Thursday, 1 September 2016

Don't Fence Me In

"NO!", I shout for what feels like the hundredth time in the last five minutes.

My daughter has veered away from the oven door, which she had been intent on trying to press her face up against as she admired her own reflection. But she is now charging straight towards the bin with the speed and look of lust of Usain Bolt heading towards a scantily-clad model.

She stops for a moment in surprise, she clearly thought she hadn't been rumbled, and then a cheeky grin creeps across her face as she begins waggling her finger at me and shaking her head.

Her, "No, no, no", gesture is just a meaningless taunt however, as she promptly continues towards the kitchen bin and attempts to dive into it.

Since she became mobile I am fighting a running battle to keep her out of harm's way. And I am losing.

I have not yet got round to properly 'Baby-Proofing' my home. But I am starting to wonder if there is any point. What does 'Baby-Proof' really mean?

I see danger everywhere. Obviously, I can cover the plug sockets to stop her electrocuting herself and fit a stair-gate to stop her plunging headfirst to the bottom.

But how do I stop her slipping and smashing her teeth on the stone floor of the kitchen, or climbing into the washing machine and setting it to spin?

And the trouble is she is able to find danger where I never even imagined it could be.

I thought I had come up with a solution - prison.

The Royale Converta 3-in-1 Play-Pen Gate is basically six stair-gates joined together, and can either form a cage or be attached to walls to trap your baby behind bars, whilst, hopefully, keeping danger out.

But she has realised the restriction of life on the inside and has started throwing horrendous tantrums whenever she is sent to jail, and her anything-but-silent protests are more than I can bear for more than a few minutes.

So I let her roam around behind me while I try to make her meals, turning my head as often as I can without slicing off my fingers or searing my palms, to check what home hazards she has identified next.

If I am lucky she will just have just found the bottle of hand sanitiser I had forgotten was even in my handbag, and hasn't worked out how to get the lid open.

She seems to have relented tugging on the tablecloth that I have pinned in place with bulldog clips, but I'm sure she won't have given up for good.

The radiators hold a particular allure for her, with knobs to twiddle, pipes to bash and casing to try and prise open. But while they are currently relatively harmless, they will soon be potential burn inflictors and so I have tried to convince her that they are out of bounds.

After I chased her away from the oven and the bin, she crawled up to the radiator, stopped and waggled her, "No, no, no", finger at it.

I may have won the battle, but I fear this war has only just begun.

The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback


  1. Ha! I've many a friend that put their xmas trees in the playpen because that quickly becomes a hazard...#Stayclassymama

  2. I wasn't afraid to use a play pen and stair gate - aka baby prison! x

  3. I remember this well...Archie doddering from one hazard to another. It's a tough time alright... Half of you wants them out from under your feet, the other half daren't leave them unattended! On the plus it didn't last long and Archie came out generally unscathed. Good luck!!

  4. Our playpen was a God send when the Twins were little and newly mobile! It meant I could contain one amd nappy change the other! To be fair we did have a multitude of gates, door stops etc etc! Oh the expense!! #stayclassymama

  5. My second just stood up yesterday...the chase is nigh...����

  6. The manufacturers of baby prisons know they're onto a good thing-parents are desperate to contain their children, and the baby prison holds such an allure, but I don't think I've known one baby EVER, who is happy to be put in one...!! Both of ours hated it, we filled it with balls, like a mini ball pit, but nothing!! I agree with you that apart from the very obvious, there's little point baby proofing your house-the health visitor looked horrified when my husband said this to her...!! Radiators must be a thing universally for babies then-both of mine had a thing for them-they were always cold when I wanted them hot, or vice versa, due to infuriating baby fiddling! Both of mine insisted on pulling themselves up by the oven grill door, which would promptly open under their weight, and they'd fall straight backwards, banging their heads on the floor... That was quite a regular one-they never seemed to learn!! Go forth into battle with your daughter!! I wish you best of luck with this war!!

    1. This was a really lovely comment, thank you. It made me feel there is someone else on my side.

  7. Hahaha oh god she actually got into the washing machine and set it on spin?!?! I'm having the same issue over here, although he's only at the crawling and pulling himself up stage so I am very scared of the next stage. He is into everything! You're so right, there is no safe place EVER. I finally did the "baby proofing" but he has mysteriously figured out how to pull off those edge corners that block the edges of things so he can't gauge his eye or bang his head against it. He also refuses to be in the room by himself, he'll stand at the baby gate and cry and cry until we come over and play with him. What are we supposed to do eh? Let me know if you figure it out ; ). Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!