Monday, November 24, 2008

The First Casualty

River has inflicted mortal damage on his first piece of household furniture – a floor lamp. It was placed attractively next to the armchair and recently, there wasn’t much he liked better than to reach out for it and pull it back and forth, marveling at his ability to make the lamp swing.

Daddy wouldn’t have allowed such behavior. When he saw River doing this, he urged me to stop him. I did so reluctantly. River’s face of enjoyment was so pure and so sincere that I hated to destroy it, even at the cost of the lamp.

I guess I didn’t really expect the lamp to be damaged. But it was. Tonight he reached out for it. Afterwards, the lamp, which had been tilting lately, could no longer stand upright. We had to toss it (though I posted it on freecycle first and it looks like someone wants it – yay freecycle!).

Who knew I would be such a softie? I certainly didn’t expect it.

My husband is also suggesting (with good reason I know) that I stop my morning ritual of handing River every toiletry item he points to on his shelf while he’s on the potty. Mark says it’s not good for him to get used to playing with medicine bottles, aspirin bottles or licking powder can tops. I know. But when he looks over that way, points with such enthusiasm he bounces, begins to huff in excitement and looks at me with wide eyes, sure I can fulfill his desire, how can I say no? I ask myself if it will cause serious harm to him or others. If not, I let him have it, touch it, explore it.

For now, he can’t open any of the bottles and I’m supervising him every moment he has them. When he gets to the point where he can open them, we’ll have to move them to a safer place. But for now, I don’t think his morning pleasure of touching every object on the shelf is so bad. In the last few days, we’ve added a new part onto the ritual where he hands each object back, one by one, and I put it back on the shelf. So he’s learning how to put things away, I tell myself. Then again, I am the one who let him break the lamp.

1 comment:

NES said...

My 11-monther just pulled a floor lamp down on Saturday -- you're right, we're at very similar stages right now!