People. Meet Tower.
Actually, meet Hower. Someone around here (I won't name names) doesn't say the T sound too well so this is the one and only, the beloved Hower. Hower Allison if we are being formal and Howard T. Allison if he is in trouble - which he is A.LOT.
The tower is the number one item in our house.
Take Sam's toys. Take his freaking bed. Take his diapers for all I care but do NOT take his tower. We cannot live without tower. Sam cannot live without tower. I can't imagine a life without it.
Tower came to us on a chilly November day when I had had about enough of 18 month old Sam (see above photo) pushing a chair around to be part of the kitchen action. Kitchen chairs are dangerous. They could tip, they did tip, and they forced me to parent and supervise him 150% of the time, which we all know I rarely do. Also, do not call CPS on me. I am a good mother(ish).
In a kitchen chair, you cannot run to answer the door.
You cannot go move the laundry to the dryer.
You cannot go to the bathroom no matter how much you need to.
Those things are just not the best for toddlers or at least, not for my toddler. Maybe your toddler is super gifted at chair balancing and I birthed a dud. Who knows.
Tower is a blessed Pinterest project that is a huge, stinking WIN.
Here is a brief, Reader's Digest version of Tower's birth story:
Tower is a hybrid. The bottom is an IKEA stool. The top was built by Chuck in only one night of really anal craftsmanship. That means you could make this in like an hour. The directions we used are here. They can give you all the measurements, details, and how-tos that you could ever need. All I can give you is a ringing endorsement of Tower and how much your life and your kid needs this.
In addition to being able to put things in the toaster (j/k, do not send me to baby parent jail), Sam moves his tower fast as lightning. He figured out in about .2 seconds that tower meant freedom, independence, and an ability to be involved and help.
Here is Sam in his tower at 5:30 in the morning being super helpful with the coffee. What was not super helpful was the 5:30 wake up, but I've moved on from the horrors of Christmas morning.
I actually lied in that sentence. The wake up was at 4:55. The parental "give up" was at 5:30. This photo is like 5:45 when Chuck and I both wanted to die. On Christmas morning.
Topless Sam loves to cook and the Tower brings him into the action at a perfect height and keeps his balanced and safe. Plus his go-go Gadget sized arms (thanks Chuck, great genes) means he can reach his hands into everything I am doing and cooking.
(sometimes I have a love/hate thing with the tower, but mostly it's love. Except when it's not).
He can sneak candy from the pantry when I forget to lock it.
(shout out to my spaghetti-os)
He can dump cereal boxes that I've left out. Why? Because he can reach them with Tower.
Man, it doesn't sound like I love Tower, but really I do.
And all of Sam's guests love Tower too. Tower is the hottest toy on the block. Tower is Hansel. He's so hot right now.
Bottom line is, if you have the means, I highly recommend investing the $30 and one evening to make a tower. The "real versions" of these things cost about $200 and to be honest, I like the look of this one a whole lot more.
And Sam likes the look I give him when he pulls the utensils out of the drawers and plays "more cheese" with them.
Tower is really truly our favorite. Sam colors at the counter, sorts his cooking supplies, eats his snacks, and is super involved in meal making around here - don't even get me started on all the value I see in having kids help cook (the organization, the reading, the math, the science, the patience...blah blah blah). Mostly, I see value in Sam being independent and a part of the action and Tower brings that to us.
Now go. Make one.