Friday, May 18, 2012

Babyproofing: Are we saving the apartment from her, or her from the apartment?

We're leaving for Ann Arbor, Michigan in a few weeks, and our subletters will move in. Their daughter is a few days older than Felicity. Felicity, we realize, will start crawling, probably a whole lot sooner than we're ready for. Sitting? Check. Scooting backwards while on tummy? Check. Tummy time and neck pro? Check.

Where has the time gone. No, seriously, someone place tell me where the time has gone!

While Felicity certainly won't be crawling before we're gone for the summer, her small friend will be here all summer, and will most likely start crawling while living in our apartment. So it's been a day to think about childproofing. You find me $150 poorer (just take my soul now,, with no less than fifteen items being delivered so we can protect Felicity from our dangerous ways, and protect our dangerous ways from Felicity.

And there are so many interesting childproofing things to be had! I think we're all familiar with the soft edges for the coffee table, and the snappy thing-a-ma-bobbers (why yes, that is certainly their technical term) to make it more difficult to open cabinets and drawers, but now there are all of these other things I'll be a Bad Mother if I don't spend our hard earned money on:
  • Toilet seat lock
  • Foam padding to prevent doors from shutting
  • Furniture locks for refrigerators and ovens
  • Knob covers for the stove (this one really does make a lot of sense)
  • A lock you put at the top of the door, presumably to lock a child in a room. 
  • Door knob handle locks
  • A rubber duck that turns red if the bathwater is too hot
Electrical outlet covers I can get down with, and we did invest in two security gates to keep our child corralled for peace of mind, but some of this is a bit much. Did I buy the blue whale that covers the bathtup faucet? Yes, but mostly because it's adorable. I think of what my parents had when I was a child, and then how my sister is raising her toddler (and the much-anticipated Baby #2) in Honduras, and I think we're all going to be okay.

Will I put safety snaps on the drawers to prevent Felicity from accessing knives and cutting off a finger? Yes, no doubt. Will I put foam pads on our doors so I can never have a moment of privacy again? Absolutely not. Child, I will pee in peace, knowing you are safely confined to one room with no hard edges or exposed outlets.

Where is the line between protecting a child from danger and being overly-protective and not allowing her to learn for herself?