Sep 22, 2010

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A hefty portion of my life is spent keeping my kids out of things.

A great chunk of my vocabulary is dispensed saying, "Don't touch that! Leave it alone! Get out of there!"

A significant portion of our income (it seems) is divested in child-proofing mechanisms.

And Gavin still gets into everything.

It's exhausting.

But here are a few of the many systems we have devised to attempt to eliminate some hazards.

This one is my favorite -- the best invention since the cupboard latch -- a lock for bi-fold pantry doors. It's simple, inconspicuous, and 100% effective (when in use). Since Gavin likes to climb the pantry shelves like Tarzan in a tree, and since spilled sugar is a big fat pain to clean up, I really like these pantry locks. We have them on three other closets in the house.

This is the latest solution for keeping Gavin out of the fridge. At first a simple loop around the handles was sufficient. The figure-eight configuration became necessary when Gavin discovered he could s-t-r-e-t-c-h the bungee cord and still access the fridge. My least favorite thing has to be discovering the Littles' treachery with condiments and eggs.

Also in the kitchen: the death-trap known as the oven and stove. The natural gas stove is a seriously life-threatening appliance. Gavin likes to light the burners and watch the fire. So I have to remove the knobs when the stove is not in use. If Gavin is present when I am using the stove, I have to turn on a burner and then remove the knob. We also have a lock to keep the door closed. I haven't figured out a way to keep Gavin from scaling the stove, however. He has discovered the microwave (built in above the stove), and that is easy to access when he stands on the stove.

I recently installed a tension rod to keep the sliding back door closed. I am pleased to report its efficacy. Gavin has to come to me to have the door opened. Excellent!

In other door news, this makes me think of TV shows where people living in the 'hood have sixteen deadbolts and chains. We aren't too far away.

However, in spite of all these precautions, Gavin and Lexi still got out of the house this morning. One of my neighbors called to see if I was OK because the Littles were wandering past her house at the end of the street. She figured I had fainted or been murdered or something. In reality, I was collecting snacks for playgroup and lost track of the kids. I'd like to think I'm not that negligent, but it sure doesn't look that way!
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