Mountaineer or Evil Genius

And at 8 months old, the real trouble begins. I remember being a child and scaling everything I could. Any tree I could reach, rocks, hills, piles of gravel – they were my own personal jungle gym. I think my son has taken after me.

His grandmother offered a few weeks ago, I believe for the last time, to babysit the Gremlin. I traveled to work looking forward to returning to a quiet apartment, and paid the cost. At 9am I was interrupted from my daily duties by a call from the Mother of the Gremlin.

“My mom just called. He has removed all her doorjambs.”
“What doorjambs? There aren’t any on the first floor.” (Where his Pack ‘N Play was, and thus I foolishly believed him to be constrained to.)
“Oh, yeah, he took them off all the jambs on the second floor.”
“Your mom left him up there without watching him?!”
“Oh, yeah, he learned how to climb stairs.”

I sighed. It was only a matter of time. I was hoping he didn’t learn that one for a while (we don’t have stairs in our condo), but apparently his trips to the playground have been paying off for him.

“She said she put him in the living room, and went to go get his bottle ready. She couldn’t see him because of the couch, but apparently when she turned away, he had gone through the door, down the hall, and up the stairs. She looked for him all over downstairs, and apparently that gave him time to pull all the doorjambs off the walls upstairs.”

I attempted to console her, and went back to work, thinking that the trouble for the day was over – and hopefully the trouble for the week. Sadly, I was mistaken when not even two hours later I received another call.

“I’m not going to be home tonight.”
“Okay, why not?”
“I’m going to my parent’s.”
“Okay, is everything alright?”
“He scaled the china cabinet. My mom found him on the counter area neatly stacking all the china dishes he was able to reach.”

And this is before he can even take 15 steps without falling over…

And people say he’s cute

As all parents do, I have begun thinking my child is a genius. I first began to have this suspicion about the time he was supposed to be sitting up (I was doing several other things, and don’t remember exactly at what point that is supposed to be). But I do remember the conversation. I was speaking to a co-worker, and upon being asked how old my son was, they began to talk about how they remembered the first time their child sat up. I agreed and began reminiscing as well. My co-worker was rather surprised, thinking it would take another month for my son to be at that point.

I was getting worried around the 7 month point, as I heard it was bad for a child’s development to skip the whole “crawling” phase, and up until then, he was pulling himself into a standing position, but not crawling. And then he rode the train.

Strapped into his stroller, the little gremlin was wheeled onto the train and parked in the space reserved for handicapped people and parents with strollers. There we took a seat and proceeded to enjoy our train ride. I noticed a look for the first time that I didn’t understand until several weeks later, but would come to dread. My son was sitting quietly in his stroller staring at the clasps that sat between him and the freedom of the rest of the train car. With the sort of inconvenient timing only a small child can manage, he unclasped himself from the stroller, slid his body down beneath the tray, and made a mad dash down the car.

It was as if in a bad movie where time slowed. Everyone in the car stared as this seven month old child crawled like a wounded frog down the center aisle of the train, alone. I was right. For the past week, the Mother of the Gremlin and I would walk in on him, and he would fall on his face. I thought it was interesting that he would be fine alone for quite a while, but as soon as he saw us, fall. And it was also interesting how he managed to catch himself at other times, but never seemed to be able to when we would walk in on him. The MOTG did not believe it to be anything, but I was suspicious that he was crawling and didn’t want us to see.