Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Everything must go!

This crib saga may be finally nearing an end, much to the disappointment of those fans who were hoping for a long-running series on it. On Saturday, I once again found myself ripping apart cardboard boxes, trying to make sense of poorly-translated directions, and wondering if Kyle's old enough to just sleep on a mattress on the floor. After several hours, the deed was done. The new crib was assembled, and this time Kyle did not try to somersault out of it. Jennifer and I celebrated by torching the old crib, only to douse it seconds later when we realized we needed its parts to get our money back through the recall. Kyle marked this glorious occasion by doing what he does best. He grabbed whatever items I had put in the crib (books, stuffed animals, the screwdriver I had misplaced), and tossed them out of it.

This behavior is nothing new. All of Kyle's things are frequent flyers. It doesn't matter what it is: if it is light enough for Kyle to pick up, and if it's not coated with crazy glue, then it will be airborne in a matter of seconds. He's been doing this for several months now, stemming back to the time when Kyle first threw out his stuffed dog after it started talking smack. Now hardly anything stays in the crib.

I don't know why he's doing this; as a new parent, most of my child's behavior is a puzzle to me. These actions don't seem to work to his advantage. It might have made some sense at first: he'd play with a toy for a while, get bored with it, and then toss it out. He'd then play with something else in his crib or playpen. Now he just tosses everything out, often without giving most toys a second of attention. Once the crib is cleared out, he gives me a look of satisfaction, as if he accomplished something grand. Then he realizes he doesn't have anything to play with anymore and starts screaming at his dad for letting this happen. At that point I stop what I'm doing, whether it be the dishes or open heart surgery, walk into his room, throw the toys back into the crib, and we begin the whole process again. Usually it goes faster the second and third times around.

(Above: Kyle is thrilled to have no more toys to play with)

Sadly, he's not throwing anything out of his playpen anymore. That's because he hasn't used it since he tried flinging himself out a couple weeks ago (yes, just like he did with the Delta crib). We put up a gate at the entrance to our living room, transforming the entire room into his playpen. I've found myself tripping over at least five of Kyle's things each time I walk through there, when I'm not tripping over Kyle himself. The little guy just keeps flinging things around, and now he's throwing things into the crib. It's as if the inside and outside have simply reversed. Apparently Kyle just doesn't like his toys. At least he's making cleanup a lot easier. If he keeps this up, maybe I'll have him help me take care of the mess in my office.

Now, one may say I'm encouraging this behavior by putting lots of toys into his crib or in the living room just to see them flung out of reach over and over again. I tend to think that this behavior, as strange as it may be, could be related to Kyle's development, and who am I to get in the way of that? Plus, I'm noticing that he's flinging things out with greater velocity. He's obviously strengthening his arm for one of three goals: to became a major-league pitcher, a human catapult, or an expert snow-shoveler. I'm excited about all prospects. With the first option, he'd get gazillions of dollars and I'd be able to live out my lifelong dream to build a mansion out of waffles. With the second, he'd be able to fling things great distances, which would come in handy years from now, when I realize that the best way to clean out the garage is to throw everything into the lake. I think the benefits of the third option are self-explanatory. In any case, I'd be a winner.

However, as I've said before, I do not intend to impose my own hopes and dreams onto my child, and I'll continue to let him practice throwing in his new crib so that he can do whatever HE wants to do. It's his life, and he can follow his own dreams with that powerful arm. If, instead of pitching, shoveling or catapulting, he chooses to use his arm to throw a football for the NFL, well, I guess I could learn to live with that. As long as it's not for the Jets.

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