First off, it is bad enough when a child is sitting still and quiet, staring beady little eyes full of recrimination through your soul because you refused to play a 16th game of CandyLand. The idea that they are actually freely moving about the house is like some sort of horror movie where every time you turn your head you catch a glimpse of some unholy terror scrambling under a bed out of view. Then you must creep around the house, dread filling the pit of your belly, knowing eventually it will itcrawl back out.
The other day, my brother had his bundle of joy climb to the top of a closet, find a bottle of green food coloring, and spill the entire contents to the carpet. Never mind that there were be three things in the house that would make a horrible and permanent mess, and somehow my darling niece managed to seek this one out at the top of a cabinet. That sort of super power in a child I don’t want to even think about.
Luckily, my brother had myself to turn to for advice.
Brother, I said, use restraint.
He assured me he had calmed down and had naturally not done anything harmful to his daughter.
No, no, no! I clarified. Not on yourself — I mean use restraint on the child. Just weight.
At this point there came a long pause. Finally, my brother asked, What am I waiting for?
(Really, sometimes talking to him takes all of MY restraint.) I began to explain that the key to my brother’s monkey-child problem was weight.
He didn’t need to chain the child to a radiator like an animal! That would be very poor advice, as very few people these days actually have radiators in their homes. What he needed to do was go to a nearby sports store and get himself some of those five pound ankle weights and secure them snugly to his daughter’s ankles. The additional weight would not only make climbing counters impossible, but greatly reduce her speed as she bounced about the house. Naturally, as she grew larger, he would have to continue to up the weight.
The extra bonus to this technique, is that over time your child will develop unusually powerful legs. When you finally remove the weights at age 18, there is a good chance she be so extraordinarily strong that she can become some sort of professional sports star making millions of dollars, thereby ensuring you’ll be well taken care of in your old age.
You’ll thank me later,