It has been more than a month since I took down the family room gate. It had lost its effectiveness. The Tumbleweed had been able to climb over for more than a year, and in that time had demonstrated what needed to be done thousands of times. So it didn't surprise me that the Dandelion figured out how to use chairs, toy bins and even toys themselves to boost himself over the gate. Finally I couldn't remove all of the "stools" from the room, so it was time for the gate to go.
Since then it has taken everyone some time to adjust... I no longer have a way to keep the kids out of the kitchen when I am about to open the oven (I also had to put more cabinet locks on so all of my bowls & pots weren't dirty). The Tumbleweed has no way to keep her little brother out of her room and away from her "big girl toys". And most of all the Dandelion can go anywhere he wants!
His current favorite places are the bathroom sink to play with the water (he hasn't started setting up tea parties on his bed like his sister did, but he still makes a mess), the kitchen counter where the snacks are (he pulls up a chair), and the Tumbleweed's room to play with her Littlest Pet Shop & My Little Ponies (specifically the ones with buttons that play songs or light up). I have tried setting up little things for him to play with in his own room, but I guess the other things are more interesting for now - or - no one is going to tell him what to do.
Now we still keep a gate on the stairs, but I am no longer fearful of him falling down them. It is more to keep the kids out of the basement (where they can get into things they shouldn't or where the Eagle is working), so sometimes we do leave it open and let the kids go down on their own.
The only other remaining barrier for the Dandelion to beat was the side rails of the crib... and yesterday morning he did just that. As the Tumbleweed put it when they came bounding into my room together yesterday morning "he just flipped himself out" (I know she didn't help, because she had just been in my room moments beforehand).
Looks like we can't keep him contained forever... yikes!
6 months ago