Baby Proofing

Yeah, sure, we have the requisite outlet covers and baby gates to protect our little ones.  We even have some nifty cabinet locks, which keep them away from the nasty items under the kitchen sink which seem to work well and oven locks for the two doors of our 1956 Roper range -- oh wait, we haven't installed those yet.

Thankfully, Josephine didn't start out this lovely Wednesday by putting her head in the oven. Even Sylvia would want her to wait longer.  She did however, select as her first toy of the morning, a bottle of yellow food coloring.  Yep, you guessed it, the kitchen floor is yellow.  Josephine's jammies have yellow spots all over them.  Her hands and feet are yellow -- as are mine.  Lucy was spared, thankfully.  How would I ever explain two yellow-dyed babies?

You're probably thinking that this episode inspired me to close the pantry door and keep a closer eye on my young toddler.  Well, the pantry door is closed.  

Less than an hour later, while I nursed the little one, I see the big one playing with the tiny -- virtually useless -- drawer on an end table in our living room.  When I ask her to come to Mama, what do I pull from her mouth?  A screw.  Great.  She also has in her hands the rest of her bounty from the drawer:  two boxes of matches and a battery.  Since I've taken the screw away, the battery is the next best item on which to chew.  Mmmmm.  Yummy.   The matches?  They are nothing more than little rattles -- the little wood sticks make a great shaky noise in the cardboard box.

Why are these items randomly stored in this end table drawer?  Just the haphazardness of our pre-parenting days, I suppose.  Most of our dangerous items reside well out of the reach of little hands nowadays, even if it is a pain in the neck for us.  But baby proof?  The only real proof here is that children are never as safe as you'd like them to be, that something always lurks.  There is only so much control we can have -- we have to hold on loosely and guide as best we can, hoping that we've at least taken away the most hazardous hazards and that our children will learn how to keep themselves safe.  

For an interesting view on the idea of control and how it applies to parenting and politics, read my friend DoulaMomma's blog from yesterday.  And if you don't read her blog regularly, you should!