“Sam? Sam, where are you?” Jana ran through the house, looking frantically from room to room. It had only been a three minute phone call and her tiny dynamo had vanished. At only eleven months, how much trouble could that little rascal get into? Plenty! A muffled bang from upstairs drew her attention. Jana bounded up the steps, two at a time. She turned the corner to see Sam teetering on top of the office desk, pens and paper scattered in all directions. The window above the desk was ajar and the screen had been pushed out. His chubby frame was wedged halfway out the opening. In a rush of breath, his Mommy was there, the window closed and Sam safe in loving arms.
Do you have a tiny dynamo? As soon as they are mobile, these little twisters swirl through the house, creating chaos and sometimes, destruction. Most are boys, but not all. They are charming. They are sweet. They are the cutest little things you have ever laid eyes on. However, they need extra stimulation and supervision to keep from serious injury.
My friend calls them runners. Let go of their hand and they will run into the ocean, traffic, or down the mall (whatever opportunity is in front of them). They will sprint for the nearest exit and learn to unlatch locks, even before they can speak in full sentences. It takes a keen eye and quick reflexes to stay ahead of the game. Tiny dynamos are a wonderful and amazing parenting challenge.
If you are one of the fortunate parents raising an active child, we salute you! If you are waiting to parent for the first time, don’t be scared off. With a little planning and forethought, there are many blessings that come with the added trials. A strong willed and curious toddler will likely grow into a leader among his/her peers. Your child will not be afraid to try new things and will not back down when times get tough. Our lawyers, doctors, presidents and CEOs were probably tiny dynamos once upon a time.
Here are some survival tips to help meet the emotional and physical needs of your little one. By setting up a home that addresses your child’s unique essentials, your job as Mommy or Daddy will be so much easier:
- Who needs a dining room? Why not clear out a large space in your home designated to indoor play and exploration? Set out a large, soft rug. There are many plastic play sets and climbers designed for the under three year old crowd. Companies like One Step Ahead, Hayneedle and Little Tykes have inexpensive slide, swing and climber combinations. You will be the most popular playgroup home and your child will be occupied for hours each day.
- Old fashioned wooden blocks in a variety of sizes, encourage creative play and building. Young babies love blocks and so do ten year olds! It is bliss when a child gets to build a tall tower and knock it over. Make sure there are no breakables nearby.
- Simple door latches at the top of interior doors will ensure your active toddler does not escape. Bathrooms and kitchens are filled with potential hazards. Take extra precautions to block off these rooms to little ones. Baby safety gates work well, until they learn to climb over them.
- Order videos that are age appropriate and encourage learning. The cartoons on television, today, are scary at best. Baby Einstein, Brainy Baby, Sesame Street, and Veggie Tales are all good choices. An active toddler needs to experience down time each day. There is nothing wrong with putting on a positive and healthy video on in the afternoon, while you are trying to cook dinner.
If you are waiting to parent, there is no better time to start preparing your home and mind for the changes to come. Once junior arrives, there will be little opportunity to set up your home environment in the way you want. Start the family discussion now about how you choose to adapt your home. If you end up with your own tiny dynamo, try and make the necessary arrangements now. You will be glad you did. Blessings on your adoption journey!