A friend of mine came over to the house the other day to drop something off and upon entering, she exclaimed “Oh my God! It looks like you guys are moving!”
I looked around my living room and sighed. It was true. The place was bare. Such has been the extreme of baby proofing Liam has brought us to.
The house was baby proofed to begin with. As part of the home study/adoption process, we are required to have child proof locks in every cabinet, set our water to a certain temperature, and make sure all outlets are covered appropriately. We already had gates set up to limit Aimee’s access to the upstairs. When Dylan started walking, we attached those foam corner covers to our coffee tables. This was pretty much all we needed to do to keep him safe.
Dylan might have been (and still is) a fireball, but he never had any interest as to what was inside a cabinet or how to turn on the stove. He never attempted to play in the toilet and pretty much left all our knick knacks and decorations alone after he outgrew the “put-everything-in-your-mouth” phase.
Liam is another matter altogether. The kid is relentless. He is really interested in finding out how things work and is curious about everything. To this end, he has actually been able to pry off outlet covers. He tries to open the oven and dishwasher doors all the time. He has grabbed (and broken) picture frames that I thought he would never be able to get to. The only reason he hasn’t opened the refrigerator yet is because he is too short, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying.
Bill and I have found ourselves scrambling about going to baby proofing extremes we never even thought of with Dylan. We have removed all the knobs in the stove and installed a lock in the garbage can. We have had to take out the aforementioned picture frames from our shelves and hide them upstairs, along with all the other decorations we had in there. We have had to move furniture against the wall or even banish some items to the basement for fear of the baby hurting himself on it. We even had to install a lock in our toilet.
Now that he has learned how to climb on the furniture, the ante has gone up. Every day, we find something new that we need to get out of the way before he gets to it. Our house looks pretty empty, but at least we know he is safe.
I know so many people that ascribe to the theory of not moving anything and insisting the baby “learn” that some things aren’t to be touched. In an ideal world, I would love to do this, but the truth of the matter is that I have another child at home that I can’t just ignore while I watch Liam’s every step. It wouldn’t be fair to Dylan.
I do wish my house would look a little bit more put together on an every day basis, though. But then again, when Liam grows up enough to know not to get into dangerous situations and I am able to put everything back in its place, I’ll probably get a little sad at the implication that there is no longer a baby here.
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