Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Typically, chairs are for sitting in. That is what most people do with most chairs.

However, there are some chairs that are particularly good for sleeping in. There are some chairs that can massage your back. There are some chairs that are not great for sitting in, but they look great in a room. There are even some chairs that are used for holding things. (You know, that chair at your dining room table that no one ever sits in, where you stick the things that normally live on your table when company is coming.) Some people -- even though we are told how unsafe it is -- use chairs as ladders, climbing on them to reach something up high.

I am guilty of all of the above uses for chairs. And that's okay. It is not okay, however, that my children have picked up on some of those uses. In particular, it is not okay that Joey has learned that he can push the dining room chair up to any cabinet or counter top in kitchen in order to get to pretty much anything he wants. (The above-referenced safety warnings were about falling -- not that one would inadvertently be teaching their mischievous toddler how to climb!)

This has been a problem for awhile now. For example, this is the way Joey was really enjoying the use of chairs back in July:

He got a bit better about it for a little while, but he's back at it again -- stronger, smarter and more mischievous than ever. Now, when he want to get the sink, he pushes the chair to it. He easily climbs up and proceeds to turn on the water, then using any and every dish within his reach -- no matter how clean or dirty -- to pour water in other things, onto the counter top, onto the floor, onto himself. While he's up there, he also likes to grab any knife within reach and attempt to cut any food substance he can get to. (This has even resulted in accidentally stabbing his father in the head!)

Now, when he decides he wants some medicine, he'll push the chair up to where he sees a purse, climb up, open the purse, find the medicine bottle, open it and help himself.

Now, when he wants a piece of candy, he pushes the chair up to the counter top, climbs up and helps himself.

Now, when he wants to see what's cooking on the stovetop, he pushes the chair up, climbs up and looks in. He likes to touch the things he finds there, too.

Now, when he feels like playing with the microwave, he pushes a chair up, opens the door, puts whatever he can find in, closes the door and starts pushing buttons.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Obviously, this is very annoying. Not to mention, at times very dangerous.

The kid is not even two yet, so reasoning with him does not work. We're doing our best, using both conventional and creative discipline to try to stop this behavior. I said, Joey is an almost-two-year-old boy.

Sooo...I've also had to do some other things to keep him (and everyone else!) safe. This includes being creative about finding places to store dangerous things that are still out of his reach. This includes trying to keep everything of interest that could potentially wither harm someone or make a mess bigger than I want to deal with put away, never within his sight on the countertop or table. (Which means that I have to think creatively about all the potential uses for everything!)

...this also includes lying the chairs on their sides. That's right. For the past several days, my kitchen floor has been littered with dining room chairs lying on their sides. Joey knows how to turn them back upright, but he's just not quite strong enough to do it on his own. So I've spent my days stepping over chair legs, and trying to keep the boys from impaling themselves on them. The boys however, have of course made fun games out of it. Joey pushes them around, making little corrals and pretending to be stuck in them. There have even been a few times that he's done a little too good, and has actually been trapped. He does not think that is fun! (I kind of enjoy it, though -- until he really starts getting mad about it! :)

Last night, Conner made a cage for himself and the hot wheels. He was a monster, yelling for "More cars!" and Micah was the servant, happily bringing him more cars. (Poor sweet Micah!) This was great, it was keeping them busy, they actually were not fighting...but the cage was right in front of my oven as I was trying to cook dinner.

I did my best to work around it, trying to be patient, and trying to enjoy the fact that it was 4:30pm, and they were actually not fighting for a change. But eventually, I had to move them out. (We were having spaghetti, and we simply had to have garlic toast with it, which meant that I really needed to open the oven door!)

Wonder how long I'll have to keep this up...

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Bret Wells said...

The sideways chairs remind me of the big metal obstacles that littered the beaches of Normandy and other war zones to slow the advance of tanks and troops...kinda appropriate actually.

Gammie said...

At least he is very creative and resourceful. haha

Bonnie said...

that kid can leave you speechless! but at least, you are realizing these are moments to be treasured (IF everyone can survive them!)

Lee and Michelle said...

Who needs toys when you have dinning room chairs! Boys, boys, boys! Allie hasn't even tried to climb out of her crib yet. I keep waiting to go the toddler bed route.