The Suckiness of Baby Gates

The Suckiness of Baby Gates

The name “Baby Gate” alone sounds negative, like it’s either a controversial act (like Watergate), or a barrier from a penitentiary for really small people.

I have spent the last few weeks and a bunch of money and time trying to get two baby gates up in our house.

This all started with our 11 months old son learning to climb the stairs. I will withhold the name of who showed him because a minor was involved.

So first I was given two baby gates, well a baby gate and a dog gate, you would think these would be two different things but to the people that make gates I guess a tail is the only distinguishing physical attribute.

In any case the first gate couldn’t keep out a wet paper bag, so it’s already en route to the landfill.

The second gate was great except it didn’t close, literally it was an open door. There’s more resistance to those wooden flaps people are always walking through into a western style bar.

So then I went to the local big box hardware store to get their fixed gate for the kitchen and I got it to work.

Except you don’t understand what it’s like having a short fence in your kitchen, getting over it seems not a big deal until you miss and almost give yourself a vasectomy.

So then with that in mind we needed a true gate to use for the stairs so we are not hopping over it every time to get upstairs.

We go to one of those baby stores (they don’t sell babies but it wouldn’t surprise me if that changed one day), and they have more fencing than the local hardware store.

But most require all of the tools in the hardware store to install and costs what a real chain link fence would cost.

So we buy one on sale and get it home and it’s not the right one because the base of our stairs is at an angle with a post on one side and a plain wall (drywall), on the other with molding on the bottom.

In other words damn near impossible to line up right.

So a few days later we exchange the wrong gate and then go to the rival baby store (they don’t sell infants either, yet), and they had different gates, equally unuseful, equally expensive and equally mechanically challenging.

So I bought one and the attachments so it can go against a railing without drilling into the post, or so they claim.

A few days later I try to get the gate extension (because in their world 42 inches is a wide staircase), and get started on the stairs and I lose my balance and fall butt first down a few stairs.

I’m well-padded with junk in my trunk so that wasn’t too hard of a fall.

I go back on the stairs to get started on putting this gate together and completely fall backwards and twist and land face first on the front door mat by our shoes.

My wife wisely decides for me to stop before I end up in the hospital.

While I’m on the floor I realize that if I add a 2X4 to the railing it should be 40 inches (not considered “wide” anymore), and the same little fence we have in the kitchen.

So I use the small board that come with one of the gates and screw it into the rail post (with wood screws, get your mind out of the gutter), and then move the kitchen fence to the stairs and it works.

Except now to climb the stairs or come back down you have to brace yourself against the wall or railing to get over this plastic fence.

But at least now our son can’t climb the stairs but hell, I can barely climb the stairs.

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Filed under: Baby

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