The Boy has shown a perfectly age-appropriate love of wires, cords and strings. More to the point, he has displayed a distressingly large amount of guile and cunning in his pursuit of playing with said wires. Unfortunately, today he made a mistake.
He showed me that he understands what "no" means.
Yup, you read that correctly. My little 8-month old genius, who displays ingenuity and creativity in his attempts to play with things that he's not supposed to play with, understands what "Boy... no." means. (I don't call him "Boy" in that case, but people seem to expect a certain amount of anonymity in the blog.) Today, he was playing around on the floor of the den.
We have a nice video setup. 42-inch LCD screen, 720p, with a Playstation 3, cable box & TiVo (series 2, not the nice HD TiVos). On the tv stand are those three items, along with a spare PS3 controller and the microphone for Rock Band, which is - upon further consideration - going to have to move. As are the power charging cable for the PS3 controllers, which is next to the PS3.
But, I digress.
The Boy was going for the microphone, because it has a nice, long cord that he wants to play with. I said, "Boy... no," in my normal teacher-commanding voice. He turned, looked at me, and put his hand down on the ground. He turned his body away momentarily, then turned back towards the machine and went for the microphone. I told him no again, and he took his hand away. At that point, I picked him up and moved him back into the center of the room. His response was to go straight for the cords again. We talked about it, and I moved him back into the center of the room; this time, I took my tenor saxophone (serving as a portable baby blockade) and put it in front of the tv stand so the cords were blocked from view.
The cunning runt actually crawled around the side of the tenor case, in the six inches between the case and the wall, to get at the cords. I guess it's really nice that he's displaying an understanding of object permanence - he also shows this when we're lying in bed, as he climbs over me because he knows that I usually keep the remote control next to my left hip for easy access. I just wish he was a tad less creative in his pursuit of those potentially dangerous items.
Worst part about the whole thing is that today, in particular, he wasn't feeling well. He's had a very runny nose all week and has been a little bit under the weather. He took the deprivation of his "toys" - the wires and remotes and such - very badly, and he spent a lot of time crying about it.
Today, he also took a couple of falls - not uncommon among beginning crawlers. Maggie Simpson does this a lot - two steps, falls. Two steps, falls. Two steps, falls. Repeat as necessary. The Boy was doing this today. Twice, he went from a seated position to a crawling position and just missed the weight shift. The first time, he did a nifty 150-degree flip in midair before landing on his head. The second time, he just did a classic faceplant - when I was on the phone with my mother-in-law. Great father, eh?
That didn't help his mood. I suppose there are going to be more days like today - days when he's trying REALLY HARD to get into stuff that's bad for him, at least until the house is better babyproofed, and days when he takes a couple of nasty-like falls. It's a shame, though. He's SO cute and such a beautiul kid that he doesn't deserve it!