Child Proofing Not As Easy As You Think

I must confess I was a horder. Now I am a slightly reformed horder.

At seven months pregnant I looked around my house and thought “this kid is never making it out alive”. Seriously I had boxes and stuff EVERYWHERE, and my partner had electronic bits and bobs strewn around the place. Now previously this was never and issue; we didn’t really know anyone with kids and the few we did know never brought them round. To be honest I had a borderline panick attack, we had to do some cleaning and decluttering FAST. Have you seen the 3rd episode Dream Horders of Rasining Hope? Where Jimmy realises the house needs to be baby proofed? That was me, I had that moment. Everything I looked at, all I could see was death trap!

Phase one was the second bedroom. This had previously been called the store-room. So the second room was full of boxes off books, computer gear, DVD’s, and other random stuff like suit cases. We decided to rip out our cupboards, and tile the floor, so this was the perfect excuse. Three ute loads to the tip later the room was mostly cleaned out.

Phase two was the living room. This involved another trip to the tip with a ute full of rubbish. We still weren’t done though there was literally tonnes off stuff. I had never really appreciated before just how much junk two people in a unit can accumulate. Phase three was putting out some bigger items for the Cyclone clean up collectors. We also donated the majority of my books to the library and Red Cross.

But wait there are still phases to go! Phase four was more general decluttering of anything that would go in the bin. We also started rearranging the stuff we were keeping, and putting things in safe places like the books we did keep in plastic boxes under the bed (so little fingers at least to start with will find it hard to get hold of).

Phase five is the phase we are currently in. Its making sure edges have those little baby proof plastic thingies on them, book cases are secured to the wall, draws and cupboards are locked or have “safe” things in them, and so on. We stripped our tv cabinet bare pushing everything to the back and removing (and securing) anything that could be pulled off.

I suspect our house will keep on evolving now, and our quest to make it “safe” will never really end, as our son grows up and his abilities change. Now he has started standing (so cruising is sure to follow). We have just realised anything at standing height needs to be secured or cleaned after our son pulled a pile of books and papers from the table next to our reclining chair.

And it doesn’t stop there. I thought stupidly that once your put your rubbery things on the furniture and removed chemicals from cupboard your home and hosed. That’s it, all done. Oh how naive I was, you can tell I had NO experience with babies or children.

 There is now the garden, the pool, the shed, the pet food, the kitty litter, the car, and the list goes on and on. We recently dug out a plant called Crown of Thorns which we inherited when bought the place. This is because as the name would suggest, it was just a bush of absolutely nasty thorns, just a bush of pain and suffering waiting to happen (well it had already happened, it already had claimed a couple of fingers and feet). It was right where you walk into the garden, so all I could think about was my son running smack into it and the bush winning. 

Then I spent hours at the plant nursery trying to work out what plant would be “safe” to put there instead (kept thinking “what if he falls on it? is it poisonous? will it break and stab him in they eye? will it survive being fallen on?” and so on). This was over one bush, a bush! never have I had to put so much thought into my garden.

Now I know some people argue that by baby proofing you are not teaching your child not to touch/do whatever. I personally believe that you should do both. You should baby proof AND teach them things are dangerous. At the end of the day you can’t wrap your child in bubble wrap and accidents will happen. If you can minimise the damage caused or the danger they can get in then that is a good thing. Lets also think back fifty years ago (roughly) people did not wear seat belts, yet I am pretty sure (legal issues aside of course) that no one would argue that we should go back to not using seat belts of car seats. The world has changed and our knowledge has changed.

So back to the baby proofing. I have some more reorganising to do.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Literary Feline
    Jan 10, 2011 @ 01:02:24

    So much really does go into it. And you can’t prepare for everything, can you? But you can sure try!


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