I just cannot sit here doing this anymore...

(68 Posts)
BettyBum Tue 08-Jan-13 16:28:49

Help me, my 18 month old DS is driving me literally insane. I might be depressed but I feel better when I'm not with him so I can't be. He climbs on things. All day. I try to play with him, he is not interested. He goes to play group and has plenty of stimulation and I have lots of friends with children who he plays with several times a week but this climbing is out of control. I know it's probably normal but I actually cannot do it anymore. I have taken all the hard chairs away from the table and locked them away but this makes it hard at meal times as they are heavy and i have a very bad back. I feel so bloody useless with him. He climbs on the raised surface in our lounge which I can't remove and tries to fiddle with our blinds. He will repeatedly do this hundreds (quite literally) times a day. I have raised the blinds now despite the fact that we now have no privacy, at least he can't do it. However now he just climbs on the window sill. He doesn't get bored, which I find strange, he would do it ALL DAY. What do I do? Spend as much time as possible out of the house? We go to soft play areas and such but he wants to climb to the top which I can't let him do as its dangerous.

I know there is nothing anyone can say and it's a phase but I can't cope and don't know what to do about it...

HDee Tue 08-Jan-13 16:30:08

Why can't he climb to the top of the soft play area? I'd let him. If they can get up, then they can get down.

TheProvincialLady Tue 08-Jan-13 16:32:47

I would think that going to soft play and letting him climb to the top would be ideal. Why is it dangerous?

BettyBum Tue 08-Jan-13 16:33:39

Well the one that we went to the other day had some quite steep stair like things which I think he would have fallen back down and injured himself on.

I'm sat here crying.

BettyBum Tue 08-Jan-13 16:36:02

Ok I might let him, I just thought he was too young for the very big ones.

NeopreneMermaid Tue 08-Jan-13 16:37:36

You're right - it's totally normal. Young children love repetition so that's why he's not bored. If it wasn't climbing, it would be something else.

My DD (nearly 3) has always lived climbing and we actually encourage it - but show her how to do it safely and praise her when she does. We are both mountaineers though and have a vested interest in getting her to enjoy climbing so she can accompany us on adventures. grin

Depression is hideous (I have it too but under control now with counselling and anti-depressants) - are you being treated?

TheProvincialLady Tue 08-Jan-13 16:39:25

But if he falls backwards off the steep stairs he will only land on something soft and squidgy - I really don't think he is going to injure himself that way unless you go at peak time on a Saturday when I suppose a school age child might stand on him by accident.

Love - is everything OK apart from this climbing driving you mad? Because it seems that you are a lot more anxious and upset than the situation warrants, and a bit over worried about climbing at soft play.

NeopreneMermaid Tue 08-Jan-13 16:39:36

And I go on the high bits at soft play too. I think I enjoy it as much as she does (just not that bastard curly slide that makes my legs bend 20cm before they do naturally). Can you get up there too?

BettyBum Tue 08-Jan-13 16:41:28

Thanks neoprene. Been treated in last for anxiety but nothing currently. I find him difficult specifically.

BettyBum Tue 08-Jan-13 16:47:05

But it literally does your head in when you do it day in and day out. I mean he is relentless. My daughter was just never like this. The soft play that we went to the other day was just too big, the bit like steps was steep and I would worry about him falling on his neck. I know I sound like a worrier but I'm pretty laid back, I'm just absolutely at the end of my tether. My daughter was so easy but I find him bloody difficult and I'm so crap with him, honestly, I'm just no good and I sound depressed saying those things I know, I'm a bloody mental health nurse FGS. Maybe I am. Think I might give HV a call.

nailak Tue 08-Jan-13 16:52:33

it is quite understandable that a big soft play catering for under 9s or under 7s that some equipment would not be suitable for an 18 month old, the only thing you can do is babyproof your house as much as possible. or if you have a garden let him loose digging and stuff.

lljkk Tue 08-Jan-13 16:53:58

it is a demanding age.

lljkk Tue 08-Jan-13 16:54:53

On a mindless quest for self-destruction.
Is there a creche you could put him in sometimes, give yourself a break in daylight hours?

adoptmama Tue 08-Jan-13 16:56:17

Can you make a space where he can climb safely inside the home for example with some of those lowish ikea things etc and stick some cushions/pillows down just in case. Maybe if he can climb he'll just get on with it and give you peace. Alternatively - and despite his age - I'd get a nice high sided play pen he can't climb out of and use it to give yourself respite. My number 2 is way harder than number 1 and I agree that sometimes we just can't keep on doing the same repetitive crap: give yourself a break from him somehow.

fourbears Tue 08-Jan-13 16:58:39

My sympathy. My DS used to climb a lot, (pulling out drawers and using them as steps) and into everything (emptying whole bookcases, etc.) drove me to absolute distraction. I would have said I was depressed but, like you, I was fine when I wasn't with him. I loved him but my word...

The only thing I had left that I could do was put him in a day nursery for six hours, once a week, so not long but it gave me a beautiful break. I used to practically dance out of the door after I'd dropped him off.

I think it's the strain of keeping safe a person that has no sense but who has endless will and determination and seeing your environment completely disrupted and messed up all day, every day.

Do you think that might be a possibility OP? A spot (or more) of childcare so you can get your breath back?

amillionyears Tue 08-Jan-13 17:01:59

We bought a climbing frame, and stuck it in the lounge for a number of years.
I did have several children. They loved it, visitors loved it [young and old]. And it gave them safe physical activity indoors. The children that is!

BettyBum Tue 08-Jan-13 17:04:29

Thanks, all helpful advice.

Will be able to go to pre school soon, <counting down the hours>

Could try a play pen but I tried putting him upstairs in his cot for 5 minutes this morning when the climbing was particularly bad and that gave me same respite I guess

I will try and make a safe place to climb

I find him so difficult

BettyBum Tue 08-Jan-13 17:08:43

Fourbears Thankyou so much, you seem to totally get where I'm from! I really agree, I love him but bloody hell it's hard. We can't afford for him to go to nursery while I'm not at work but gosh I cannot wait for pre school.

Yes he has used drawers as steps too! hmm

Lovemynailstoday Tue 08-Jan-13 17:09:07

I had this too. I think it is particularly hard if you have had the "easy" child first. My first was a climber and "toucher", my second DS never laid a hand on anything he was not supposed to. I was soooo jealous of mothers who could sit and have coffee with quiet children playing at their feet. You are not alone--I left many a coffee morning in tears with him struggling under my grasp. It really does pass and some kind of structured nursery, creche is the answer if you can afford it. By the way--my climber has grown into a lovely boy who is by no means hyper nor particularly restless IYKWIM.

Lovemynailstoday Tue 08-Jan-13 17:11:10

And mine could climb out of his cot too, so that did not help!!!

CailinDana Tue 08-Jan-13 17:11:12

As amillion suggested, you need to provide safe opportunities for him to climb, seeing as that's what he's into. Why not just leave the chairs locked away permanently for the time being? No need to haul them out every evening, just sit on the floor or the couch to eat. Or buy some bean bags or summat. Make life easy for yourself. DS (2) is a bit of a climber, and will climb on the coffee table, the back of the couch, the window sill, but it's all pretty safe so I take no notice. He's had a few knocks but that's normal for a toddler. I also let him go wherever he wants at soft play. He learns himself what he can and can't do, and actually other children have been great for helping and encouraging him.

If it's the climbing that's making you anxious then you have to make your peace with it as best you can. Do whatever you can to make what he does safe, then accept that he'll fall now and again but he won't do any major damage. If he does do the climbing over and over and you just let him get on with it, over time it'll lose its sparkle and he'll start to get into other stuff.

NeopreneMermaid Tue 08-Jan-13 17:11:33

Bettybum, you are doing a great job to have got this far in keeping your climber entertained and you are doing even better in recognising your desperation (oh God, the relentlessness. Don't I just know it?) and calling the HV. Better still, make appointment at your GP.

The Surestart Centre near me has been amazing - suggesting activities, arranging (free) counselling, etc, so you could try there too. I can't recommending enough.

I don't think you're over-anxious about the risks presented to an 18-month-old on equipment designed for much older children. Just go with him and show hike how to do it safely (keeping 3 points of contact, concentrating, watching where hands are going, etc) while you spot him. And this IS a phase. It will pass. smile

OwlCatMouse Tue 08-Jan-13 17:14:46

Was just going to.suggest an indoor climbing frame but someone best me to it.

Or you could get some soft mats, or put the sofa cushions under where he climbs and just let him get on with it?

Also, you could get those stairgate things that you could use to fence off part of a room - to keep him away from the window?

Get a long bungee rope and pull the chairs together so he can't get to them and climb on them - easier than locking them away.

One thing though - is your blind cord safely stashed away out of his reach?

lollipoppi Tue 08-Jan-13 17:54:21

Mine is exactly the same, he has just mastered that if he takes his socks
Off then he can climb up the washing machine and onto the kitchen surfaces!! He is 2! He climbs and jumps off everything!
Do you have a tumble tots in your area? I found it really useful, they learn to climb and explore in a safe structured environment, maybe worth a try?

georgedawes Tue 08-Jan-13 18:02:35

Try tumble tots, lots of climbing and teaches them how to climb safely.

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