Thursday, 28 June 2012

Free Falling

A while back Chris and I passed through this high end baby store in North Vancouver.  One of the products they carried was a form-fitted foam toddler helmet to prevent bumps and bruises, and it could be yours for only "$50".  We both inspected the helmet, looked at the price tag and made our usual comment about how we want our babies to learn fear and how to fall properly. We want them to save the brain damaging activities for high school and university when we aren't around as much to cringe about it.

I really do want the minions to learn about danger and over-all gain a little bit of knowledge about consequences of their actions.  But, my question, especially now that they are more mobile is, how much is too much falling?  Realistically they won't really learn about consequences of actions until they're like 25 years old.*

Jack likes to wake board on the door to the dishwasher while I load it up or unload, forcing me to use the upper baby tray to secure in knives and routinely check if there are any weight restrictions on the dishwasher door before it just snaps off onto the kitchen floor.  There is nothing listed, but I suspect I'm going to find out the tipping point eventually.

Baby equipment that once bought me sanity and knowledge that the children were safe have now become dangerous vehicles for self destruction:

  • Exersaucer, AKA the Console of Doom, now gets used as a climber or pushing device for one twin to knock the other twin over.**  
  • The vibrating baby rocker, which helped us through colic, is now some sort of extreme American Gladiators challenge where one baby climbs up and crouches on it while the other child shakes it to knock them off, or just tries to climb over the other baby.  
  • The rocking chair, a toppling ladder.
  • The baby swing is now a catapult that can be used to knock your sibling over if they are preventing you from being the first one who gets to eat the cat's food, that day.
Jack at around 2 months using the vibrating rocker as manufacturers intended.

On top of the new uses for toys, Miss Molly has decided that she likes to climb stairs.  In fact, she gets so excited after climbing 4 or 5 she puts up her hands in the air and leans back to celebrate***, which forces me to ask the question, when will they get depth perception?  I've now put a baby gate 3 stairs up, to allow the stair climber to practice a little bit, but not fall any further than her own height.  I wonder when I can teach them the art of bump bump to go down the stairs?****

I have to give Molly credit, she has become excellent at falling on her bum and much tougher than I ever thought she'd be.  It's poor Jack, with his giant head who does the double fall, bum and then the head, that really makes you want to wince and go coddle him.  We're trying to teach them to fall well and not cry by smiling and saying, "You're okay" even though the skull cracking sound makes you want to get an estimate for a custom made extra large baby helmet from the baby store. 

*Maybe I was just a slow learner.
**It is now on loan to a 4 month old who can use the console for good, not evil...although it is the console of doom, so I'm not sure if that even makes sense.
***I caught her, she's okay.  I promise.
****Bump Bump is when you go down the stairs on your bum with your feet in front of you to prevent you from falling. It's more fun if you say bump bump all the way down, and has also been a skill that has come in handy as an adult who has had too many martinis at a bar atop a giant set of stairs.


  1. I'm totally in the same boat! I feel like all Penny and Ben do is fall down or push each other down or climb on top of things and fall down. With two you can't always catch them. Here's hoping they don't do any real damage!

  2. Allegedly, they should already have depth perception but this does not seem to translate into fear of heights/falling/dying: "...This shows that when healthy infants are able to crawl, they can perceive depth. [4] However, results do not indicate that avoidance of cliffs and fear of heights is innate."