Every parent’s job, pretty much, is to not kill his or her baby. I have already been to the emergency room after Holt flew off the couch into the coffee table, splitting his chin open. The coffee table is no longer in the living room. But now, he’s starting to climb stairs and I thought, ‘Okay, I need a baby proofer.”
I was quite surprised when I asked for a reliable baby proofer on Facebook. My nine month old is already crawling and getting into everything. One moment, he’ll be on one side of the room, and a split second later he’s pretty much chewing on my computer wires on the opposite end. Half the responses on my Facebook gave me suggestions of reliable companies. The other commenter’s actually didn’t believe in baby proofing and basically said, in not these exact words, “He’ll learn once he falls down the stairs to not do that again.”
I wasn’t going to baby proof at all when my daughter was born. She was a good girl, who barely left my side and never went into anything. But even if I had pillows covering every shelf in my house, my son will just move those pillows and get into everything. I mean, he’s a baby! How does he know that behind pillows, I’m hiding things?
I ended up getting my daughter a baby proofer after one of my girlfriends said, “No, you need to hire this baby proofer. He’s the fucking hottest guy you will ever meet.” So what’s a first time mother to do when she hears about the “fucking hottest” baby proofer? Well, of course I hired him…immediately. How could I NOT meet a hot baby proofer?
He showed up at my house, looking like a model, and took me through my house pointing out all the dangers, while I thought, “How does a guy this hot become a baby proofer?” At one point, he pointed out a knob of a window. “She could turn that,” he said. I was like, “I guess she could,” and, “I didn’t even know there was a fucking window there!”
Baby proofers are fear mongers. They really are. They point out every single thing that could possibly go wrong. In any case, I did hire him to put up some very expensive, but beautiful baby gates (as beautiful as baby gates can be) that were so good that almost every day I would scream to my then fiancé, “I’m fucking stuck! I can’t open this goddamn gate. Can you rescue me?” We also got those metallic things for cupboards, which was also a pain in the ass. If I wanted to get, let’s say, a cloth, I would spend either twenty minutes trying to find the magnet to unlock the cupboard, or I would just rip it open because I was so frustrated.
But my son is different. He IS trouble. He gets into everything. So I called Kiddie Proofers and a man came over. (Not hot. Sigh.) He basically told me I’m going to have to rearrange my entire house, meaning that everything down low is going to have to be put up high, my bookshelves are going to needed to be strapped to the wall in case baby pulls himself up, and that my garbage needs to be emptied every day.
He scared the crap out of me, looking at my custom made banisters, which are wrought iron with flowery swirls that apparently are now banned in new houses. “See, he could climb on this swirl and then up this on and then fall over to the first floor,” baby proofer said. I hadn’t even thought about that. But I almost had a heart attack, thinking about it. The next day I got an invoice for $1600 for all the things he suggested for ten rooms in my house, including coverings for my fireplaces.
I never really believed in baby proofing, aside from baby gates. The truth is, someone should be watching the baby at all times, especially this one since we know his curious personality. I can easily move all the wires up to a higher shelf. I mean, yes, the little dude can move fast. But if I was going to baby proof the entire house with all the baby proofers suggestions, I swear, I’d feel like I was living in an insane asylum with padded walls. And, even if we did cover the fireplaces, am I still going to leave the baby in a room with a fire going on? Hum, no.
The truth is, I hurt myself all the time in my house. It needs to be adult proofed more than it needs to be baby proofed. I stub my toe almost every day on the same chair. My clothing racks in my bedroom are so full, they collapse. Sometimes on top of me. I somehow manage to bang my head on my bedside table when I’m trying to turn off my alarm. And my hardwood floors are so slippery that sometimes I need to go barefoot just to walk to the kitchen without falling.
I do believe babies will learn on their own what they should and shouldn’t get into. You just have to be diligent parents as well. Crawl around like a baby, and you will see what the baby sees. And, yes, he will get hurt, but babies are dumb. Then they become not so dumb.
My daughter, when she was a baby, crawled across the couch and fell off because she didn’t realize the couch ended. She never did that again. So, yes, I will get some Plexiglas to cover my banisters and some baby gates. But the rest is up to my family to make sure our baby doesn’t pick up a hot hair straightener or get his hands stuck in a drawer. You can baby proof your entire house, but I still think that babies will get into something.
Of course, if this baby proofer looked as hot as the one that was around when my daughter was a baby, who knows. Maybe I would shell out the $1600.