Monday, April 13, 2009

Round the world in 5 seconds

Toddlers are notoriously curious, and Sonny not only takes the cake in that department, he could single-handedly supply a whole confectioner's. So it's no surprise he's developed his own unique way of quickly taking stock of the world around him, to more promptly identify points for further exploration.

Typically, when plonked into a less than totally familiar environment, the little fella will cross his legs and flex them so that he begins to bounce in a jittery 360-degree revolution. He does this very efficiently, his eyes shrewdly taking in the environs as he rotates. He can even multi-task, perhaps munching at a plastic cup he has filched from some tray, or dramatically waving a walking stick snatched from a stand.

Once the grand tour is complete, Sonny will have gained a grasp of all nooks, hidden crannies or concealed corners worthy of thorough ransacking. Without fail, these will include any place potentially dangerous to a toddler, such as a live power socket with many appliances attached, drawers that can easily be opened and then slammed into young fingers, especially dirty areas that have escaped cleaning and any heavy objects that might be accidentally toppled - causing destruction of expensive antiques or damage to undersized noggins.

As a result of this, Mum and Pa have a painfully wrought relationship with Sonny's round-the-world scan'. On the one hand, it's pretty amusing: A toddler doing a full-circuit while sitting upright earns a few laughs every time. On the other hand, it is the harbinger of nightmarish chases and grab-the-Sonny activities as he plunges after each danger spot, seeking out a new one the moment he is foiled or headed off his original target. Since Mum and Pa have arrived in Malaysia for a weeklong break with Pa's mother, the little fella has suddenly acquired vast reserves of fresh energy. We're not quite sure where from, but he's scampering tirelessly from cranny to nook, pausing only to scan for more places to explore.

At the moment, we're at wit's end as to how to corral these surges of enthusiasm. Undoubtedly, it is better to have an insatiably curious child than a listless, inattentive one. But having to deal with a toddler with his very own Instant Investigative Technique - his spin-round-the-world - is a bit much. Anyone with tips or suggestions on how to slow the rampaging Sonny down are very welcome to write in. And please do so yesterday...