I’m told that all babies are born with this. The only comfort that brings me is knowing that I’m not the only one to be tortured. “That just means he’s intelligent!”, my parents tell me. Well, if curiosity indicates intelligence, I’ve got a regular Einstein on my hands.
I call it the Garden of Eden syndrome. You know, out of all the things you’re allowed to have (all the fruit in the garden), none of them look appealing. But that thing you’re told to stay away from, (the forbidden fruit) well, that looks like so much fun! Lincoln has a bad case of GES. Let me explain.
He’s crawling really well now, which means he’s everywhere; always on the go. I don’t have a lot of fancy, breakable things in my house, so he pretty much has free reign. The only rooms he’s not allowed in unattended are the bathrooms and home office. He’s not allowed in the bathrooms, because the thought of his hands all over the floor makes me ill. Not to mention, a fall near the toilet or tub could result in a trip to the hospital. He’s not allowed in the office, because well, there’s nothing in there he can have. Computers and other equipment aren’t the best play things.
So he has his room, my room, living room, dining room, & kitchen that he’s allowed to explore freely. But where does he want to play? You guessed it. The office & the bathroom. If he hears the door open to either of these rooms, he immediately quits what he’s doing, puts his head down and puts his crawling into 5th gear. I mean, I wish you could see the look of determination in his eyes. He’s totally focused on getting to one of the forbidden rooms before I close the door.
The GES affects more than just which rooms he wants to play in. It affects what he wants to play with. I keep a basket with just a few toys out in the living room at his eye level and with easy access for him. Most days, this basket sits untouched. What ends up all over the floor of my house is lids to pots and pans (which he helps himself to out of the cabinets), video games of his dad’s (which he helps himself to from the TV cabinet), my magazines (which he helps himself to out of the magazine rack). Do you see the pattern?
Last week I was in a goofy mood playing with him and decided to do a little test of my theory. He also likes to sneak into the garage if I go out there to do laundry. (Another forbidden space) So last week I was trying to move my laundry from the washer to dryer, and he was insisting on coming into the garage with me. I kept picking him up and putting him back in the kitchen, but he kept coming back for more. I know I could’ve just closed the door behind me, but I was pretty entertained by his devotion to his cause of getting to the garage. I picked him up and took him literally as far from the laundry room as I could get. I sat him down in the corner of that room, turned around, ran as fast as I could to the washer, and feverishly threw the clothes into the dryer. Just as I thought, after tossing a few items in, I heard the little smacking sound his chubby legs and tiny hands make as they hit our tile floors. I looked and there he was. Quickly approaching the door with the look of an Olympic runner when he finally sees the finish line. I ended up just holding him as I finished the laundry routine.
That particular day, it was pretty funny to me. Other days, his constant desire for what he can’t have drives me insane. ——This is not for comic relief. This is the truth. After I typed that last sentence, I looked up to see him crawling into the office, because I forgot to close the door behind me. ——— Back to the blog post. Sometimes it drives me insane, but if I’m being honest, I’m the same way. Always wanting what I can’t have. It’s so easy to miss the great things right in front of you & end up focusing on everything you don’t have. So I suppose we all have a little of the Garden of Eden Syndrome going on from time to time.
A photo of Lincoln at my office downtown recently. Tons of toys in his play room there, but he wants the extra surge protector he found :)