Three weeks ago my son finally began crawling. He’d been so close for months. We were so excited that he finally figured out how to move his arms and legs at the same time, instead of lying down and flopping about like a fish.
He loved it, too, as now he can chase the cats and they can’t really escape him unless they jump up on something. Since they’re rather fat and lazy, they don’t enjoy doing that.
Then the realization of what was transpiring set in for me. This child is mobile. He can get where he wants to go now.
Thus began the Great Child-Proofing Panic of 2014. We pulled a baby gate we’ve had for nearly a year out of the closet ... but it was broken. We also pulled out soft protectors for the corners of tables … and they wouldn’t stick to the table.
This presented quite the conundrum.
We thought we were prepared, but a quick survey of the house found that we weren’t even the slightest bit prepared. So we just watched everywhere he went. Very carefully.
Then a great thing happened. He discovered linoleum.
For some reason, my kid loves crawling on linoleum. Whether it’s the loud slapping sound his hands make on it or the way his legs slide on it, he is happiest crawling around the kitchen floor.
Uh oh, he’s in the kitchen now.
After an hourlong mopping session where all appliances were moved and the floor repelled of dirt and grime, the kitchen was finally deemed child-safe, or at least child-clean.
So after this cleaning session, the first thing he did was crawl over to where the carpet meets the linoleum. He promptly burst into tears.
Uh-oh, the carpet tacks.
Our house wasn’t carpeted the best way, and at the meeting point of the linoleum the carpet tacks can be felt if stepped on in just the right place. Or, apparently, if crawled on in the right place.
Consoling the child didn’t take long, and we found a blanket to cover the painful border. It was a quick solution that seemed to work and enabled him to crawl around and pester the cats.
Finally, some time to breathe. We still needed baby gates and soft things for the tables. But for the time being, we got this!
A few days later, baby gates were installed and corner protectors placed on tables. My child is happy and safe. We can now let him crawl freely around the living room/kitchen without fear for his safety and much to his delight.
Or so we thought.
No sooner were the baby gates installed and the tables made safe, my son discovered something wondrous. Something so amazing and enticing he was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Something so breathtaking that taking it away from him is tantamount to the most atrocious crimes ever committed by man.
My son discovered cat food.
He just started eating solid food. We were tentative of his chewing ability, but once he found cat food our worries went out the window. Suddenly he could chew like a champion and grab individual pieces with the dexterity of a brain surgeon, smiling the whole time.
So I got up, pulled him away from the cat food and sat through him screaming in protest for the next 30 minutes.
The cat food is now placed somewhere he can’t reach and cats and son are displeased. But hey, at least he’s not eating cat food anymore.
At I write this, no new child proofing failures have come to light.
But given how quickly they can be discovered, I hold no hope that this task has ended.