My head feels like I just took three final exams back to back and it is 1:40 PM. Having a 16 month old who climbs on everything and can pull chairs over to the counter means nothing is safe- especially him. It’s exhausting. It’s all hands on deck to “Benji-fy” the premises when he gets down out of his highchair or gets up from a nap. Paper, snacks, dishes, plants, bags of beans, boxes of cereal… it all has to be moved or double locked behind cabinets (I’m not kidding, we have two types of baby locks on each cabinet. He’s tenacious.) He’s also incredibly adorable and the best duet hummer when I put him down for his naps. I’m smitten but mentally so tired.
Our first four kids were not climbers like Benji. Plus, we have four older kids who want to do older kid things like paint, color, play with Legos, read soft cover books or eat out of glass bowls. All these are normal for their ages but not for Monsieur Benji-pie. Oh Benji.
He also puts everything in his mouth. Anyone else have a kiddo like this? If he had words, he could tell you what all the succulents taste like, feel like and look like when he pulls them out and drops them on the ground. Maybe this is why he had diarrhea for a week.
And yet, this is a stage I keep trying to remind myself. My nine year old isn’t snacking on jade plants or pulling buckets of markers onto the floor. Our three year old can even take care of himself long enough for me to go to the bathroom. One of our kids was hardly walking at this age.
It’s an amazing help to have our nine year and her lovely bent to nurture her little brother, really all the kids find it fun to help “herd” Benji or have a turn at playing with him. That’s the beauty of a big family and I should invite the older kids in more often to play with and focus on Benji.
I also think having a few more toys out that are specifically for his age could help. But really, at their age, they want to put things in and out of boxes, take all the Tupperware out (and not put it back in), hide, climb, etc. They aren’t as into toys. Recently I discovered the pièce de résistance to keep him occupied in the car: a CD case. He took all the CDs out and threw them on the floor. It was such a peaceful ride home. What have you found helpful to engage your toddler?
I leave you with this, a little reminder of the sweetness of these days.. these climb-y, “not on the table, Benji” days.