(A little bit of background: we have a 5 foot wide gate that spans the distance between the couches in our living room. This has effectively cordoned off most of the living room as the Muffins' play area. It's worked out very well. In the middle of the living room, where the coffee table once lived, we had a playpen set up to contain a baby or two when the need arose. (The coffee table now lives in the basement, because #2 became proficient at climbing and dancing on said table.)
The Muffins have always been active, but since our trip to Vermont their tricks have reached new heights. Prior to our little weekend away, #1 was content to vault over the arm of the couch and sit on an end table, enjoying a different view of the living room. (Don't worry, he never participated in any unsupervised death defying acrobatics; someone was always there.) #2 showed little to no interest in trying to leave the living-room-turned-play-area and she could be trusted to play at her leisure in the designated baby area.
Now, though, it's a very different story. No longer is #1 content to perch on the end table or even sit on the arm of the couch, idly bouncing his feet up and down. No longer is he happy to dive back onto the couch, laughing while he body surfs the cushions. No no no no no. All of a sudden, he's discovered the pure joy of launching himself over the couch, carefully plotting his hands on the end table and barely grazing the table with his knees as he makes a break for it. And he's fast. Very, very fast. He's over and down before I can fully utter, "No, #1. Let's stay in here and play with the shape sorter!" He does not find the shape sorter appealing. The phone, the kitchen, the high chairs, the book case in the front room - these are all so! very! exciting!
I thought I had at least one Muffin who was content to stay put. Stupid me. I should have known. #2 decided it was time to up the bag 'o baby tricks, too. The other day, I had just fed the babes lunch and put them in the living room to play while I cleaned up (carefully placing #1 in the playpen to ensure no escapage on his part - a playpen, mind you, that we weren't even going to set up upon our return home - we thought the kids would enjoy more floor space...wrong! We need it now more than ever!) With the lunch mess tidied up, I sat down for a moment to catch up with J via IM. All of a sudden I hear the telltale thudding of little feet not quietly playing on carpet, but happily (and loudly) stomping on linoleum. I look to my left and #2's strolling by, looking as innocent as the day she was born. She looks at me as if to say, "hey, Mumma, fancy seeing you on this side of the world!" I look in the living room and can't for the life of me figure out how she got out. I gather #2 back up and we go and read some books in the living room.
Half an hour later...
#1 and I are sitting on the couch watching Sesame Street and all of a sudden I see it. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the gate slowly go up. Over #2's head. She figured out that the gate is only really secured at the top, on the arms of the couches, and that we hadn't tightened it between the legs. Faster than Harry Potter spoilers can spread online, I witness #2 escape from underneath the gate and, after she's out, the gate falls back into place, giving no hint of its participation in the development of a Baby Houdini.
I've resigned myself to the fact that the kidlets can no longer be contained and that the rest of the first floor is just going to look like a tornado has swept through. On the bright side, though, toddler twins may ultimately be the cure for my insomnia.