It’s been a week of wife on travel and deadline for actual paid work. So once again, I mine the e-mail chatter of the Baltimore At-Home Dads Group (BAHD?) for some real-world conversation on baby proofing:
Dad 1: Emily is just about 1 year old and is a walking machine. I live in a townhouse so we live on basically one floor. It is baby safe, however as many of you probably know- they always find something to get in to. My question with her walking all over the floor how do you handle it?
I see it from 2 perspectives- –
1) allow her time to learn how to play by herself and have fun. Make her not as dependent as she was 2 months ago.
Dad 2: I have four kids now so I’d probably hand over the car keys to my youngest (17mos) and tell her to be back by midnight….but I’m sure I probably remember following my first around everywhere. If everything within reach is safe in the room, I say let her wander but stay nearby. I saw a video once that was time-lapse where a child (not old enough to crawl even) was let free to roll around in a room full of toys for hours. Periodically you could see someone flash in to feed or change the baby and it may have even taken a nap. I’d have to say that’s the other extreme and quite devoid of human interaction though. My kids are all really good climbers- something they practiced early on all over the living room furniture! Have fun!
Dad 3: I agree, let the kid wander. With the “help” of my 4 yo, we take the cushions off the couch, lay them in front of the couch, so the 1 yo can crawl up safely onto the couch/trampoline and jump until she falls off onto the cushions. Any injuries so far have not shown. Have fun letting the kid play!
Dad 4: Mine rolled off the effing bed again today. I am officially a shitty parent.
Dad 5: You only really become a parent the day you see your kids falling down the stairs. You’re only a bad parent if you gave them a shove.
Dad 6: Letting go of your children doesn’t happen when they go off to college. It happens when they take their first step…. no pun intended, I think. When my wife was young she thought it would be a good idea to go down the stairs on a hobbity horse. She obviously lived to tell the tale. Would I let my kids do that … NO! But it goes to show that kids are rugged. Sounds like you’re doing great, but remember that children will always find the chink in your child-proofing armor so stay alert.
(For more Diaper Bag Dialogue, click here.)