Trial & Error- Tales From the Edge of Parenting – Danger Baby
Look! It's an electric outlet to stick a toy into! It's a plastic bag to put over my head! He's almost like a super-hero-in-training, with the superpower of narrowly avoiding potentially life-threatening situations that's he's put himself into. He's... DANGER BABY!!
We were blessed and cursed by our first child. From the time he was brought home from the hospital, he was raised around two parents in journalism that lead by example when it comes to proper grammar. Not to say we didn't do our fair share of baby talk, but when it came time to speak we were very straightforward about what was expected. As a result of speaking to him like an adult (and the fact that we didn't have any friends with kids that age), he acted like a responsible young man from a very early age.
Not much is expected of you when you're only one year old. Keep things out of your mouth, let us know when you have a dirty diaper & don't put anything into an opening in which it doesn't belong. Seems simple, but we all know kids that get into shenanigans when they're babies. Before the baby could even roll over we had all the outlets covered, the cabinets locked and baby gates at-the-ready. We never needed them. As a foreshadowing of things to come, he was very content just to sit around and do nothing. He would watch his "Baby Einstein" DVDs or other "educational" videos while my wife and myself did our own thing. He never touched a cabinet, outlet or socket. We were spoiled. Until.............
Along comes our second child. We'd always heard that your kids will be like night & day, and they weren't kidding. Danger Baby, AKA Logan, started causing fits as soon as he was able. Every electric outlet was in danger. Danger Baby would simply remove the covers and attempt to stick something in the outlet, in most cases while actually chewing on the outlet cover. We found out early on that we'd need to upgrade our cabinet locks. Danger Baby would laugh as he ripped open cabinets for further exploration.
Perhaps the most disturbing activity favored by Danger Baby was putting plastic bags over his head or even better, wrapping something around his neck as his "neck-a-lace". What do you say to a 2-year old that can't be reasoned with when it comes to his own safety? Really. What do you say? I ask because he's transformed from Danger Baby to Danger Child. I want to curb this behavior before he's jumping out of helicopters onto the top of a mountain for some back country snowboarding.
Maybe it comes from having an older brother, but all the things his cautious (Fraidey-Cat) older brother was scared to do are things Danger Baby does with ease. Tyler was scared of jumping into the pool and generally afraid of being in the water until he was 8 years old. Danger Baby can't be left near a body of water because he's ready to do his best Mark Spitz impression.
My biggest problem with Danger Baby is that he looks adorable doing it all. Maybe THAT'S his superpower. It's hard to tell Danger Baby he can't do something. I told him he wouldn't like the monster trucks because he'd be scared by the noise like his older brother. He loved it. He even rode in the back of a monster truck without me in the truck with him, something only Danger Baby would do. There's nothing Danger Baby won't try. And that's scares me to death.