Keeping this kid alive has become my full time job, and if given a performance review right now, I’m not sure the review would be glowing. Long gone are the days of leaving him in the exersaucer or jumperoo for a few minutes so that I can run to the bathroom, brush my teeth, or answer the door. Even the giant tub doesn’t work anymore because I know he wants nothing more than to pull up on that shiny faucet and then fling himself backward and crack his head open. For being such a ball of chub, he is incredibly sneaky and fast. He sort of reminds me of a greased piglet, but without the grease. This agility and determination totally snuck up on me. Thus, the excuse for not having the house suitably childproofed. Lame, I know.
I have somehow gone from being the person (before child) who researched, planned for, and executed things in a proactive manner, to the person with child who runs around screaming, “Oh shit! Don’t touch that! How the hell did you even GET there?! Crap. I have to baby proof that now.” I’m functioning on a completely reactionary basis these days, and it’s not doing any of us any favors, especially not my too curious and slick for his own good child.
I recall the stress of registering while I was pregnant. The overwhelming task of picking out things that you may or may not need, may or may not be vital to your future child’s health and well being, may or may not be giant pieces of crap. You really just don’t know and can’t tell. Totally, completely stressful. I decided to not even bother looking at childproofing stuff. I mean, really, it was going to be, like, forever until we needed any of that anyway. We had all the time in the world! Stupid, stupid me. Heed this advice. Start childproofing the minute you see that positive pee stick. Do it before the morning sickness sets in, before the exhaustion, before your belly is so big that you don’t even know what color polish is on your toes. If you can’t do it that early, at least do it before the baby comes.
There is something about having a baby, a life that you are responsible for. It is like stepping into a science fiction time warp or maybe a parenting black hole. The first few weeks are nothing but a blur, and while they do seem to go incredibly slow at times (especially when it feels like your nipples are going to fall off and the baby won’t stop crying and learn how wonderful sleeping at night can really be), before you know it, time is whizzing by faster than you can wrap your head around. Next thing you know, you’ve got a baby hauling chubby ass across your kitchen floor. While you’re still trying to figure out how to introduce finger foods to him, he’s on to trying to figure out how to pull the refrigerator open and make himself a four course meal.
Yes, this lack of preparedness has left me feeling like quite the inadequate and dumbass mother more than once the last few weeks. One afternoon Kendall was fighting his nap as usual, so I left him in his crib and exited the room. He fussed and made the usual noises of frustration. I ignored. Then I heard what I know to be his “Help me!” cry. I sprinted to his room and found him in the corner of his crib with the cord from the baby monitor slung across his neck. OMG. Let me just tell you, it makes me shudder just to type that. Somehow he morphed into Gumby and managed to reach behind and below his crib to pull the monitor cord up and over his crib bumper and got tangled up in it. Of course, only then did it strike me and Scott that is was supremely idiotic to have that plugged in there.
This afternoon presented me with another humdinger of a wakeup call. I put Kendall in the living room in front of some toys and ran to the front room to look for my phone. I was gone maybe two minutes when I heard the horrible noise of glass shattering. I knew, without even seeing, exactly what happened. He had made his way into the kitchen and pulled a glass pitcher from one of the lower cabinets. I screamed while simultaneously sprinting, “KENDALL!! DON’T MOVE!!” I was there in no more than a second, and he sat there, motionless, as a big frown spread across his face, followed by sad tears. He was unscathed, despite the sea of shattered glass that surrounded him.
See, I feel most guilty for this incident because I knew it was coming. It was only a matter of time. I’ve seen his curiosity in the kitchen. I’ve tried to divert his attention to the designated cabinet full of CoolWhip containers and wooden spoons, but he looks at me as if to say, “But, mom. There are no blenders, knives, flamethrowers or any other things that could maim or kill me in that cabinet. Booooring.” We’ve been meaning to put the cabinet latches on for a month now. The package is sitting patiently on top of the kitchen counter, but…well…. time just gets away from you. Scott is now on a two week business trip, and I intended to have him install them when he gets back; however, there is no way in hell I’m waiting two weeks now. For all I know, he could be scaling the drawers and sticking his hand down the garbage disposal in two weeks. So instead of catching up on Lost tonight, I’m going to figure out how to install those damn latches myself. Then I’m going to run out and buy a giant roll of packing bubbles and affix them to Kendall.
Kendall is 9 months, 1 week and 2 days old
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