That’s right. I don’t do childproofing.
When Addy started crawling we put up gates in our house — one so she couldn’t get up the stairs, one so she couldn’t fall down them. That was the extent of our babyproofing. We didn’t get rid of our glass coffee table, I didn’t lock up my Windex and dishwashing tablets under the kitchen sink and I didn’t put those little protectors in every single outlet in the house. I didn’t see the reason. Someone always had an eye on Addy and she was a good girl who listened — she never tried to open cupboards or drawers and when she tested us with the outlets, she learned pretty quickly that she wasn’t allowed to go near them. (“That’s very bad, Addy,” was about all we’d have to say and she’d back off.)
Peyton, on the other hand, is a little devil. (Addy actually calls her a “mischievious baby.”) “No” is one of those words she pretends not to hear. She goes for whatever she can get her little hands on — she opens cupboards and pulls out cereal boxes, she takes soap out of the bathroom cupboard and she gravitates toward outlets. She’s going through that phase where toddlers test their parents. (Been there, done that. She won’t win.) Addy is very good at gently telling her what she’s not allowed to do, plus she’s a great tattletale so even when we’re not watching, Addy is …and she tells us if Peyps is being bad.
Even though Peyton is a mischievious baby and we chase her around more than we ever chased Addy, I’m not going to childproof. We still have the gates up (for Peyton more than Addy now), the girls aren’t allowed in our galley kitchen when we’re cooking at the stove, medications are kept out of their view and they both absolutely know not to go anywhere near our fireplace (it’s gas and, warning to those who might not know, the glass stays pretty warm even when it’s not on). What’s funny about this is that even though I’m a huge worrywart, I don’t subscribe to locking everything up and keeping everything out of their reach — I’d much rather teach them what they can and cannot do from the get-go. Addy knows her boundaries and even though she’s an inquisitive kid, she rarely touches things she knows she’s not allowed to. I just have to get Peyton to follow in her big sister’s footsteps, and to learn to leave the Frosted Flakes and Raisin Bran alone.
Where do you stand on childproofing? What and how do you do it in your home?
Photo by chrisandrhiannon via Flickr