The day began & filled quickly with omens, I just didn’t heed the call until too late.

For the past 16 months, everything that was in a cabinet, on a ledge, hanging from hooks, or inside a drawer was safe & secure from the 20 baby fingers lurking about. The kiddos weren’t much of a threat to anything other than what was on the floor, but in the last few days the new, bigger-better-faster version of Max & Manu was unleashed when their ability to stand-up, pull open, turn knobs, and flick switches seemed to explode in a learning curve that climbed faster than a rocket.

It started slowly with Manu maneuvering the toilet brush from its socket. There she sat like a queen holding her scepter with that 6 tooth grin across her face. Lord knows what she had done with that brush so I threw her in the tub and swabbed her mouth out with germicidal potions & brew.

I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it!
I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it!

Then, as I was baby-safeing the bathroom, I hear a *SMASH!* come from Max’s bedroom followed by a terrifying scream from baby’s mouth. I run in and there on the floor see that Max has pulled over the halogen floor lamp, the glass shattered, leaving black carbon dust everywhere and little baby sitting there looking at me like, “What did you do to me?”

I sweep Monsieur up in my arms, Pierre pronounces the light kaput, and I say, “At least he didn’t break the really expensive, beautiful floor lamp in the living room!”.

Jackpot! The 1st drawer Max learned to open : (
Jackpot! The 1st drawer Max learned to open : (

Max doesn’t have time to be bothered with the clean-up. He jumps to all fours and sprints out of the room faster than I can say, “Max, I’m adding that light to your tab”. My little man crawls with such speed that he can go from one end of the house to the other faster than I can walk it. If I want to stop him, I’ve got to break into a run, or at least a convincing ‘woggle’.

Then, a few hours later, “Manu! what is that sticking out of your mouth”, I say walking towards her until I see she’s dislodged one of the electrical outlet safety plugs and is using it as a pacifier. That gizmo took her all of 2 hours to prove useless.

Tastes like Chicken
Tastes like Chicken

In other rooms, there is no less of a fracas raised when they gain access. In the dining area, if you don’t belt them to their high chairs, they stand up and rock the solid-wooden chair off its legs, while banging on the tray with their cups so loud that I think there’s a drum hidden inside. Yes, little baby is a force to behold. Yet baby doesn’t think all this connivery and hootspa is enough. No, they are just warming up their engine.

What else little baby Manu? What else fire-eating Max?

Wahhh, she never lets me help separate the knives!
Wahhh, she never lets me help separate the knives!

Let’s move on to the kitchen… where my kiddos are quickly replacing several of the appliances I was so fond of.
~ Manu now substitutes as my paper-shredder. She’ll turn any magazine or paper into confetti fit for your Christmas tree trimmings.
~ Need your dog’s food stirred to mix the hard stuff with the wet? Let Max use his crafty digits to kneed, pulp, mush and smack all that nasty smelly stuff into a big mess. Pius wont mind, but he would like you, Max to please stop chasing after him, pulling his tail, and trying to grab his eyeballs out of his head. Yeah, Max is a little OCD with all things Pius.

You missed a spot Max.
You missed a spot Max.

But wait, that’s not all. You say your white carpet isn’t quite dirty enough? Let Max help you out by dragging a dirty mop across the unforgiving fibers. This is called intuitive painting in Max-land.

Next, say a prayer for the plants, they’ve all been put to rest. And yes, we were so wise as to recently install those child gates, but once your child has known 16 months of precious freedom, there’s no going back. Having your children stand at the gate shaking & rattling the bars while screaming isn’t really a solution either, ya know.

Maman, our crime does not fit this horrid punishment!
Maman, our crime does not fit this horrid punishment!

So, the sun is going down and I’m staring at a treacherous mess spread around the house while glancing at that bottle of wine in the corner. I smile thinking, “Gee, it’s not so ba…” when *SMASH!*, I hear a a crash of thunder come from the next room.

Did you get the earlier foreshadowing? Yes, there on the ground, lay that lovely floor lamp P & I love(d) so much. Max had weazeled his way up, over, around the chairs and tables that it was hidden behind, got to shaking it so hard, it slid into the table, toppled, dropped and lay crying in death on the floor — or maybe that’s Max I’m hearing.

Max cries and cries, and papa Pierre sits with him giving him his first lesson in things that are off limits. Pierre is firm, calm, repeating the words, “Cassé, Tombé” (fallen, broken). Max cries yet continues to sit listening. It was amazing to see our little baby seem to grasp, feel, and show a kind of sorry or understanding. Even more telling is while Pierre repairs the lamp, Max crawls over to him and sits quietly watching until papa finishes. Max rarely sits still while holding his attention so calmly. He was engaged.

Show the electronic, and he will come
Show the electronic, and he will come

Now when Max goes near things that are breakable, we repeat the words in a low, serious voice and use sign language for “No”. Max turns, looks at us and curls into a ball on the floor and whimpers as if to say, “Okay, I know, I’m not going there”. We pick him up and show the object to him so he doesn’t feel punished, all the while telling him “Careful”. We show him by example.

It’s funny, this same kind of lesson is how the kiddos learned to be kind to Pius. Now they pet him gently, or just sit and watch him. Amazing. Communicate with your child, show example, and already I am so touched, my heart strings pulled at, that such a young mind can grasp and communicate such mature interactions. Wow wow wow.

The Buddha hand… “I work in mysterious ways”
The Buddha hand… “I work in mysterious ways”
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