Sunday, February 04, 2007

Washington Chew

Our girl, she loves to chew on things. At 9.5 months, everything still goes in her mouth, although she's slacking off a little. Sometimes she will use her eyes or hands to investigate a new item, at least for a minute or two. Then into the mouth it goes. She is teething again at the moment (we're up to EIGHT now, with nine in hot pursuit) but the mouthing and chewing have been continuous since she could muster the hand-mouth coordination necessary lo those many months ago. We find it entertaining and swear she is part puppy, but it does occasionally present some dilemmas, for which we seek your input.
  • How do you clean Robeez? While waiting for the bath to fill, Natalie peed on the bathroom floor and her shoes took some of the fallout. I wouldn't care too much except that she's somewhat obsessed with chewing on her shoes (she really *is* part puppy). Anyway, would you clean them or not worry about it? How?
  • What can you use to repair wooden toys? We got her a gorgeous set of nesting cubes for Christmas but one is coming unglued (fits in well around here). I'd like to fix it before it's totally broken, but don't know what kind of fixative is safe for something we KNOW will end up in her mouth from time to time.
  • The last issue is where Natalie's obsession conflicts with my career. She's fascinated with books (warming the cockles of both moms' hearts) and very much enjoys munching away on her board books (pausing every now and then to exclaim, "Buh! Buh!"). I am delighted that she loves books, but the librarian in my soul cringes when I see them in her mouth. I have been able to restrain myself thus far, instead using my book preservation and repair skills when necessary. However, she is now interested in our books, and this I cannot tolerate. We live in a small condo (small by everyone's standards but my NYC friends) and can't move them to a room she doesn't go in or a shelf she can't reach. We've shared and sold and packed away all the books we can bear to part with. So what else can we do? Any suggestions?
All this talk of chewing is making me hungry. I think I'll go find something to munch on while I wait for your input.


  • You can wash the Robeeze in the machine. They have directions on their website. We've had to do it numerous times and they'd washed up great! Good luck with the book chewing-no advice there.

    By Anonymous finn, at 8:40 PM  

  • 1) washing machine
    2) elmer's wood glue
    3) spend the 64 bucks and get the play yard like we have - it's our bookcase saver! AND MP3 uses it to pull herself up on, another bonus.

    and you totally have a huge place, don't let folks tell you otherwise.

    But I DO understand the incredible shrinking apartment syndrom, based on the arrival of the small bi-pedals...

    By Blogger Shelli, at 9:12 PM  

  • I don't know what your budget allows, but we've had book storage issues in both of our houses, and we refuse to part with any of them. We saved up our money and had this built at our old house. It solved our problem of losing the office space when our second was born (our office became her room) and it provided us with much, much needed book storage space. (It also helped us make a lot more money on the sale of our house.)

    I'd recommend our contractor, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't go out to your area from Indiana for the job!

    When we moved to our new house, we had this one built where the bottom two shelves are kept for toys and kid books. (And neither of these units actually housed ALL our books, we still have some attic dwellers that we just couldn't make space for!)

    By Anonymous Amy, at 10:27 PM  

  • my mom always say i am her puppy because i was born in the dog year... same goes to natalie i guess...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:48 AM  

  • Don't know about the shoes (Mr. W doesn't like them so the lowercase has never had them).

    I'm clueless about all things tool-related...I can tighten screws and follow directions, but to do something on my own???

    My solution for the books isn't fool proof. I have slid the exersaucer (unused for just over 2 months) in front of the bookcase, piled lots of interesting toys in the base of it and all around it. That way he gets distracted before he gets to my books. Like I said...not fool proof, but thankfully it makes enough noise as he's going that I catch him every time and redirect. Also? I've sacrificed some phone books so he's got something he can shred without my caring.

    By Blogger Miss W, at 8:34 AM  

  • Picchi once developed terrible diarrhea in a doctor's office waiting room, and it oozed down onto his Robeez (good times!!!). After we hosed them down, we put them in the washing machine. Now they're good as new, if a little stiff.
    Our books are basically in a walk-in closet, but they still get to the cookbooks which are on a low shelf. I just take them from them usually. They don't seem to mind, as I think they already sense that the books are not really for babies. But I do tell them that someday I'd be very happy to have them cook dinner for me!

    By Blogger lagiulia, at 8:57 AM  

  • You can also spot-wash the Robeez, if you don't want to put them in the machine. I used dishwashing liquid and got rid of a lot of the sharpie mark.

    This week, I also started declaring an end to shoes in the mouth. Noah doesn't especially like it, and he tests me frequently, but he totally understands me when I say, "Shoes don't go in your mouth. You can play with them, but you can't put them in your mouth."

    As far as books go, I can actually help. How does your librarian heart feel about packing the books in so tightly that YOU almost can't get them out?

    Grandma did this to the lowest 3 shelves on our built-ins, and it is a VERY HAPPY solution for us. Noah can still pull on our books, but he can't move them, chew on them, or tear them. He's free to do whatever he wants to *his* books, which have one shelf.

    By Anonymous Liza, at 9:57 AM  

  • Just don't dry the Robeez in the dryer. They WILL shrink.

    The playyard that Shelli has is actually just like the one (and set up the same way) as the one we had. That worked for a while. Then when we wanted our living room back we cleared off the bottom two shelves for Julia's toys and books, and did the tight packing thing that Liza recommends. Works perfectly for us. Julia doesn't expend energy trying to get those books loose when there are colorful toys right at her eye level that are much easier to play with.

    By Blogger Trista, at 12:18 PM  

  • Robeez are washed; thanks for the tips!

    Amy, your bookcases are to die for, and totally out of our budget! :) But we got some units at Ikea and made a unit that looks almost built-in. It's in our playroom and the bottom two shelves are Natalie's toys, so we don't have trouble in there.

    The playyard wouldn't help as the bookcases in question are single bookcases in different parts of the house, including the small shelf in the dining room where we keep the cookbooks - her favorite target, LaG! We also encourage her to cook dinner, but she hasn't jumped at the opportunity.

    Based on your suggestions, I did block the shelves off with toys and other small furniture so that seems to be working. I will also have to try the tightly packed trick - sounds good! (Doesn't scare me, Liza - I'm a librarian but not an archivist!!)

    "Shoes are not for eating" is said on a daily if not hourly basis in our house but she still gets them the minute our backs are turned!

    Thanks for all your ideas and advice. Keep 'em coming, especially on the glue front. Does anyone know if Elmer's Wood Glue is non-toxic?

    By Blogger Jen, at 12:33 PM  

  • I must share that, once I developed an appetite for my father's law books, my parents tried the tight-packing strategy. As the story goes, I kept eating them, and they kept packing 'em tighter. I won. Hope natalie doesn't....

    By Blogger Lo, at 9:38 PM  

  • I must give the props to Trista on the playyard front - but hey - we'll take a look this weekend and see if we can come up with anything new! (weee!)

    And as for the glue - the white glue is for SURE non-toxic. the wood glue, not so sure, but here's a link to the "ingredients and properties page" - it seems pretty harmless:

    And after all of the paste I consumed in kindergarten, I'm not too worried. Again, I can take a look this weekend for ya! ;)

    By Blogger Shelli, at 11:06 PM  

  • I had a double playyard, too terrified to let my two out in the open for long. As far as I know, urine in a normal healthy human is sterile (is that the right spelling?); I would have just wiped it with water and maybe a bit of vinegar.

    Erm, again with the books, I put them up high and the jail, I mean playyard prevented them from further destroying things. I think it has been only recently developmetally that they have been able to control themselves and understand not to hurt mommy's books.

    By Anonymous KatS, at 1:43 AM  

  • Re: second paragraph, I was talking about the kids controlling themselves, not the books. Misplaced modifier or something??

    By Anonymous KatS, at 1:44 AM  

  • Whatever happened with Natalie's sleeping habits? I have a son the same age and he got sick and is now not sleeping at all if he's not sleeping with me. I did my own version of crying it out last night (I stayed in the room with him the whole time and never left-sleeping on his floor) and I want to know if you did this and if it worked. I'm in serious need of a pep talk!

    By Anonymous Beth Anne, at 7:53 AM  

  • The tightly-packed book idea is GENIUS! Jen did it last night, and Natalie spent some time this morning trying to pull them off the shelf to no avail. So she moved on to the computer power cord.

    We opted for hand washing the robeez with a little bit of gentle soap, and they look great. No verdict on taste yet from Natalie. I'm happy because this means we may be able to partially restore her smaller sized ones for sibling use.

    Beth Anne, we're still working on sleep and making some progess. That's one of those posts that I/we keep meaning to write, but colds, boobs of doom, and other fun things keep getting in the way. If she naps well today, maybe I can work on that.

    By Blogger Cait, at 9:48 AM  

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