Last Sunday at 1 a.m. I spent the first night of my vacation “baby proofing” the glass dining room table in the condo we were staying at in the Outer Banks.
I was ready for bed after a long day on the road with my wife and 16-month-old daughter (which included a lovely cottage cheese-like vomit from my little girl, the story of which would have made a . Honestly, you’ve never experienced a road trip until you cleaned puke off a car seat in 100 degree weather in a Stuckey’s parking lot in the backwoods of Virginia).
However, as my parents and wife pointed out when we arrived, the sharp corners of the dining room table could cause my daughter harm. So there I was, the poor man’s MacGuyver, with medical gauze and packing tape, softening the edge of the table.
But as I finished my rigging of the corners, I wondered if this was yet another way to switch parenting on auto-pilot. If I am able to simply slap a special latch on the oven, or a cover over an outlet…am I going to sort of let my child do as they please because the house has been baby proofed?
Shouldn’t there be more parenting involved? You can’t “life proof” the outside world. So why not start by watching your children and keeping them away from dangers while explaining to them your reasons for doing so?
The concept of baby proofing homes has turned into a large industry, and it seems to me that most parents are better suited to keep their children safe than a ratcheting plastic cap for a cabinet.
At the very least parenting in a better option than gauze from Harris Teeter taped onto the corners of a table in the middle of the night.
Disagree? Explain to me why I am dense in the comments below!