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  • Baby Proofing

    November 19, 2006

    Three years ago, I may have made this claim: “I am NOT going to baby-proof my house. This is my house and my things. He will learn to live in my house and he’s going to learn the meaning of the word no. Babies are capable of learning the meaning of the word no.”

    Goodnight why didn’t someone slap some sense into me? Or some arrogance outta me? Hold on a minute while I slap myself.

    Ok. That was refreshing.

    Needless to say, we baby proofed our house. Not just to keep Sean safe, but to keep us sane. The second they learn how to roll over on their own, little babies begin plotting how they are going to tear your house apart. Studies have shown this to be true.

    As it turns out, babies are capable of learning the word no, but they laugh at you every time you say it. And that’s the real reason why you lock everything up, so you don’t have to be mocked all day long by someone who does not even speak.

    Some people hire those services that come in and baby-proof your home for you, but we did not do that because we are cheapskates do-it-yourselfers. And we did a half-assed job because we not very good do-it-yourselfers.

    Nonetheless, in their brief tenure, ugly though they were, the locks and gates did the job – they kept Sean safe and kept me from having to get up off the sofa 1000 times a day. From the den I would hear Sean trying to gnaw through the cabinet like some kind of hungry bear and I could rest easy and continue watching HGTV knowing I had cabinet locks from Wal-Mart to protect my little snookums.

    At some point, some time after Sean’s second birthday, we just threw in the towel on the baby-proofing since we were the only ones deterred by the cabinet locks and the gates.

    I had not realized until today how lax we had gotten about the locks. I was standing at the counter and Sean shoved me out of the way like a fireman rushing into a burning building. “S’cuse me!” he said, “I need to get in here.” With a serious expression, he held up the lock to show me. “This cabinet needs to be locked!” he exclaimed. He put the lock on and snapped it shut and then with his hands on his hips he admonished me, “I could get hurt!”

    After that rebuke, I stopped to consider the next step in child-proofing: itty bitty handcuffs. I wonder if you can get those at Wal-Mart.


    1. Kacey says:

      Can he use another grandma? I only know him through your writings, but I already love that kid. His antics and mental workings remind me of my firstborn grandson and I am nuts about him. He just turned 25 and works for a govenor in Washington, but is soon to be turned out on his ear — the Republicans lost….so he is going to go to Law school. Your Sean is heading for big stuff…. he will take care of you in your old age!

      November 19th, 2006 at 11:06 pm

    2. Kara says:

      LOL, that so funny 🙂 Reminds me I need to put our cupboard locks on, 2yr old keeps shoving the cats in them lol

      November 19th, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    3. The Wooden Porch says:

      That is funny! I totally know the feeling. Hub’s brother declared to us after we had our first (living) baby that we did not need to baby proof the house, after all he had five kids and had never done it. We quickly realized that is why he has nothing in his house. Proofing is a must!

      November 20th, 2006 at 8:18 am

    4. Shannon @ Rocks in my Dryer says:


      November 20th, 2006 at 8:28 am

    5. Jenn says:

      Once again, mental note, “refer back to antique mommy” when we have kids.

      November 20th, 2006 at 8:37 am

    6. chilihead says:

      Um, yeah. You can get itty-bitty handcuffs at Wal-Mart. Not that I’d know or anything…

      November 20th, 2006 at 8:47 am

    7. Heather says:

      I donno he kinda looks like a little Wyatt Erp layin down the law there.

      November 20th, 2006 at 9:43 am

    8. His Singer says:

      What got to me was when the kids started opening the “child-proof” lids on medication bottles.

      First this, and the next thing you know he’ll be programming the DVD player for you.


      November 20th, 2006 at 10:11 am

    9. abogada says:

      My two year old daughter puts the cabinet locks on too. Makes me feel like a real jerk for forgetting sometimes. Fortunately, she hasn’t seemed to be too interested in getting inside. Which is fortunate, because we don’t have locks on all the cabinets that should have them.

      November 20th, 2006 at 11:47 am

    10. Carola says:

      well…if you find those handcuffs at Wal-Mart you can mail me a pair!

      November 20th, 2006 at 11:47 am

    11. Blog Antagonist says:

      LOL! My sister and various friends have said similar things to me before they had children. I did so love the mumbled “Well, you were right.” There isn’t a cabinet lock that’s been made that can foil Diminutive One.

      He makes me chuckle, and the picture is too cute for words.

      November 20th, 2006 at 12:26 pm

    12. Allyson says:

      My six year old has figured out how to open all of the safety locks, so I’m not sure why we still bother. She’s totally uninterested in anything inside the cabinets – just likes the challenge of getting the locks off.

      November 20th, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    13. Faith says:

      HAHAHA!!!! Too true! Too funny!!

      November 20th, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    14. Kim says:

      What about those damn outlet covers? I hate those! And I break a nail every time I try to get one off to run the vaccuum cleaner! But the kids are safe….although now that they are five and eleven I could probably get along without the outlet covers? Heh.

      November 20th, 2006 at 7:22 pm

    15. PeanutButtersMum says:

      I’d love a set of those handcuffs! My little Peanut Butter’s famous these days for “helping” in the kitchen. Every time hubby or I step into the kitchen, he follows and starts dragging a chair to stand on. “I want to help you, Mommy. You need my help.” UGH!

      November 20th, 2006 at 7:47 pm

    16. jamie says:

      As the parent of a 13 month old, I can totally relate. Our son has slowly “redecorated” our house since day 1. 🙂

      November 20th, 2006 at 8:31 pm

    17. Kvetch says:

      I am at the point of wondering when I have to start putting the wine under lock and key. It never ends.

      You always make me smile, A.M!

      November 20th, 2006 at 9:13 pm

    18. Laura says:

      Hilarious! You had me laughing out loud because I could relate to every last bit of it….I have a houdini in my house….lucky #3 will be the death of me 🙂

      November 20th, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    19. Perri says:

      Good thing he’s on top of the whole safety thing. In a couple of years, you’ll need him to open the child safety bottles for you! That’s how it is at my house now.

      November 20th, 2006 at 11:54 pm

    20. Rabbit says:

      “From the den I would hear Sean trying to gnaw through the cabinet like some kind of hungry bear and I could rest easy and continue watching HGTV knowing I had cabinet locks from Wal-Mart to protect my little snookums.”

      OH dear. Must scrape myself off the floor from my hysterical outburst at THAT one. You are classic, AM!

      November 20th, 2006 at 11:56 pm

    21. DSW says:

      My youngest was well over 3 yrs old and still sleeping in a crib (he was #3 and we put off getting a bed as long as possible!)When he started removing the screws and pulling those metal bars out of the sides of the crib, and whacking everything with them, we decided maybe we better get him that bed! LOL

      I love your blog and read it daily! I love your style and stories!

      November 22nd, 2006 at 6:45 am

    22. mama speak says:

      Ok, my husband just emailed me this and it immediately made me think of this post. LOL funny:

      November 22nd, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    23. Antique Mommy says:

      Goodnight MS, that is funny! Would it be wrong, you know, to just use it around the house?

      November 22nd, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    24. becca says:

      AM, have you ever seen this photo?

      March 9th, 2007 at 8:09 am

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