Hiking for Infants

Look, I’m not going to pretend that I’m not stoked that I haven’t had to put away my clean laundry for two weeks, but I promise you that it’s for a good and noble reason. We’ve divided the living room right down the middle. Half of it resembles an average human household. There are clear paths; that chances of rolling your ankle on a squeaky toy or light-up animal are remote. The other side of the living room is boxed in by the couch, the entertainment stand, a wall, and the three full laundry baskets. Within these borders are balls, toys, bells, boxes, pillows; the likelihood of stepping on something that puts you half-way through a swear word before you remember there are kids in the vicinity are 100%. Yes. My laundry is a brick in the wall, the only thing preventing hysteria from spilling out into the rest of the house.

Cole and Avery can crawl now. In about a week they went from being able to pull themselves into a kneeling position to pulling themselves into a standing position. They’re also decent climbers, the same way Madison was before she fell off the monkey bars in Manoa and developed a fear of monkey bars, heights, and anything that seems remotely challenging. I wish she were more like her uncle Matty. He would have needed to fall about 6 times before he figured he learned anything. Anyway, these newly-acquired skills appear perfectly suited for the twins’ newest and most favoritest hobby: laundry basket scaling.

89Initially, the Great Wall of Higa worked like a charm. Over the course of a few days, though, the twins systematically attacked the wall like the raptors in Jurassic Park. They’ve slowly but surely built up to the point where the wall is nearly moot.

Attack 1: The twins learned to pull themselves up to a seated or kneeling position by leaning the weight of their upper bodies against the laundry baskets. But since they’re not super-smart yet, they hadn’t (and still haven’t) figured out how to get down. So eventually, one of two things would happen. 1) They’d cry because they were stuck, so we’d have to pull them down, or the less desirable 2) They’d just take a short cut and crash onto the carpet below before screaming like madmen/women. You can imagine how this made me reconsider the Great Wall of Higa.

Attack 2: As if hurling themselves head-first to the floor of the living room wasn’t a severe enough test of our resolve, Cole and Avery upped the ante. Once they learned how to get themselves into a standing position next to the laundry baskets, they started tolling me. Avery especially would start biting on the clean clothes, leaving them soaked and covered with drool. Two days ago Cole was standing at one of the baskets and threw up all over two pairs of shorts. There was no remorse from either of the kids. They seem to say: If you are going to entrap us with this clean laundry, we will make this clean laundry unclean. The net effect is that you will have to wash clothes you have already washed again, daddy. We know how much you hate this kind of humbug and inefficiency. You could end all of this by simply allowing us access to the rest of the house, fool. Well, what the twins don’t appreciate yet is that I’ve been with Lynnette since 2003. I CAN DO THIS ALL SUMMER, KIDS.

Attack 3: Since they don’t know how to crawl backwards or descend anything, they can only move forward, even if it means climbing. This is how both Cole and Avery eventually figured out how to get atop then into the laundry baskets. They love it. You know, right up until the point they realize they can’t do anything and they start crying for us to extricate them from the situation. But then of course, they crawl right back to the laundry baskets to start the climb again. As yet, only Cole has made it out of a basket on his own, he just kept pumping those chubby legs of his until he tipped the basket over and face planted on the other side. “Oh my God!” Lynnette said. He ate it up. It was the time of his short life. Maybe he’s the one with Uncle Matty tendencies.

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