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Feats of Strength

I warned you all that I was going to be telling cute Pumpkin stories, and here are more. This time, let's talk about my daughter's incredible physical abilities. I've mentioned that she has been hitting those physical milestones pretty early, and in fact her gross motor skills have been rated as Exceeding Expectations (by a very objective Mama)!

The Pumpkin has always particularly loved climbing. Lately, she is climbing EVERYTHING. For a while, she's been climbing up on our new couch. It's just the right level for her to swing her leg up on and get a hold in with her foot or knee. She's now also able to climb into adult-sized chairs, including the upholstered glider in her bedroom. She works with the rocking motion and gets her foot or knee up and there she goes. She gets in, turns around, sits down, rocks with the chair already in motion from her climb in and says "wheeeee!" It's terribly cute.

About a week ago, she started climbing into one of the wooden kitchen chairs. The kind that look like this, but in a different color. Londo and I just watched her in amazement, as she squirmed her way up into the chair, turned around and then grabbed the table and pulled herself in to the table. In. Cred. A. Ble.

Over the weekend, she was toddling around as I sat in one of the kitchen chairs and flipped through a magazine on the table. I got up to cook or something, and she pulled herself into the chair I was in, turned around and started flipping through the magazines. Don't worry, I took pictures and even a little video. This kind of imitation I want on film!

Yesterday, she climbed up on the glider's ottoman, which also glides. Later she climbed up on another ottoman, which was even smaller than the glider's ottoman. She balances on her knees, and the slides them out so she's sitting.

Londo and I have had a few minor heart attackes, as this climber works her way up everything around. I won't stiffle her climbing, because I was a climber too* and that's a perfectly valid way to be. But we know she needs to learn limitations and where dangers are. We've been teaching her that she is not allowed to stand on the couch or chairs (because she inevitably starts bouncing and flinging herself around, and if she's standing, she is more likely to fall off and having a bigger fall). Instead, we tell her that the couch and chairs are for sitting, so that is why she immediately turns around and sits when she climbs in things.

We've also started teaching her where the edge is. I think this was brilliant on my part. When she gets too close to the edge of something, I ask her where the edge is and she stops, looks and pats the edge. Next step we are working on is to move away from the edge. Unfortunately, she is currently fascinated with the edge. Actually, this is probably a good stage to go through. I let her stare off the edge, but only when she's lying down so she's more stable. She's reaching for things on the floor or just pointing down. She's slipped a couple times, and when she's not far from the bottom, I will guide her slide down. This is so she understand that she will fall if she goes of the edge, but I guide her so she doesn't hit hard or get hurt. Let's hope she figures it all out before she does get hurt.

The other limitation she's discovered on her own is that she can't always get down by herself. Long ago, we taught her to go feet first when she wants to get down from somewhere, and she's really good about this. When she looks down and feels like she can't make in on her own, she looks up at me, reaches out a hand and calls out "hans" for me to give her my hand(s). She will wait for me to come over and give her my hand and help her off. She's tried to get off the wooden kitchen chairs herself two or three times, but each time the wooden seat edge must have dug into her thighs, because she screams out when she lands and grabs her legs like she's in pain. I comfort her and tell her next time to ask for my hands.

And she does, cause she's a supergenius as well as a super-strong baby.

*Not only did I climb every tree I could get my hands on and all jungle gyms in the area, I used to literally climb the walls. We had this hallway that was the perfect width for me to put one hand and foot on one wall and the other hand and foot on the other wall and then climb up the walls until I reached the ceiling, where I would hang out for a while. My mom was impressed and just told me not to do it near the stairs. I'm striving to be as supportive as my mom, who never showed the heart attacks I'm sure she was having.


La folle maman said…
There are some good lessons in here I will have to remember when Monkey becomes Pumpkin's age. Thanks!
Jezer said…
Oh, the climbing. So scary, but so, so pride-inducing.

Also, teaching her about the edge is brilliant.
Anonymous said…
I hear you. I frequently think of my mom in the same way. Also, I was a climber when I was growing up, but my husband was not. It puts us on completely opposite sides of how far we let Mimi go in her own feats of strength.
Yay for Pumpkin! Le Petit is tentatively starting to climb (mostly onto the ottoman when I put it in front of the bookshelf in a lame attempt to keep him away from the books) but he's mainly interested in walking around and around and around the house.

I'm going to start trying to teach him where the edge is. That sounds like a brilliant idea.
Karen said…
The feet-first thing is a very good idea. More kids need taught things like that.
Becoming Mommy said…
OH Goodness...

Sashas climbing is starting to get ridiculous. I don't know how you keep so cool about it!

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