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Kari called me on the verge of tears the other night. "I never ask for help. You were flying, I called my Mom, I called your Mom, I called Meesh, and no one is answering. Still nobody has called me back. I just need to vent. I need a sanity check."

A few days ago Madison figured out how to climb onto the couch. Being that she has not even really figured out the walking thing yet, we thought that was quite an accomplishment. She thinks so too. She is pretty pleased with herself. She will throw both hands up on the couch, get a good grip, get the legs going in a running motion until she gets a foot hold, then using her face for leverage, grunting and snorting, hoists herself all the way onto the couch. After a eighth of a second pause in the face down position, too recover from the effort I assume, she spins into an upright position with her back against the seat and gazes up for recognition from whomever is closest.

At first this was really cute. She would go from one end of the couch to the other as fast as possible, shrieking with delight, flinging herself face down onto the cushions and driving herself forward with only her feet. Climbing up on the couch was the first thing that she has done before Jordan and we were proud of her. Very proud, until she decided that every waking moment should be spent on the couch teetering on the edges and flirting with concussions and broken bones. So Kari removed the coffee table to prevent Madi from smacking her noggin. Then Madison found that it was really fun to climb from the couch to the love seat and back via the end table. And so Kari removed the end tables. Soon we will have no furniture and the entire house will be padded. Maybe we should look into straight jackets as well.

While I was gone on this last trip Madison really perfected her couch mounting technique and decided that there was really no place she would rather be than up on that couch. After she took a nose dive over the back of the couch it was obvious that she would require either more supervision or confinement. Fortunatly we keep the big dog pilows right behind the couch and she survived her tumble with no serious damage. You would think that a fall like that would scare her enough that she wouldn't do it agian, but no. Kari was spending every second spotting our little gymnast and this left little time to devote to the other three kids. Every time Kari needed to deal with a child she was forced to put Madison in her exer-saucer and endure high pitched screaming until Madison was released again to pursue her goal of reaching the top of Mt. Pleather. At one point, while all the girls were distracted in the dinning room, Kari thought she had an oppertunity to slip away and use the restroom before Madi would remember that she was no longer on the couch. So Kari slipped away for about 90 seconds of "me time." When she emerged from the bathroom she was greeted by complete kaos. Madison of course was teetering precariously from the top of the couch with one leg over the back. Reagan had pushed a chair into the kitchen, gotten up on the counter, extracted the scissors from the butch block holder and was waiving them around with delight. Rylee had gone into the bathroom and was screaming bloody murder because she had gotten a drop of pee on her panties. And Jordan, with all the comotion, was just wandering around screaming at the top of her lungs. It is truly amazing how fast things can go down hill.

We don't encourage climbing on the furniture. However, if you have kids, you know that you can not reason with a one year old or a three year old for that matter. This is a new experience, being in a position to have to discipline the twins. We have spent the last year pretty much catering to their every need, leaping into action at the slightest whimper. Now that they are mobile they are going to have to conform to the rules just like the big girls. Now the challenge is to make them understand the rules. "No climbing or jumping on the couch" is at the top of the list.


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