The Baby has been trying to get outside all morning. She keeps going to the door and trying to force her tiny fingers into the crack near the door frame and force it open. She’s been restless and cranky and a little bit feverish as well.
I am sitting down and she is asleep in my lap, finally, when the front door bursts open as the GH stops at home in between jobs. The Baby jerks herself awake at the sound and throws her self toward her dad, flinging her entire body at his neck and holding on tight as he hugs her back. I guess she’s been looking for him.
Soon it’s time for him to go back out and she follows him out the door and up the sidewalk. She’s going too. She keeps looking up at him as if to say, “Do you see me walking here. Do you see that I’m a big girl now? I’m big enough to go places with daddy now. Take me with you.”
She runs along excitedly vocalizing until I finally scoop her up and take her back inside. I’m expecting her to yell but she is excited to see her siblings as well. She doesn’t fall asleep again until dinner time.
At one point during the afternoon I suddenly realize that it’s too quiet. I go looking for her as she comes running toward me out of the bathroom choking and sputtering and crying just a little. Someone has left the bathroom door open, and she has found her way into the laundry detergent under the bathroom counter. I breathe a quiet sigh of gratitude that we use an all natural non toxic detergent and that she appears to have spit most of it back out onto her shirt. Then I decide that the moment has come, I will begin teaching her to obey. She is the most compliant of all my children, probably thanks to the example of her older siblings, she’s picked up the rules around here from watching them, and she usually stops before touching something if I say no. But this bathroom cabinet fascinates her she keeps going back to it and I figure it’s as good a place as any to start.
After we clean up the soap and I give her water to drink I take her back to the cabinet. I set her down in front of of it and point to it while saying, “NO NO!”
I’m not loud, but I am firm. Her eyes open wide and great tears start to course down her cheeks. She knows what that word means. I say it again, pointing at the now closed doors for emphasis, “NO NO, DON’T TOUCH.”
She begins crying in earnest now and runs away down the hallway squealing. I follow her and watch as she collapses onto the floor in tears and then, seeing me, turns and reaches for me to pick her up. I do and take her back into the bathroom and hold her close. Kissing her salty cheeks and touching my forehead to her little hot one, we look into the mirror and make a silly game of rubbing our faces together until she laughs once more.
I leave the bathroom door open on purpose with a watchful eye cocked for the rest of the day. She doesn’t go near the cabinets again.