So, if you’re a mommy blogger, or baby expert, or child behavior expert, or any other developmental specialist, please do not come for me. My little bean was born 2+ years ago, & I have barely “baby-proofed” my house. Of course (I mean, obviously…) the basic guidelines are in place. For example, prescription medications are on the highest shelf of a hard-to-reach cabinet, sharp objects are mostly out of reach of fast toddler hands, etcetera. However, I haven’t quite done ALL of the baby-proofing that parenting books & other guides tell you to do.

My house looks pretty much exactly the same as it did pre-child; still got tons of my mom’s meaningless crap random knickknacks strewn all over the place. We still have a lot of fragile decor displayed everywhere. I haven’t put any stick-on safety bumpers on any hard furniture corners. I also haven’t put up any baby gates (luckily, I live in a single level home with no indoor stairs) or safety latches on any cabinets or drawers. The most “baby-proofing” I’ve done so far is put a top-of-the-line (most popular on the market) baby monitor over my child’s crib-now-a-toddler-bed & plastic safety covers on the wall outlets/sockets.

I know that I still have time to “child-proof” my house, but whenever I look for things to make my house safer for my kid, I either end up getting the wrong product (wrong size, wrong fit), or Jian has some long-winded debate about its non-practicality & waste of money, & then there’s my mom chirping in the background that she doesn’t want our house to get overrun by too many children’s things. She also likes to argue that she won’t know how to use any of that stuff (like the safety latches on cabinets) & it’s all too complicated, so we might as well not incumber her life with all these newfangled (stupid, as she calls it) gadgets, therefore why bother? Besides, in her words, we never had these kinds of baby-proofing things when we were growing up in the 80s & 90s & we still turned out okay. I guess there will always be an excuse to justify not baby-proofing the house, which is mostly us parents being lazy & also giving in to grandma’s reasons for keeping things the way they are.

So far, we’ve had success in our child not harming herself in any way. We are extremely lucky to be in a position where one adult or another is able to keep an eye on her at all times. Jian works from home 4 out of 5 days per week, & my mom lives with us, so there is always a pair of adult eyes on our little bean. Right now our little bean is in her explorative phase, & like every other child she wants to go through all the drawers & cabinets. We have been lucky, so far, that when we tell her to put something down or to not touch something, she will do as we say, but we also follow up with a brief explanation as to why we gave her such a command. We try to explain…I guess you could call it child-splaining…to our little bean what things are & why they are not meant for her to touch or play with. We use simple terms, & talk to her in a calm, clear voice.

For me especially, I try not to use the phrase “because I said so” or other blanket phrases because that doesn’t really let her know that she’s not supposed to touch or play with the thing(s) you don’t want her to grab. I take the time to show her the item (just out of her reach, of course) & explain to my little bean what it is & why it’s not meant to be touched by little hands or played with…things like scissors, chopsticks, tools, etcetera. The little bean still gets to look at the item she’s so laser focused on, but then she also learns what it’s meant for & learns that it’s not a toy. So far this method has worked for our little family unit. Our little bean walks by the laundry closet full of spray bottles & detergent pods, but she has never once opened the sliding closet door & grabbed anything she wasn’t supposed to. I’ve shown her the closet a few times & explained that we keep soaps in there to wash clothes, & she hasn’t ever given it a second thought to grab anything.

One major thing that I was very concerned about when our little bean became more mobile was our fireplace. Everyone in our little household has been teaching our little bean about what is hot/cold & to not touch hot things (like coffee cups & the stove), but our little bean likes to play near the fireplace, especially on cold days. We live in an area where we regularly have to turn on our gas-powered fireplace on full blast during the winter season, & I’m the forever-worrier. So, I bought a good fireplace screen. It keeps a nice little barrier between our bean & the fire & teaches her about boundaries. So far it has worked, & has kept our little bean from getting too close to the heat. This was one of the best baby-proofing investments I’ve made.

Of course, all of this teaching our little bean about what are grown-up things & what are kids toys could easily fly right out the window, & she could end up trashing the entire house one day, but for now, I will continue to educate my child on what things she can & cannot touch. You know, I still have recurring thoughts about “baby-proofing” my house. I go back-&-forth in my own head about what items I can still buy to keep my child safe at home. I think about these things, & I become very indecisive about which things are still worth getting, or I think about Jian complaining about me spending too much money again…even though I am buying things for our child & not frivolous things for myself. For now, I suppose we are okay with not really baby-proofing our house. We live in a single-level Eichler home built in the 1960s. The house is very sturdy & already child-friendly. We should be fine…I guess. We’ll see. Until the next post, cheers.

Today’s song of the day: