Our house has been transformed over the past few months since Olivia has been mobile and exploring. Shelves that used to hold breakables and collectibles now hold toys and stuffed animals. Hard-edged furniture has been moved or replaced. Certain doors are kept closed when she's awake so that she doesn't tear up a pile of bills or pull bookcases down on herself.
There are certain other things that could not be easily removed. Like the dining room table, for instance (and chairs). These remaining obstacles (or, in Olivia's view, playground equipment) create an ongoing challenge for all of us.
Olivia, being the active, super-tall 9-month-old that she is, is in a stage where everything is meant to be climbed. She uses her toys as stepping stools, stacking them and climbing on them to get high enough to pull herself onto the couch. Then she grabs onto the back of the couch and tries to pull herself up and launch herself over the back of the couch. So far she has not been successful, but only because we've caught her before she managed to go hurtling head first off the back of the couch.
She uses the slats on the kitchen chairs to try to climb up. She reaches up to grab onto the table and then...wait for it...HANGS from the table. As if she were trying to do a chin-up. She does this on the piano too.
All of this provides some interesting challenges for us. We don't want to cage her into a little safe zone where she can't do any exploring at all, but we also don't want her to lose her grip on the table and crack her head against the cabinet. So, we are trying to teach Olivia the meaning of the word "No".
Olivia has been familiar with "No" for awhile now, but she hasn't always responded appropriately. There are still times when she just laughs and continues until we pry her away from her dangerous behavior. But she's starting to recognize the tone and the word as a command meant for her. She turns and looks at us when we say it, as if she knows she was caught doing something she wasn't supposed to be doing. So maybe we are getting somewhere with this.
In other news, Olivia can stand up from sitting unassisted now (as in, using no props to get to standing). She doesn't do it often, but she can. Yesterday, she tried to take a step before falling. She's getting closer...