My baby boy is now seven months old, and he is actively exploring the world around him. With his mouth. With his hands. With his toes. He licks, chomps, smacks, pulls, and grabs just about everything in sight.
My once cozy living room has now been transformed into a play-pen where I try to keep my wild little animal corralled. I have a new full time job that requires me to be both psychic and physically nimble: I need to predict what dangers might lie ahead and be quick enough to react to them.
CONVERSATION WITH MYSELF:
"Oh, he's playing with a wet cloth. Where does that lie on the danger-meter?"
"I'd give that a 1 out of 10. Pretty safe I'd say."
"Okay good. I guess I can take 3 seconds to blink then."
Oops. I guess wet cloths aren't safe when the baby tries to crawl while holding the cloth in his hand, and then slips on the laminate floor and smashes his face on the ground. (I've since upped the wet cloth to a 2 on the danger scale, by the way.)
So what is safe to play with? Air? Bubbles? Imaginary friends?
Is there anywhere in my house that is safe to play anymore?
And screw baby-gates, I need a retractable baby door at the top of my stairs! Made of re-enforced steel. No wait, that would hurt if he fell against it. Maybe it needs be a steel door that is padded on the outside. With no sharp edges. And a warning bell that goes off when someone tries to open the door. With a laser sensor to detect if the baby is behind the door. Just for added precaution.
Seriously. When did my townhouse become so dangerous?
My overly cautious mother was over the other day, and warned me about the dangers of blind cords.
"But he can't even reach them, and there's no "loop" that his neck could get caught in." I said to her.
She then proceeded to pretend to be a toddler, and threw the cord around her neck. Sure enough, the weight of the bulb at the bottom caused the cord to whip around her neck and get stuck. (This is a true story. She truly re-enacted this scenario, and couldn't figure out how to get the damn thing untied. If only I had filmed it....) hehe.
Oh - and before I forget, she also offered me another safety hazard fresh off of the "paranoid grandmother express": Did you know that the corner of MILK BAGS (once you cut them off) are a potential choking hazard for infants. MILK BAG CORNERS PEOPLE!!!! Throw those little bastards straight into the garbage!!!!
Pheuf. I'm sweating just thinking of all this stuff.
Agh. How did we ever make it this far as humans, with so many potential dangers in our paths? Have we de-evolved (new word, just go with it) and are just less likely to survive without taking these precautions? I'm pretty sure cave babies didn't have baby gates in their rock homes, and didn't need to wear protective gear on their knees so they didn't get scuffed when learning to crawl *insert disdain for baby legs. Sorry to the thousands of you who love them.*
I know my son needs to explore his environment, and fall from time to time. He even needs to smash his face while crawling with a wet cloth. But I can't lie, I am a little paranoid.
In your opinion—when is it too much? And how cautious should we be when raising our babies?