Thursday, February 02, 2012

What do you do with a baby engineer?

Amaia is a taxing child. I don't mean she has tantrums, refuses to eat or sleep or the likes. Quite the contrary - she's a delight. She's affectionate, easy-going, happy, and full of fun, but she's an engineer at heart and that is getting her into worse and worse scrapes.

When she was little, she'd empty a packet of wipes, or unravel a toilet roll to see how it worked. She graduated onto removing DVDs from their boxes and taking ballpoint pens to pieces. She unscrews lightbulbs when she can reach them (bedside lamps, and the likes). She likes to cook, so tries to push chairs against the cooker to stir things and has worked out how to set the timer on the cooker. Leaving the room while you are cooking is now impossible.

Of course, she can spend hours with age 3+ lego, building things, which is harmless. But today she moved up to a new level...

I was tidying the dining room table after breakfast when I heard the microwave beep. The microwave is on a high shelf out of her reach. I have been working a lot this last week and am a bit tired so I questioned whether I had actually stuck something in it to defrost. I came through and found no one. I opened it and it was empty. It must have been my imagination. I was alone, so it couldn't have been Thomas. I went to the loo. I heard it beep again. I returned to find Amaia had moved a dining room chair to in front of it and was playing with the 'quick start' button. I shouted at her, explaining that the microwave wasn't a toy and she would break it if she turned it on empty. I forgot this was my takes-everything-literally child. Half an hour later, despite my having moved the chair away and shut the kitchen door, it beeped a third time. I stormed through. The chair was back, the Bopster was standing proudly on it and looking pleased. To stop it beeping, you need to pull the door open. I pulled it open to reveal two pots of petit filou, both open, each containing a plastic (phew!) spoon, steaming happily on the inside. She'd manoeuvred the chair to the fridge for the yogurts, then over to the microwave, having opened them herself! She really was quite put out when she was told off for a second time, but so far she hasn't dared try again.

(I'm glad we don't own a cat!)

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