Penny is a climber. A serious climber. I thought my other two were pretty bad, but nothing could prepare me for the tenacious will of the third born to keep up with her big sisters.
She has always been a very physically adept child. She started commando crawling around the house at five months old. She’d belly crawl after her sisters when they were running around the house. Her frustration was visible when she was going as fast as one can go belly crawling and they’d change direction and pass her. But she’d turn as fast as she could to follow. And then turn again when they went back the original direction.
When she started crawling on her hands and knees at six months, it wasn’t the stuttering, back and forth kind of crawling. She was a pro. No hesitation. Pure speed. And then she could keep up. Really keep up. She could even pass them sometimes.
Then came the walking. At nine months. Actually, the week before she was nine months. Again, not the usual step, step, fall scenario. She was stable. A little slow at first, but she rarely fell. Within a month, she had started running and she hasn’t stopped. She’s a dickens to catch if she’s trying.
The climbing started innocently enough. She got up onto the ottoman one day. Her sisters use it as a launching point frequently and it’s her little station. The perfect height to put snacks and things on to be accessible to her. One day I left the room, came back in, and there she was, proudly sitting on the ottoman. She was ten months old.
Then she learned to climb onto the couches. Her sisters sit on them to intentionally keep their toys and games away from her. She didn’t like that. So she had to get onto the couch. She’s been up there since she was ten and half months. Of course, she doesn’t sit, she walks on them. Thankfully, she’s a good walker, so she doesn’t fall off.
Most days, she can be found climbing on things. She moves the step stools around to get up on things or reach things she shouldn’t have. She uses a little chair to climb on Samantha’s big girl bed where she likes to hang out. She can get onto the kitchen chairs and has occasionally used that as a starting point to get onto the kitchen table. She just likes to sit on it. She climbs in and out of the bathtub and has also gotten on top of the toilets.
About the same time as the couch climbing started, she learned to climb the stairs in the backyard. We have three tiers. The lower tier is where the kids’ toys are. The top two tiers is where the tortoise lives and some extra open space. I prefer the kids stay on the first tier mostly. Penny doesn’t. She likes the top tiers better and climbs up those concrete steps every time I turn my back. The steps are pretty tall, so the other two were over a year before they attempted the steps unassisted.
Last week, she officially did something neither of the older girls have done yet. She climbed from the second tier into my garden bed on the first tier. I was picking up toys around the yard and I heard Sammy yelling for me. She was using her “someone’s in real trouble” yell that sent me running towards her. There was Penny, feet dangling over the little wall. I gasped just as she dropped herself down into the garden, landing on her feet. She turned, smiling at her acheivement, and walked over to me, squishing my little plants in the process.
Keeping up with her sisters indeed.