fishie is mobile now, very mobile. we have long since passed the stage where i could put her on a mat on the floor and she'd kick her feet and bat at her toys and she was totally content. no, we are now in the stage where she walks along furniture and takes a few steps on her own here and there, which enables her to get into everything. so, instead of getting to sit in my comfy chair and watch her crawl around the living room while i play on my computer, i have to get up every five minutes and stop her from pulling all the cables out from behind the tv. or opening the doors on the wall unit. or turning on my boys' wii and trying to shove things in the disk slot.
she is a baby, so i understand her need to explore her surroundings. i remember this stage with my boys. one of the problems is that, with my boys, we lived in a different house, and there was space for them that was their own. it was completely baby-proofed, if it was in their section of the house, it was free game for them to play with or destroy. now, though, there isn't a place just for fishie. we stay in the living room together, and i have to watch her all day and make sure she doesn't get into the things that she shouldn't, simply because her toys share the space with the tv and video games and some of her brothers' toys. not everything here is free game for her, and that's not really a concept an almost one year old understands.
the other problem with this arrangement is more my personal problem. when she was little and we would sit in the living room together, there wasn't much she was able to reach, so there wasn't much she was able to get into. everything dangerous was put up, out of her range. so i was able to sit and watch her and do my computer stuff, or watch tv, or read. i guess you could say i was ignoring her, but i like to think i was simply multitasking. it's what every good mother that wants to keep her sanity has to do.
well, little fish is very smart, and she figured out two things. the first is that, like all little kids, she doesn't like to be ignored. if i am sitting in the room with her, i need to be paying full attention to her 100% of the time. the other thing she figured out is that if she starts to get into things that she's not supposed, i will jump up to stop her. so clever fish realized that if she starts to get into things that she's not supposed to, then i will start paying attention to her, so whenever i'm doing something else and she wants me, she makes her way over to the tv stand or the game systems and wreaks havoc.
this is especially amusing to her when she is locked in the living room by a baby gate and i am in the kitchen trying to make supper. she pulls herself up on the tv stand and just waits. i'll glance over and tell her to get down. then when i go back to making food, she starts playing with the wires or something. eventually i have to go into the living room and physically move her away from what she's not supposed to get at. then of course the cycle starts over again. dinners that i used to be able to throw together in 30 minutes now take an hour or more to make.
i now look forward to nap time, because i know it'll give me a chance to run around the house and get things done. though then by the time she wakes up, i am exhausted, so when she's ready to play and starts getting into things again, i don't have a chance to sit down and rest, i'm back at it, trying to keep her and my electronics safe.
the worst is the knowledge that, if she's anything like her brothers, i have another six months to a year of this fun. it almost makes me want to punch the people who think being a stay at home mom is easy, because i just get to sit around and do whatever i want all day. yeah, right.