My youngest child is a climber. It wasn't a complete shock to me, his older sister was a climber too and had fallen off the dining room table and split her head open by the time she was 12 months. Her 2nd glue-job was when she was still under 4. Thankfully so far those are the only trips to hospital with small people who have fallen, however that is some sort of miracle.
Aged around 18 months she climbed barefoot to the top of our 8 foot tall wooden garden fence. Sadly no adult is able to climb up a fence like that, and I actually had to leave her up there and run into my house , go all the way upstairs to fetch a stepladder and not trip up on the way back to get her down. She thought it was hilarious, she could see the neighbour's dog and she liked dogs. And cats....(I don't have a picture of a dog and I've heard cats attack you in the night if they think you are the enemy).
We knew our youngest was inquisitive, and more than a bit lively, from very early on. A walker by 11 months, he had already learned how to undo stairgates by twisting the two bottom supports until they were loose, and then just pushing the gate to crawl under it. It was no coincidence the gate at the top of the stairs was screwed completely to the wall.
Like his sister 9 years before him, he was in a bed before 18 months after climbing out of his cot, and he loved fruit so much he once went to very impressive lengths to get to the fruit bowl, which I thought I'd cleverly stashed on top of the Fridge. Sadly we didn't yet have our American style fridge freezer (sheesh, the state of me there!), because maybe that would have been tall enough. A regular fridge freezer though posed merely a challenge, and using a bench, dining table and a set of wooden shelves he managed to reach the top of his mountain in the space of time it took for me to casually follow him into the kitchen. My toddler sitting on top of the fridge freezer eating apples wasn't really what I expected to find.
He was 6 last month, so we've had over 5 years of this. My house went from child-proofed to trashed pretty swiftly. He has climbed on pretty much everything we have to offer, and my living room furniture is a state. I dream of the day I get some gorgeous new sofas to replace these tired, ripped old ones. It will happen, I can see that day. NO-ONE will ever be allowed to place a foot on them, and there will be no sitting on the arms or the back.
And so we reach the present. Yes, my dear sweet little baby boy has scored a real blinder this week. I was called over to talk to the teacher after school, to discuss the fact that during playtime he went to the boy's loo, climbed on the toilet cistern, pushed up the suspended ceiling tiles and tried to climb up. He was discovered swinging from a gap in the ceiling.
We have talked to him about risk assessment before. He's not very good at spotting all of the dangers. During the obligatory 30 minute lecture in the kitchen later he told us it was completely safe, there was no risk, and he zoned out. So I had to give him a lollipop and tell him the awful tale of the uncle who cracked his head on a hearth, which is made from the same stuff as a toilet lid, and make it really enthusiastic and exaggerated until he was back with the matter in hand. His attention span doesn't usually stretch to 30 minutes unaided...
Instead we have had to make a rule. A rule that gets very stern punishment, like 3 whole days of no Minecraft. Our latest rule is:
You are only allowed to climb once you have had the proper training and have obtained a permit, and the landholders permission.
As an addition clause (thanks to a friend of mine who works as a School Head and doesn't mess about)...
If you wouldn't see an adult or a teacher climbing there you should assume it is not allowed.
Hopefully we've covered that one and we just have to wait for what comes next. When the Ninja or James Bond equivalent of Hogwarts opens that I can sign him up for - I will be sending an owl immediately....I'd have to write a lot more paid for posts like this one to afford the fees, but it'd be worth it...