On toddler’s intellect and their safety

Despite initially gloomy weather reports, today turned out to be a beautiful day. We were working in the yard, enjoying the sun, and letting our toddler run amok in the grass with a small beach ball. Two wires suddenly crossed in his head, prompting him to drop the ball and dash towards the open garage while howling a long, ululating cry of joy.

Such behaviour is not uncommon, as he typically reaches the garage, turns towards a bin of toys we keep there for him, rummages around quickly to find whatever gizmo seizes his goldfish’s attention to play with for a nanosecond and ultimately discard on the lawn, only to repeat the cycle ad infinitum. Our garage is separate from the house, and doubles as a shed, so there are no cars in it, and there are lots of his toys piled in there. Strangely, very few garages around here actually seem to contain cars. I ‘ll have to dig into that.

After a minute of silence, our spider senses began tingling. All was quiet.

Quiet is bad. A kid can be screaming their head off to all mighty Heaven and will generally be okay. It’s when they get quiet that you have to be worried.

My wife and I drop what we’re doing and walk towards the garage to see what kiddo is up to. He’s not playing with his toys. Nope. He’s nowhere near the end with his toys in it. He’s not even playing with a chainsaw. I could dig him getting into juggling chainsaws someday. He’s playing with the barbecue. We berate him as he runs away from the various knobs and buttons he was playing with. This implementation of discipline for playing with something big and shiny is somehow devastating to him. He collapses in a gooey ball of tears and snot. My wife checks on the valve to the gas cylinder. All is in order. The garage isn’t going to get blown to Kingdom Come. Not this time, at least.

She checks the burner dials and finds that they are all out of whack. She immediately flashes the laser eyes at me. “You didn’t shut these valves off the last time you used this.”

“I did! I only used one of the three burners.” I offer back in my defense.

“He doesn’t know how to use a push and twist knob yet.” Her gaze hardens.

“Babe, he knows how to use an iPad.”

Kapow! Realization dawned on her that our little cherub is one smart cookie. I guess we’ll have to keep a closer eye on him. And mount the barbecue on our roof. It seems to be the only place he hasn’t figured out how to get into yet.


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