My son is crawling, standing, pulling himself up on things. It’s wonderful. But here’s the problem…
EVERYTHING IN MY APARTMENT IS TRYING TO KILL HIM.
Hey. I loved my apartment. It’s small, clean, cute. Kondo would be proud. I’ll always have warm feelings about this little Brooklyn box. It’s where my wife and I started our family. But now that my son is more mobile and exploratory than ever, the entire place is a fucking nightmare puzzle box set on destroying my nine-month-old.
Well, Dude Turned Dad, you say, “why don’t you babyproof?” First off, mind your business. Secondly, I did baby proof! We have soft stuff on every corner of the house, locks on cabinets, furniture bolted to the wall. We lock our toilet now to protect our turds. It doesn’t matter. This kid wants to die. And he’s going to find a way.
The couch? A chance to practice his cliff diving. Our kitchen rack? An opportunity to ingest dangerous spices. The coffee table? His own personal iron maiden with multiple sharp pointy wooden stabbers of death.
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Don’t get me wrong. With each new stage of baby development comes wonder and excitement. Watching my son crawl, find his legs, and discover the world around him is thrilling. But to a nervous first time Dad, it’s terrifying. Your domicile is now just a collection of Home Alone booby traps and your baby is both Wet Bandits. It would be funny if it wasn’t so exhausting.
Part of reckoning with protecting your child is coming to terms with the fact that they will never totally be safe. Babyproofing is never-ending. My son is always finding new and creative ways to almost kill himself. I could put him in a bubble and he would find a way to get bubble poisoning. You can either be a paranoid maniac about it or try to control what you can and let them throw themselves off the couch if they want to.
My son won’t walk unless he stands and falls. It’s up to me to be there, sweaty, tense, ready to brush him off and pick him back up.