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Babyproofing

Knocking on 11 months—unbelievable—and the world, or at least our house, has definitely become her oyster. Despite her crazy method of locomotion, she’s fast and into everything. So cue the babyproofing, and quick. We need to lock this place up tighter than Fort Knox. First are the obvious hazards. A baby gate at the top...

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Knocking on 11 months—unbelievable—and the world, or at least our house, has definitely become her oyster. Despite her crazy method of locomotion, she’s fast and into everything. So cue the babyproofing, and quick. We need to lock this place up tighter than Fort Knox.
First are the obvious hazards. A baby gate at the top of the stairs, for sure, and we’re going to need one at the bottom pretty soon, too. She’s way too interested in outlets, and now she can get to them whenever she feels like they’re worth investigating. So, outlet covers. And twice now, she’s scootched over to a big potted plant to fling dirt. Time to find a new home for that thing.
She discovered the cabinet under the kitchen sink today where we store fun things like the beeswax paste for our table and the Barkeeper’s Friend to keep our porcelain sink gleaming. The cabinets are going to be an issue since we’re slowly making our way through a kitchen renovation, and all the hardware has been removed. So, I guess we need those latches that install from the inside? Hmm. Suggestions are welcome.
My big concern is choking. This place is full of choking hazards—for instance, the 8 million Legos we seem to have all over the house. I’m also suddenly aware of how many feathers manage to shake loose from our sofa cushions. And we have an overgrown, 9-month-old puppy who brings in all manner of treasures from the garden and stashes them around the house, so I’m a little distracted these days.
I put the baby down with a bin full of non-choking-hazard odds and ends, so I can get some work done—but she scoots wherever she pleases and finds everything I missed. Legos, feathers, bits of pinecones and shredded sticks, a clump of mud from someone’s shoe, those freaking Rainbow Loom rubber bands that my kids had to have last year, marbles … you name it, she finds it. I can’t get anything done because she’s only a few feet away, and I’m checking on her every 30 seconds. She isn’t quick to put most of these fascinating discoveries in her mouth, thank goodness, but I have had to fish out a bead, a Lego head and a dirt clod. Not good.
For now, she’s mostly content to announce it with a loud “Ah! Ah! Ah!” and hold out whatever she’s found for me to admire. I take it, thank her profusely and then we repeat the ritual about two minutes later.
The good news is that she’s kicking my housecleaning up a gear. I thought we kept things fairly tidy around here, but now that I have an eagle-eyed inspector actually checking things out on the ground, well, I’m a little embarrassed.
All joking aside, the choking stuff scares the pants off me. I’ve watched that animated clip from St. John Ambulance that’s floating around the web probably a dozen times, just in case she actually does swallow something. We’ve had serious talks with the other kiddos about leaving little things lying around, but mostly, I’m just picking up everything I see.

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