BPML (Baby Proof My Life)
The kids were entertained with lots of activities, the house was relatively clean, washing pile was reasonable and dinner was on the table for when daddy got home, most nights.
Don’t get me wrong, littlest hadn’t (and still hasn’t at 9 months old!) given us a full night of sleep (NOT EVEN ONE!) and I was always running round after biggest, who was still full of soon to be threenager hormonal rage, but I felt, for a short while at least, that I was getting it.
Fast forward to now, and it feels like maybe I should have prepared my 2 month ago self for what was coming!
You see, now my little (not so much anymore) baby has decided that sitting still and contented is just not gonna cut it anymore. We are everywhere and in everything.
I just don’t have time for anything it seems apart from running after both of them now and just trying to keep them alive!
The washing piles up and the cobwebs in the corner of the hall are quite honestly terrifying me because they are so big they can only really be home to some huge f*ck off spider who made them and I have NO idea where he’s hiding…
I had it so good back then!
In addition, it feels like we have only just got our ‘grown up’ house back to normal – nice vases and ornaments put back out, fire and stair guards away, fully stocked drinks cabinet (ok, lets be honest, that never really got put away did it…)
And now on top of the usual household hazards I’m seeing a whole new set of baby danger everywhere I turn!!!
I’m talking about all the tiny tat and crap that seems to have piled up in the toy boxes, and escapes under every sofa and piece of furniture.
This is the culmination of what seems like hundreds of Kinder Egg bribes; trips to the Pound Shop to ‘just shut him up’ so mummy can pop into H&M; heads / hats / hands of various toys which have inevitably broken off after being launched down the stairs when he’s being (self admitting) ‘too lazy’ to carry them down… I could go on…
I am pretty terrified.
But not at the thought of littlest getting hold of one of these straight in the mouth choking hazards.
I’m more terrified of my toddlers reaction when I have to put them all away (throw them all away)!!!
As for baby-proofing the rest of the house, I’m still deciding how far to go.
When toddler H was little we went out and bought covers for all the plug sockets, child proof latches for all the kitchen drawers and cupboards (we have 19 of them at baby-level!) and lots ugly looking squishy plastic covers for every sharp corner in sight.
However, we didn’t use them. My husband revels in the fact they are still sitting there, clogging up his ‘man drawer’ (kidding).
My mum’s a childminder (I know, I’ve mentioned her before, see previous blog) and when you go to their house (on a non-work day) you would never, ever guess what her profession is. The house is spotlessly clean, there’s never a toy in sight, but more importantly even on a work day, there are no child latches, stair gates or corner bumpers anywhere.
She has a lovely selection of Laura Ashley ornaments around the fireplace, bowls of pot pourri and side tables topped with some photos of her gorgeous grandchildren (of course!) Its a [tasteful] crawling and cruising babys dream!
And it was this that really shaped our approach to baby-proofing two and a half years ago.
Yes we covered our marble fireplace with a guard (I had to insist on that) and we had a stair gate to the steep loft stairs, but apart from that we really just let big man get on with it.
So we went by my mum’s guidance, taking a bit of time to teach our child what he wasn’t allowed to touch, and what he was.
He was allowed to ransack the pots and pans draw, he wasn’t allowed to lick the toilet brush (eww!), that kind of thing.
And yeah, it seemed to work. Even now toddler doesn’t bother with anything apart from where his toys are kept, I would happily be able leave him on his own in the kitchen and him not get up to much more than get the playdough out and smear it all over the walls (wipe clean paint, don’t worry)…
So, do we start this again with littlest dude?
Do I have the time to watch him closely for those first few months AND keep toddler entertained (or clean, he’s potty trained but still refuses to wipe his own a**e, joys!)
I don’t want him stuck in a playpen whilst I have to root around for the special Spider-Man cup at the bottom of the cupboard, wash it out and re-make his babychino.
But I really don’t want him posting yoghurt covered raisins into the little holes in daddys 3D Surround Sound system.
So what approach will we end up taking this time? I’m guessing it will be somewhere in the middle of laissez-faire and ‘FFS he’s going for the Viakal again, just f*cking throw it away!!!’
I’ll be moving Mummy’s gin supply to a nice cupboard high up on the wall. Nice and safe. Double locks. Voice-activated alarm.
Daddy’s wonderful collection of Star Trek memorabilia will be re-located somewhere else too… probably not so high up… (WIN!)
By Sarah Sedat
Image by Sarah Sedat