I am all for childproofing your house, really I am. Why make it harder on both yourself and the kids? Get rid of all the little breakable things, lock away the stuff that is not safe or that is precious. I don’t want to make the areas of my house that my kids live in a ‘no zone’, I want it to be as ‘yes friendly’ as possible. It will save a lot of tears and tantrums and, more importantly, my sanity.
But… and you knew there was a but coming all along didn’t you…. But…
Child proofing is not as easy as those handy packets of cheap drawer locks would have you believe. It’s a term your friends with lovely, passive children throw around like it’s an easy job for a quiet Sunday evening when there is nothing good on TV. Once, in the days before children, and even, in the early days when the Twindoes couldn’t move yet, once, I too thought that child proofing would just be a matter of a putting a few breakables on a high shelf and getting a kiddy gate or two. Sadly, it’s not quite like that in our house, and I’ve learnt that the hard way.
The Twinadoes are masters of quiet deception. I’ve blogged out this time and time again – beware the silent twins, there is trouble brewing. No play pen could contain them… we did try it once at a friends place, long enough to watch Zoe lift up the playpen just enough to let Izzy crawl out. Izzy sussed out several ‘childproof’ locks in a matter of minutes until we bought in the expensive magnetic tot locks… and they only work when the girls don’t know where the magnetic keys are hidden. There is not a fridge lock invented that can keep them out.
For months, actually years is probably a more accurate measure of time… for years we’ve been waging a quiet war. Pitting our skills in childproofing against the Twinadoes skills in quietly undoing all our work. Over time we tried several options that failed but eventually we began to feel like we were turning the tide and might just be winning the war… of course it helped that they grew up a little and seemed too busy drawing and being fairies to be hell bent on destroying everything in sight.
I guess we got complacent there for a while… thinking we had these small humans beat, then along came Muski. Yes, the golden haired boy with the innocent blue eyes… butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth… Muski. The Menace!
He’s not as good at stealth as his sisters were… but his climbing skills far out weigh theirs. He manages to get himself in places they never could and so fast that you swore he was right beside you a second ago, and there is no way he could be… ah yes, there he is walking along the top of the piano.
While cupboard locks were Izzy’s thing… kiddy gates are Muski’s. He’s recently discovered he can hurl himself up and over the gate into the kitchen, and it’s even quicker if there is an up turned cup (yes a cup!) to stand on. And since that means he has free access to the kitchen, it also means he has free access to his favourite kitchen appliance…. He likes to put things in the oven. So far I have melted a bottle cap, a duplo block and a dummy by not bothering to check for oven surprises before preheating. Mmm is that fresh baked bread I can smell??? oh no… it’s revolting melted petro-chemical based plastic!
He caught us off guard…. just when we thought we’d negotiated a long standing cease fire and had all the right things in place top prevent a sudden insurgence. Now we find ourselves wracking our brains trying to figure out how in the heck to combat this new force.
Chairs were the first thing to go. All chairs must either be covered by a bottom or stacked on top of a table. As soon as you vacate your seat you will be requested to put it up out of the reach of the climbing boy. Lounge chairs, which can’t be stacked, must be moved 1.5 metres away from any other object so they can not be used as a bridge to the piano, back of couch or window sill. This is proving to be a poor defence though as Muski simply pushes the lounge chair over to where he wants and climbs anyway.
The gate problem we are working on…. there are plans for a full 1.5 metre high picket fence with gate, complete with pointed tops, to be constructed to section off the new kitchen when we renovate, in the vain hope that will keep him out of the kitchen. Then oven problem is on going… and so far no one is allowed to put the oven on unless they know exactly where the small boy is at all times.
Ah yes childproof…. isn’t that an oxymoron?