Monday, November 30, 2009

Hurricane Karsten

I came home from a meeting several days ago and found the house a bit warm. When I unlocked and the opened the doors to the office it felt like the blast of heat you feel when entering a Costco in the wintertime. "Whoa!" I shouted so that Sara would hear. "What happened in here?" We both realized the answer at the same time - Karsten.

The thermostat was set to 89 degrees. And though the house had not yet been able to reach that temperature, the register in the office had been pumping out hot air for hours into the closed room while the rest of the house with open doors and our open floor plan was much more equilibrated.

This incident didn't really surprise us. Karsten began as a minor blip on the radar out over the Pacific, sucking on tubes of toothpaste when he wanted a refreshing treat. But in recent months he has picked up quite a bit of steam. He became a tropical storm several weeks ago when he plugged in Sara's curling iron and left it setting on the carpet all day long.

But now he as reached full on hurricane status and made landfall at the same time. The thermostat incident was brought about by a combination of Karsten's fascination with buttons and switches and his recent discovery that our tall pub chairs are easy to push around on the wood floor with their felt anti-scuff pads on each leg. Karsten will spend hours of each day pushing the chairs around to all of the different wall switches, turning on ceiling fans, lamps, outdoor lights, and bathroom fans. This led him to figure out that he can carry the step stool from the bathroom for the carpeted areas where the chairs don't slide well. This is why we now keep our bedroom (to keep him out of the curling irons, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) and the office (computer hacking) locked up when not in use.

He's also using the chairs to help himself to anything he wants in the fridge, freezer or pantries.

Uncooked pasta.

Cheese sticks.

Ice cream.

It wouldn't be so bad if he actually ate the stuff he finds. I really don't understand how the boy weighs so much. Nothing seems to make it into he stomach except liquids. He's got vacuum-like suction and can down a sippy cup in mere seconds. The solids, however, are just a source of entertainment for Karsten. Crackers turn into powder when stomped on. The pasta makes a delightful amount of noise when dumped out slowly from atop the counter. Cheese sticks can be kneaded and molded into a variety of shapes and projectiles. And the ice cream - not only does he dirty every spoon he can find but he doesn't even have the decency to put it back in the freezer when he's done.

At least he seems to be past his toilet fixation. No more emergency baths or fishing toys out.

But he is starting to throw things down the stairs. Large things. If Karsten can lift it or at least push it, there is a very strong chance it will at some point take a tumble down to the ground floor.

I even had to buy a new keyboard off eBay for Sara's laptop just to use for spare parts to fix the original keyboard. The problem isn't so much that Karsten pops off the keys (he can even unlatch the lid so "hey Ducheznee - why don't you just close it?" is not a viable solution). The problem is that I can't ever seem to get them all back together (with their hinges and tiny rubber springs) without breaking or losing at least one piece.

Amazingly, Karsten can't climb out of his crib yet and doesn't try to take off his diaper. But I did catch him wearing a princess dress once, and that concerns me.

Roomba needs to invent a babysitting robot. Karsten could wear a bracelet or something that the robot would be able to track and follow him around with a video camera and a microphone. We would be able to monitor that feed from the computer or TV or maybe a portable device we carry with us.

UPDATE - Dec. 1st
Apparently this list will grow. Sara is presently cooking dinner and Karsten just tried to light a napkin on fire by inching it closer and closer beneath the pot of boiling water.

UPDATE - Dec. 4th
Karsten can now climb out of his crib. Brooklyn taught him. She was very proud of herself. Now Karsten sleeps with a lid on the crib.

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Julie said...

Oh wow. You guys definitely have your hands full. Unforturnately this all sounds oh so familiar except the ice cream, but there are plenty of other things in the fridge for our kids to find and test my temper with. Somedays idint know how we as parents survive without being put in a mental facility somewhere.

Leslee said...

He is his father's son! I never dared to leave you alone for even a minute. I think the dishwashing soap all over the kitchen floor was one of your most memorable jobs. You had a nice big bubble bath after that one. Dumping every toy box, toy bag and clothes drawer out in the middle of the floor was another good one too. At least I can look back and smile about it now. ;-)

Sierra said...

That's hard to believe he's such a handful. He looks so innocent.