Saturday, July 18, 2009

Climber

Kai could climb before she could walk. I don't mean she could slither up a slope. She could climb. She has always been more interested in vertical pursuits, and her ability to walk has only fueled her desire to go higher. This child climbs. Nothing is off limits. Kai will throw her leg up onto the wall to see if there's a hold that she missed upon first examination. This is how she scaled the coffee table this evening. The table is only a few inches shorter than she is -- so she couldn't just throw her leg up onto the table (almost, but not quite) But, she didn't let that stop her from trying and in her attempt, she managed to snag the window sill. Yes, the window sill -- which is about an inch thick. She got a toe hold and, the next thing I knew, she was on the table -- quite pleased with herself, too.

This all went down right after I walked into her room - where I had deposited her moments earlier so that I could wash my hands -- and saw her about to make her great escape from the crib. I have no idea how she hooked her leg over the crib rail -- but, somehow she had done it and she was ready to throw the rest of her weight over the rail until I yelled, "KAILEY, NO!!" She is not usually deterred by the word "no." She thinks it's funny. As in, "don't be ridiculous... there is no way I can hurt myself by yanking this cord out of this outlet. Calm DOWN, people." But, this time, I must have struck the right tone because she crumpled into a ball and started crying. Either that or she realized she was about to plunge herself to her death and she experienced fear for the first time EVER.

I know I birthed this child, but I swear she didn't come from me. I am not interested in heights. Or climbing. Or throwing myself around. Or being tossed in the air (work with me here -- assuming I was tossable. I know, I'm not). I like to be firmly planted on the ground at all times.

Kailey would like to move as quickly as possible at whatever heights are possible and then plunge towards the earth only to be caught at the last moment. She's insane. That, and she'd like to take everything apart and see how it works. And no, I don't mean toys. I mean things that adults use because, you know, she doesn't really consider herself a baby.

I've been solo parenting the last couple of weekends while Eric builds the decks and I feel like I am constantly throwing myself between Kailey and a trip to the ER. I try to keep a full itinerary in the hopes of completely wearing her out, but, that's another thing she doesn't do easily. She's like the energizer bunny. Even when she goes to sleep at night, she fights so hard to stay awake despite her obvious exhaustion. Her eyes will be heavy as she finishes her bottle but she'll pull out of it by kicking herself over and saying "hi" "hi". You can see her fighting it. As soon as she starts to drift off she'll yank her head up and babble something. All the while I'm singing, "sleep, sleep, sleep sleepyhead" and thinking "oh. my. god. PLEASE go to SLEEP NOW. No, don't pinch me. SLEEP." And then she jerks awake saying, "HI!!!" When she finally drifts off, it's with one eye open (which she has done since her NICU days). She really hates missing out.

Tomorrow is another day. We're going to check out Children's Fairy Land. I'm hoping there's a climbing wall or something.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summertime

We've been busy enjoying the summer -- what a difference a year makes! Last summer we were mostly housebound. Kailey had been home for about six weeks this time last year, but was still too little to go most places (or even fit in any carriers or strollers... I think we were closing in on about 8 pounds!!) so we were at home, watching a lot of movies, doing a lot of cuddling, and finishing up the kitchen (royal "we"). This year we can't be outside enough and there is very little sitting in our lives anymore. Kailey LOVES being outdoors and must be moving at all times. We have been spending a lot of time at pools and playgrounds -- anything to try to wear her out!

She especially loves to be at the pool. She taught herself how to blow bubbles in the water - which totally freaks me out. She just sticks her face into the water and blows -- and most of the time, manages to avoid inhaling any water. It's very impressive, but I wish she wouldn't do it. I feel like faces belong out of water, but maybe that's just because I personally abhor having my face in water. Eric, on the other hand, is a water lover, so maybe the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. And, we did name her after the ocean. She certainly is living up to the name! I've never met a baby who loves the water as much as she does. She splashes, bounces around, sticks her face in the water, dunks herself.... and never cries. Even when she swallows a big mouthful. She loves everything about it. It's fun to watch her, even if it does nearly give me a heart attack every time I watch her try some stunt that no 14 month old baby should attempt in water. Dare devil!

Besides swimming, we've been spending a lot of time just walking around outside. Kailey never really stops moving. She likes to be on the go. She walks from toy to toy, from forbidden object to forbidden object... I think she likes to try to figure out how to get into the most trouble in the shortest amount of time. For example, we were in Oregon for the 4th of July. My parents house is full of things that are off limits to babies -- ladders that allow one to climb to the top of the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, outlets without covers (they were covered by the end of the weekend), dog food bowls, plants... and Kailey would toddle to the bookshelf and climb the ladder (until someone pulled her down or spotted her so that she could go all the way up), investigate the outlets, pick at the plants... but she did it all in-between approved activities. She's wily. She'd grab a ball or a block and wander around talking to it, as if to say, "don't mind me... I am just playing with this 100% kid-approved toy" and then, hmmm.... what's this neat little outlet? or What's this... a ladder? Why.. don't mind if I do...

She doesn't give you much down time, which is why I keep thinking about last year. Down time was all we had, and it was fun. But, this is more fun. She is such an explorer. I love her adventurous spirit and her desire to figure things out. But, it can be exhausting. This last week Doug told me that when Evvy and Penny were Kai's age, he had a 5 minute rule with them. But, he said, there's no such rule with Kailey because she'd be halfway up whatever she could find (bookshelf, stairs, couch) the moment you turned your back on her. And, it's true. She is busy. And we're busy trying to keep up with her. No lazy days of summer for us! It feels good.