On Tuesday, baby and I had to make ourselves scarce from the house as daddy and his carpenter friend were installing our new banister- noise+dust+tools+baby = not a good combo. We live if one of those old 50’s houses with usually quite ugly wooden-clad floor to ceiling ‘banister’ situations and for obvious aesthetic as well as practical reasons, the couple who renovated and lived in the house before us, had taken it upon themselves to remove the banister completely. With the arrival of baby this left us with the fun task of putting up a barrier so that when baby learns to climb stairs, she doesn’t fall to the open side and directly onto the floor (which could obviously happen…).
When new baby comes along and the days sometimes go so slowly, you never think the baby-proofing thing will come around this fast, and then suddenly you realise she could actually (probably) climb the stairs! This being one of the more extreme bits of baby-proofing we’ve had to do to our home, it has been one we’ve kept putting off as it takes a bit more than just cutting and sticking. At nearly a year old however, she’s crawling all over the place and into everything and then standing, desperate to walk. Since the crawling started we’ve put up a baby-gate on the kitchen entrance and one at the top of the stairs and have also bought one of those ‘baby-proofing kits’. This mostly involves taping bits of foam onto corners of tables and shelves (which makes our lovely wooden furniture look a bit like a soft-play area…) and of course she got bruises from hitting her head on the only shelves in the whole room that I’d missed (oops!). Some parents might think that some of this stuff is unnecessary and a bit over-kill on all the table corners etc, but I just think if I’m not watching her for just a couple of minutes, if I can prevent an accident being worse than just a bump then that’s better in my eyes.
So we spent the day of the banister at another mummy friend’s (from NCT) house. The babies follow slightly different routines so getting them to nap at different times and the other to not make too much noise in the next room was a little challenging… but once again showed how we can cope when we’re forced to shake things up a bit. It was a little tricky when bedtime came around as as with most diy jobs, they took a bit longer than we wanted and we had to stay upstairs to do pre-bedtime routine etc. And then there was a few screws to go in post-bedtime (I had my fingers crossed that they wouldn’t disturb baby). Of course she was fine and I didn’t need to worry, but you always do (well I do anyway).
We wish we could wrap our babies in bubble wrap sometimes, but then at the same time let them explore and learn about the world for themselves. Don’t worry, I do let go sometimes- the other day she was outside in bare feet crawling around on the patio, sniffing flowers and eating leaves. But I think for us there needs to be a balance. We have yet to baby-proof the cupboards (fingers crossed she can’t open the one containing gin until I get round to it) and drawers in the living room and I have tried not to go overboard with the insulation tubing, i.e it isn’t on the TV unit or every table edge, but we’re getting there. I plan to be the kind of mummy that when she’s older I will let her go off on her bike or roller skates, but wearing the helmet and all the padding… We’ll see!
Final note, I will admit that I actually can’t wait until baby can walk and climb the stairs (safely), I need to save my arms and lower back… little heavy pickle!