She Says… Busy Little Bee

Owen has been a mover and a shaker since the day he was born. Heck, since before he was born. I remember being rocked from side to side as he rolled and tumbled in my stomach in those last few weeks. He dominated tummy time even as a tiny babe, and the movement milestones haven’t stopped since. When he gets ahold of your finger or hand or leg (or leg hair, in Benjamin’s case), he will pull up to a stand and barrel forwards, head first, so quickly you don’t have much choice but to go right along with him. The second his butt touches the ground, he’s back up. Crawling, scooting, using his patented one-knee-one-foot scramble to get across the room as quickly as possible.

Nothing is safe.


Even before he has finished his bottle these days, he wants to get down from my lap. He smacks the table and dances around, taking sips of his bottle in between. He clamors up the couch cushions and smacks the wall, pulls at curtains and throws himself backwards onto pillows. He can climb up on top of anything.

His favorite thing to play with right now, despite my firm “no” and moving him away from it (and it away from him)? The dog bowl. Oh, shiny silver bowl covered in doggie slime. He sneaks around and speeds across the kitchen to get even just one tiny finger in that water and splash around. He knows he’s not supposed to do it. Before he touches it he even turns around to look at me and smiles. Mischievous little imp. Then, despite my protests, he laughs and does it anyway. … It’s a good thing he’s so darn cute. I move the dog bowl up onto the counter so often that the poor dog is going to be dehydrated!

Yesterday at daycare the teach said to me, “Phew, he is one of the BUSIEST babies I have ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of babies”. Hmmm. I guess I always thought he was just a one year old. But perhaps I have been blessed with a particularly active and curious and daring and fearless one year old.

Another mom I know mentioned that she hasn’t even babyproofed her kitchen cabinets yet, and she has a 13 month old. Ha! As soon as Owen could move across the floor he was opening and closing drawers and doors and slamming his fingers in them. Busy is right.Thank goodness our new house has baby proofing on all cabinets, drawers, doors and stairs.We need every one!

And since we’re in full on teething mode here at the This Place is Now a Home home (4 teeth pushing through at the moment… it’s not a wonder he’s been on and off Ibuprofen for the last few weeks!), my busy boy puts everything he can reach in his mouth. Especially things he’s not supposed to eat. Like nightlights. And shoes. And laundry. And dog toys. It is a full time job just keeping up with him and making sure he’s not eating something he shouldn’t be (despite my best efforts at baby proofing!). Phew, I’m exhausted.

Do you have a busy baby? Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a baby who would tolerate (even enjoy?) sitting with me a reading a book, or playing quietly in one place for a few minutes at a time, rather than a little explorer. But I must say, having little Christopher Columbus certainly keeps me on my toes (and has definitely helped me lose the last of my baby weight, and then some!).


20 responses to “She Says… Busy Little Bee

  1. Liam does the exact same thing with the dog bowls. We also have to put them on the counter all the time. The dogs are probably so confused about whether they’re supposed to drink water or not!

  2. We, too, have the baby that other people who have lots of experience with babies say is very ‘busy.’ We had Eli’s 1 year pictures taken the other day and the photographer asked if, at the end of the shoot, we could get some sweet, cuddly close-up shots with Mom & Dad. I laughed. She understood why that wouldn’t work after about 15 minutes of following him around!

  3. I have one of those! My son is 3. He is still just as active. Sit and read a book? No thanks. Sit at the table for dinner with us for longer than 5 minutes? Who would want to do that? Watch a 15 minute cartoon so mommy can take a shower? No way. I used to feel so envious of the moms who were able to put their baby in a pack and play while they cooked dinner and moms who said they read books and practiced letters and numbers and colors for hours. Why won’t my child do that? I have since come to realize that he is smart (like mind blowing some days, I can see you feel the same) and healthy and has an imagination that is amazing. And at school? Well, there he sits still, listens and learns. So I know there isn’t anything wrong with him, he is just active. And yes, I still have to make sure he isn’t climbing on the ladder to his bunk bed or ask him to stop singing and dancing after hours on end, but I don’t think I would have it any other way! (all that said, my daughter? total opposite. I guess you get a break at some point!)

  4. The dog bowls. Those will be our nemesis once Will becomes mobile. It sounds like you guys moved at a really good time for your little explorer 🙂

  5. Both of my kids are non-stop movers. Well, Juliet actually became better once she started really walking. After she felt comfortable walking, she became more interested in sitting down with me and reading a book. In any given hour now, she buzzes about the room from 50 minutes, and sits nicely for 10 (though not at a time). Also, when she sits, she is still usually moving some
    limb. Finn is so active that he never stops moving and getting into thinks. He has taken a couple of steps on his own, but he is still figuring out walking. I am interested to see if he stops being so busy once he does! The activity level can be exhausting, but I also love it!

  6. As I was reading your post I kept thinking you must be talking about my Bailey. She is SO active! Everyone tells me “Geez does she ever stop moving?” She is almost 9 months and already taking 2-3 VERY wobbly steps. She climbs everything, she explores everywhere! And she also has the one leg one foot crawl thing going! Maybe its so they can go faster and farther! I too wonder what it would be like to set her among a pile of toys and just watch her play or to have her sit in my lap sweet and quiet! Love her!

  7. Faith is a busy, busy little baby. She does the exact same thing with the dog bowls (and my laptop!). She even chases the dog in some sort of strange game of tag.

    It will be funny if your next kid is the opposite of Owen and just likes to chill out and watch Owen run crazy. 🙂

  8. i have a crazy busy baby too. he climbs step stools with no fear and wont sit in his high chair for more than 3 minutes to eat. i chase him around trying to shove food down his throat but he’s got WAAAAAYY to much to explore. that kids burns those calories! and we wonder why he has trouble gaining weight. 😦

  9. Both my kids are crazy active too. In my first pregnancy I gained 40 lbs, with regular exercise. Second pregnancy (when my first son was 2), I gained only 26 lbs. with no change in my exercise. I was just running after the toddler all the time. Now the younger one is 2 and they haven’t let up. I feel like I’ve done an hour workout after every mealtime just trying to keep them in their seats. And I’ve given up trying to stop them from chasing the cat, jumping on the couch, going through cabinets, etc. I realize I can’t always keep up, so I just make sure they’re safe and enjoy watching them explore!

  10. I never knew busy until I had a boy. My little guy keeps me on my toes!

  11. We are very busy here too. Zackary is just slightly younger than Owen, but he has been cruising for eons and our daycare also tells us that he is their “red streak” child (he has red hair). They told me he is their baby that he helps them childproof the area better. I have to remind myself that he learns through exploring and to praise him rather than admonish him when he gets into things I don’t always think he should (baring they are safe of course). Be proud of little Owen and his independence and curiosity. I think we are very luck:)

  12. Since Sam could crawl he was after the cat food and water bowl. I’ve had the kitchen… no, the HOUSE baby proofed by 10 months. At 17 months, I still have to keep the cat bowls away from him and the house proofed. He’s into everything and would prefer a remote or phone… you know, something he’s not generally allowed to have. I’d say, yes, I have a pretty busy baby, too. 😉

  13. Amailah was an INCREDIBLY active baby and is an incredibly active toddler still. She is always pushing up to the next level. The big slide. The big kid swings. Climbing the rock wall with an insistent “by myself!” as we stand behind, sure the holds are too far apart and she’s going to topple backwards and off.

    One thing we did with her as a baby that really worked for us is we didn’t get a playpen (too small for our girl!), we got a pen. It was a free-standing, two-gated affair that took up about a third of the family room. The pen was sturdy enough it could stand up to her leaning on it, and tall enough she couldn’t climb over it even when she tried climbing on other things to climb over it. It gave a space we could put her down — with toys, with pillows and a blanket, with a snack cup, or whatever — and she was definitely not in the cat bowls or the cabinets or chewing on some furniture or mail or whatever. It was big enough we could go in with her and play, too. So it wasn’t a punishment or a prison. It had the added benefit of corralling the toys, as well. And, she was still right there with us while we bustled around cooking (kitchen is open to the family room via a “bar”) or doing laundry or whatever.

    Anyone interested in a link to the actual thing we got can drop me a message @iphy on Twitter. I will not get any financial reward for this and am in no way associated with the manufacturer or whatever. It was just a really great solution for us and might be for other people.

  14. Hi Kate,

    We too have a busy baby who at 6 months is rolling around the entire apartment. He hates being still and waves his arms and hands around whilst drinking his milk. I am in a constant state of tiredness but to be honest I do kinda love him being so active. You would think all this activity would make him a better sleeper: WRONG!! Only last night I walked in on him cooing to himself at 4am and then went back to sleep. Gotta love our boys though!

  15. i never really knew that i had an “active” baby until i noticed in one of our Isis classes that my daughter was the only one zipping around the room, crawling over people’s legs, climbing on other babies, just to get to the Rody. she never stops!! the funny thing is, she pulled to stand and started crawling at 6 months so we figured she’d be an early walker. WRONG. she enjoys cruising and has taken a few steps, but since she’s so speedy crawling, that’s her preferred mode of transport!

  16. my baby is on the go constantly. She is10 months. She won’t even take time out to snuggle except when she’s really tired. She has put a dog treat, rock, and a felt circle in her mouth in the past week and I have had to fish them out of her mouth. I have realized how careful I have to be! She is a terrible napper too. I am constantly barricading areas off so can play safely without me getting up every 2 minutes. She also LOVES to play “fetch” with herself. Throws a ball or toy, goes and gets it, throws it again. Does Owen do that?

    A gated area does tend to work well – I absolutely love it!

  17. I have one of those too. BUSY! And loves loves loves the dog dish! So weird! 🙂 But on the bright side, some days I don’t feel like I need to work out because I have been chasing a little boy all day!

  18. A youtube subscriber

    When are you going to have another baby?

  19. How nice to know I am not alone with my busy boy!!! Your stories are hilarious. Owen is in great company 🙂

    @A youtube subscriber, Ha! Of all posts to ask that question on, I think it’s particularly funny you asked it here 🙂 We hope to have another baby SOMEDAY. But for right now, loving on Owen is all I feel I have room/time for.

  20. Have you tried a little swat instead of just saying no? I do that with my son to define boundaries and it works really well. Nothing painful or enough to hurt but I use a chop stick and give him a little swat on the hand when he reaches for the dog bowl. I say ‘no’ at the same time and it works great. Now I only have to say ‘no’ because he knows what it means!

    I know it’s a controversial topic but I have found it extremely worth while. My son is happier knowing his boundaries and it helps to define them.

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