find something else to entertain ourselves. This has worked pretty well, but suddenly these limits are sprouting up all over the house.

NO, YOU CAN'T PUT YOUR HAND IN THE TOILET (while closing the lid)
NO, THAT IS DADDY'S CUP OF COFFEE (I give Jeep his own plastic mug for pretend coffee)

When he wants something that I don't want to give him, I usually just sweep him up in my arms, carry him out of the room, and we find something else to focus on. This almost always works.

I can see trouble brewing on the horizon.

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