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Monday, January 02, 2006

Keeping Her Unsettled 

Thus far during 2006, Celeste has awoken everyday from her midday nap to find an entirely new arrangement downstairs. When she closed out 2005, most of her toys and books were in the livingroom. On the morning of January 1st, she saw me installing a gate to span the archway that divides the livingroom from the diningroom. While she was uneasy with this new obstruction, the reasons for her unease became apparent when she woke up — everything had been shifted behind the barrier into the diningroom.

We ended up shifting a chair and little table into the livingroom to make room for the toys, but otherwise the furniture arrangement in the diningroom was pretty much unchanged. Her little table and chair were in their familiar corner, but her bookcase and toychest were now catercorner across the room stretching from by the diningroom table toward the sideboard.

Presented with this as a fiat accompli, Celeste was less than impressed. She first thought it was kind of funny, but when she realized this new arrangement meant she could be constrained to one room, there were some tears and "No. No. No. No. No."

The reason for all this is that Evelin has long been worried that if she needs to do something in the kitchen she can't see Celeste in the livingroom. In her more premobile days, it wasn't a big deal to run into one room and to just keep an ear open, but now that Celeste is getting good at standing and walking and even working on running and — the big cause for concern — practicing climbing stairs, that didn't work anymore.

Plus it returned the livingroom to a more adult state. If we're in there, she can roam freely, which she enjoys, but now we can keep her under a closer watch more easily.

Of course, we couldn't leave well enough alone, however. Today after her nap, Celeste came down the stairs and looked toward the corner where her books are ... only to see the diningroom table.

To give her more open space, we moved the big table into the corner, moved the china cabinet to the wall that backs up to the kitchen, and shifted her bookcase to where her little table had been. Now her table is under the window (where the big table had been), and she has more room to spread out her toys and some open space to push her pram or roll a ball.

She seems to like this setup better than before — it probably helps that we've been playing with her in there most of the afternoon — and hopefully we won't have to rearrange things again until her sibling makes an appearance ...

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