Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Baby-Proof New Year

And... he's off!

The baby learned to crawl and pull himself up during my holiday hiatus from The Pump Room. He's got the bruises to prove it. We've taken to calling him "Sniffy," not just because he always seems to have a cold, but also because he just sniffs and snorts his way along while he crawls. It's hard work!

My husband and I are pretty minimalist when it comes to d├ęcor. He's a fine artist, which means we have a lot of paintings and drawings on the walls. So that our home isn't overbearing, we keep the rest pretty simple. Me? Visual clutter makes me nervous. No wonder I've been such a basket case since The Baby's been born - my living room looks like a Gymboree. Anyway, luckily we don't have a lot of figurines, photo frames, houseplants and other things laying around for The Baby to knock over and/or ingest. We got rid of a few floor items (large candle holder, oversized vases) that we didn't use anyway. We thought we were in good shape. I mean, our coffee table has rounded edges and everything.

On Sunday something happened that opened our eyes. From my perspective I was holding The Baby while he lovingly stroked my face and tugged my ears and hair. From The Baby's perspective he was pulling the toys off of mama’s ears and trying to navigate a fistful of earring to his mouth. He had managed to pull out my hoop without me knowing (the sneak!). Thank goodness that my mother-in-law was on to him. If he could do this right smack in front of me with an accessory that went through a part of my body, what other trouble could he get in to? Based on watching him stuff balls into the sub-woofer, plenty. We obviously needed to do more baby proofing.

This is what we've done so far: covered our outlets, taped the glass door on the entertainment center shut, bolted the speakers to the entertainment center, put corner guards on the book shelf, tethered the CD case to the wall, put door stops on our base cupboards in the kitchen, moved chemicals from under the sink to a high shelf in the pantry and we got door knob covers to install later. We're still looking for gates that work with 6-inch molding and don't cost $100 a pop.

There are things that still stump us. What to do about the litter box? It's in the basement. Currently we leave the door cracked. Our cat is too fat (ummm, fluffy, sorry Mo!) to hop a gate down the stairs. The cat doesn't fit through standard cat doors (again, he's fluffy), but medium-sized dog doors are big enough for a toddler. We live in a small home and really don't want the box upstairs. Sometimes Mo misses the box entirely, if you know what I mean. I think we're going to have to cut out our own cat door and frame it out with quarter-round or something. With the gates we're going to get it should keep The Baby from tumbling down the cellar stairs. The cat dish is the other dilemma. The Baby's first extended crawl was from the living room to the cat's food dish. The kid who can barely get a puff in his mouth, is showing much interest in cat food. We don’t want to put the cat’s food in the cellar (to easy to forget to check his water), we don’t want to elevate it on the counters and make a) our fluffy cat jump or b) have our cat’s paws (i.e. poop-burying instruments) where we prepare food. We’ll just have to keep an eye on The Baby when he’s in the kitchen.

Here's a link with lots of helpful info on baby proofing:

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