Friday, June 29, 2007

The Post Where I Admit I'm A Terrible Parent


After almost a week back home, everything is once again approaching normalcy at the Denver family household. Chunk, who wasn't exactly sure he wanted to share Denver Mom with daddy again, is settling back to his usual self. By “usual self“ I'm speaking specifically of that charming combination of adorable and aggravating that toddlers seem to have down so well, as if maybe they'd been taking night classes while you're sleeping. So, in general, things are good.

I was talking with a coworker yesterday who has an adorable new baby. Okay, she's over six months old, but she's still adorable, and according to my coworker, already getting her move on. What? You don't know what a “move on“ is? It's just that strange quasi-crawl bumping, bouncing thing babies learn before they truly get mobile. With her baby already mastering her move on, my coworker is suddenly concerned that she needs to start baby proofing her home... RIGHT AWAY... or else tragedy will strike and her baby may get a boo-boo or something. That's when I realized something... I still haven't baby proofed our place.

Oh, sure, I put some of those outlet covers in a few of the holes in our walls, but I never went full out and wrapped our furniture in nerf, locked all the cabinets with keypad access/rental scanning super-computers, or put up little reenactments of the Great Wall of China in baby form, effectively sealing off parts of the house from our little mongolian barbarian.

See, I guess I just couldn't be bothered with that. I know, I know, I'm a monster, but I found that screaming “No!“ and sprinting across the room in a panic, arms waving madly, legs churning like I'm a cartoon character, suits my parenting style much better. Chunk is trying to stick a pen into an electrical outlet? Scream, run, and dive. Chunk is seeing what the speaker cables taste like? Again, do that slow motion “Noooooooooo!“ while you trip over the couch and knock over the lamp on your way. Chunk testing furniture densities with his forehead? Bah... just let him do that. He'll learn.

When I was a child, baby proofing mostly consisted of picking up the ashtrays and only letting the kids have a couple of sips of beer, and I turned out fine. Oh... wait... okay, now I see everyone's point about safety. Maybe I am a monster.

What about you? Did you go crazy with the baby proofing? Or, did your living room resemble an episode of the Fall Guy on most occasions?

12 comments:

Sandy said...

We did put in some outlet covers only because a nephew decided to stick two keys (one in each slot) in one at some point and had a really cool electric arch come out.

We also did buy a "play yard" and use it as a wall to keep babyhead out of certain places and we do have gates...the kitchen is NOT baby proofed and one day he decided to drink Comet...so that room is off limits and the bathroom is also off limits because he likes to play in the toilet.

I have rubber corners on ONE table...only because it is head high to him and I didn't want a bloody forehead to accompany me to the pediatrician's office one day (though Other times he has had other minor injuries to accompany us to the Ped office...and I always got the frown and lecture about saftey.)

We do let babyhead jump off the couch though. He has learned to be careful WHERE he jumps now though...

Steve said...

We really didn't do anything. We did the outlet covers but took them out after a month becasue he never went near them. Baby gates were about the only think we did.

And whatever you do, don't get the toilet lock. OMG, that is the worst when you really have to pee in the middle of the night.

Papa Bradstein said...

To keep 3B from fulfilling his desire of sticking his tongue in every electrical outlet in our house, we got the rotating slot faceplates for all of those that will be within his reach before he's 15. Of course, as I was doing that, I shorted out half the house. Yeah, because I'm a great safety role model like that. Otherwise, we just explain why something isn't safe, remove 3B from the area, and distract him . . . for the first 1,200 times he tries something. After that, we say, "Hey, how bad could he get hurt?"

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

We did a mix. Put away the crazy sharp stuff and locked the bleach cabinet, but I also really wanted to be able to have my fragile stuff out and teach him not to play with it - so we had lots of "Don't touch the Hummels" lessons. Now, when other kids come over... um....

Dad Stuff said...

Our youngest is five years old and we still had outlet covers on. They are too hard to pull without super finger nails.

Lainey-Paney said...

Hey, we baby-proofed like crazy, and I've still called poison control twice.
Yeah, I'm that mom, remember.

It doesn't matter how much you do, they always seem to find sh*t they shouldn't have!

What we did: electric outlet covers, a bumper around the coffee table (it's metal & glass...with square corners...) We put up one baby gate---that's really more for the dog than the baby. We have the cabinet door locks...which Gage already knows that if he pulls hard enough--they'll break. Or, at my Mother-in-law's house, he pulled hard enough on her cabinet door that had baby locks, and the door itself came unhinged. So, our little incredible hulk toddler can pretty much get into any cabinet if he sets his mind to it.
We were going to install additional window locks, but as it turns out, our house was built in 1949, and the windows are REEEEEEALLY hard to open & there's no way he could unlock it & open it & climb out.

But...even with all of those measures in place...we do the "NO", run, dive as well. Particularly when it comes to Gage picking up a pen or glass dish.

Dad Stuff said...

I forgot to mention before but I tagged you for a meme if you are interested.
Keep Chunk out of those sockets.

creative-type dad said...

My kid is nearly two and I'm still not done baby proofing.

I just kind of move chairs and furniture around to block her. When she gets strong enough to move them, then I put cylinder blocks on top of them.

p-man said...

Keeping the kids in a whitewashed cinderblock cell with a naked bulb suspended from the ceiling seems to work fine.

p-man said...

...and you are tagged.

Maria said...

Nope. I never baby proofed. And this was probably because I had a co=worker who had this totally bizarre baby proofed house. She had a party once and we all just sort of sat around staring at things in total wonder. She actually had an electric curtain opener that was operated by a little garage door opener looking thing. She said it was to prevent the baby from choking himself. But, then...when she laid the opener down, the baby promptly picked it up and started sucking on it....

I just made sure that Liv didn't fall down the basement stairs and called it a good day.

p-man said...

What's up, DD? Are you too busy baby-proofing to post?