We have, at various points, called both J and Sam "Monkey Boy." J because he's constantly jumping around from one piece of furniture to another, much the same way that a monkey jumps from tree to tree. Sam, because he screeches in much the same way that monkeys screech to get attention and communicate. But Sam is starting to give us new reasons to call him Monkey Boy and I'm not entirely sure that I like it... he's becoming quite the climber AND he appears to have prehensile toes.
Please pardon the quality of this picture - I didn't have a real camera handy, so Seth snapped a picture with his cell phone, but this morning, Sam was so very, very clingy and desperate to be held. I put him down for just a second so that I could get something, and he couldn't handle the stress. So distressed was he by the abandonment, that he immediately began climbing the gate in an effort to escape his temporary prison. Can you see his little toes wrapped through the holes of the baby gate? We are in big, big trouble. Earlier, he had nearly pushed the entire gate over - that gate is actually one big baby corral around the entire living room and he is so strong and determined that he nearly toppled the entire structure over in an effort to get out and get into Mommy's arms. You can see that he is quite a determined little beast and will not take no or "just a minute, sweetie" for an answer.
I was once told that the trick to being a parent is to be able to see all of our children's attributes as positive qualities, even those that on the surface appear to be negative ones. Stubbornness isn't a negative trait, for example; rather, it will mean that the child will grow up to be a determined individual who will succeed through their ability to stick to their goals even in the face of great obstacles. This will be my Sam. He will be an innovator. He will not be pushed around. He will get the things he needs and wants in life, no matter what obstacles stand in his way.
In the meantime, Mommy needs to be an innovator and find a new way to contain him. But for today, I guess I'll just be holding him a lot.
(For the record, it turned out he was just very, very tired. Once I held him for a while, he let me put clothes on him and put him into his crib. He didn't make a peep and fifteen minutes later when I checked on him, he was snoring gently.)