Sunday, February 14, 2010

Doin' Time

I remember a time when I could freely go through my home without obstacles. I could open cabinets unhindered, I could walk up the stairs without thinking, I could even cook without fear. Well, those days are long gone; I can hardly even remember what it was like to open doors without ‘the trick’ of how to get it open. Ahhhh…those were the days. I can also remember a time when I thought baby-proofing was for weaklings, for those who could not keep watch over their children and mommy-stare them into submission. That was before my little Ethiopian came out of his placid phase. He was so calm and compliant for the first 9-12 months. I like to call it the honeymoon period (we were told that when adopting an older child, Madeline, that we would have a brief period of time when she would want to please us- HAH- we had 30 minutes. I guess I thought the term brief wouldn’t be quite so, well, brief). Anyway, we were spared a time of prison-like living with Timothy- he did not walk until 2 ½ (there are definitely some benefits to developmental delays). Now, our house is like a maze of the mind. Which doors need to be closed at all times, which cabinets are locked and what type of lock is it, how do I open the latest garbage cans, how do I get up the stairs- we literally have a cabinet tied shut with rope (no, we are not moving). I thought I would share with you some of our most creative ideas on Tibby-proofing up to this point. I am sure we are nowhere near finished trying to out-smart the little problem solver.

Timothy went through a time of turning off all the lights in the house (he was too little to turn them back on), so we went through the house and unscrewed the switch plates and turned them upside down. That way he would go through and turn them all on. I know it is not eco-friendly, but when trying to do homework or having friends over for dinner it is nice to have the lights on. Timothy’s diaper situation is a never-ending mind game for Josh and I. He simply longs to be naked, to run free and tear apart the gel pack of each and every diaper that dares to cross his path. At first we could just put onesies on him and that did the trick, then it moved to taping the diapers with packing tape. Now, we have to tape the diapers insanely making sure there are not edges poking out, then put on backwards onesie pajamas with a pair of shorts and a shirt over the pj’s. He still manages to get out when he is really determined, but our hope is to keep him busy until he just passes out at night. Speaking of sleep, the baby bed situation has been challenging as well. At first, we just had to get a new crib to replace the hand-me-down. Then we found out about the crib tent- a wonderful invention that is basically what it says, a mesh tent attached to a crib. The first version did not last too long but the following two Crib Tent II’s (an improved model) lasted a while. After those were torn apart little by little he started on the mattresses (yes, plural, we are on #4), so, naturally I just sewed a custom pillow case thing to go around the mattress. It is so tight that it took two of us to put it on. Who cares if it now smells a little? I am past that. Let’s see, we had a contractor put up a Plexiglas barrier on our banister to keep him from jumping off the balcony overlook of our living room, we are taking down pictures and putting away other decorative objects of his wrath. We have an oven lock, fridge lock- it just keeps going. With all of this you would think we could sit down and relax with him awake, but no, there is none of that. The only way that could happen is if we lived in a padded house with no furniture or stairs- don’t think I haven’t thought of being complete minimalists. Timothy is just an active fella without a stop or pause button (I have looked). Even with all of these precautions we still have the audacity to turn around or (heaven forbid) use the restroom (see results in picture below). When these transgressions take place he is sure to be on the kitchen island or his new favorite hangout, the middle of the table playing with the light fixture. The fun just never ends!

I guess we’ll just have to live in ‘constant vigilance’ like Mad-Eye Moody says, wait, I think I know why people have started calling me mad-eye Jen. It all makes sense…

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