Babies on a bookshelf.

This is the babies’ favorite new hangout.

They can scramble up and down on this bookcase with the greatest of ease.

They did it while we were Skyping with my parents and my Mom threatened to hang up on me. My friend Shannon left after they had climbed up one too many times for her nerves to handle. Justin can’t look at them while they’re doing it. We tried, at first, to deter them. Then we thought about taking the bookshelf out and putting it somewhere else in the room, but they would just climb up there anyway and at least here, the floor is padded. Plus, if we moved it, I’m convinced they would then use their toys to climb up on the windowsills, which are way more narrow and would be way more dangerous. I’m pretty much at a loss — not to mention, they’re figured out they can push chairs around the room and use those to climb up to get everything that’s currently out of their reach.

What do other people do? Justin said the only safe thing right now is a padded cell with nothing in it.

Are we crazy for letting them climb up there? The floor is padded and the windows have two panes of glass. My philosophy is, the more we try to keep them from doing it, the more they’ll do it, but I’m sure not planning to put that philosophy into action when they, say, decide they want to try alcohol at the tender age of 15.

Argh. They’re up there as I write this. Suggestions?

Janie Hightower - May 5, 2012 - 6:55 pm

I just don’t know how you stop twins from doing things like this. When it’s just one baby, you can, with much patience and persistence, gradually teach them not to climb, if you spend your whole day doing nothing but standing there with him or her. But with two of them the same age, I don’t see how you could manage it. But maybe somebody else knows! It is very scary to watch them, but I must say, they’re pretty careful for not even being 18 months old. (They are Superior Grandchildren, in other words.)

Katie - May 5, 2012 - 7:10 pm

I’m sure there are some sort of “window” gates that you can put up over the windows… I’d be more worried about the glass breaking than them falling onto the padded floor.

P.S. Love that you still call them “the babies.”

Michelle - May 5, 2012 - 9:49 pm

Teach them not to climb?! Janie, if you know how to do this with one child get up here to Fayetteville and stop Will. Lara, I don’t think it looks that dangerous. A month from now they will have moved on to something more dangerous! BTW, I’m impressed how the edges of the book case are padded, that could save you a trip to the ER.

Justin - May 6, 2012 - 11:22 am

I have never wanted to live on the ground floor as badly as I do now.

Janie Hightower - May 6, 2012 - 12:57 pm

I kinda thought I’d hear from Michelle about this!! Sorry. I should’ve added this: I myself wouldn’t be willing to stand there and watch the kid all day long in order to keep him from climbing. I never had a real hard-core climber, I guess.

Marsha - May 6, 2012 - 3:33 pm

Barbed wire?? Electrified fence?? : )

Sorry!! I can’t think of anything practical. There’s nothing on the vast Internet to help?

Shannon - May 6, 2012 - 6:14 pm

My blood pressure went up just seeing these pictures! I don’t know what scares me more, the bookshelf or jumping up and down on the big armchair!

Joey Fletcher - May 6, 2012 - 7:30 pm

It looks like this might be a good time to investigate window bars, to keep the little heathens in!!

wendi - May 9, 2012 - 7:50 pm

this one is a pickle, isn’t it. I guess (and I know you’ve already thought about this so why I am torturing you by writing it) summer offers more complications with open windows. I mean, two panes of glass seems like a luxury of safety compared to a screen. please let me know if you figure out any solutions. but I think you’re doing great. protecting them and negotiating that you can only do so much. cause babies will climb. and drink. and I dare you to call them the babies when they are 15. ohhh, how I hope you will still call them the Babies at 15. I’m picturing something very
waspy with the four of you drinking your evening martinis together…

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