To be honest, I've kind of held out on installing the final items necessary to properly baby-proof our house. For example: we've owned a baby gate since Alli was born - but for obvious reasons haven't needed to install it until recently. I probably should have installed it the day she started crawling, but I must admit the thought of unlocking a swinging gate every time I want to go upstairs made me less than thrilled to break it out of the closet.
Well, Alli has taken a real fancy to the stairs lately. Her bedroom is basically at the top of the stairs as it is - you walk out of her bedroom door, turn 180-degrees to your left, take four (adult) steps and you're at the top of the staircase. Needless to say, she can get there pretty quick now that she's mastered her Mowgli-crawl. She takes off towards her bedroom door and stops right as she rounding the corner - only to look back and see if Mommy B or I are chasing after her. I'm not sure why she does this because after about a second or two, she takes off for the stairs anyway. Mommy B and I got tired of running after her to scoop her up before she reaches the top step, so this week I broke down and install the baby gate at the top of the stairs.
She was right there "helping" me the whole time, but naturally she didn't understand what was happening. After I finished, we took her downstairs to have some dinner then off to her bath. After her bath and bottle, she decided that she wanted to romp around her room a little bit, so Mommy B and I let her crawl around. And what did she do? Head for the stairs, of course. Mommy B and I followed close behind so we could see her reaction when she realized that she was no longer able to reach the staircase.
You should have seen her face when she went flying around the corner only to find three-foot-high prison bars blocking her path. At first she was a little confused, but she then proceeded to pull herself up on the gate to see how sturdy it was. Thanks to Dad-E's craftsmanship, it didn't budge. Once she realized that it wasn't moving, she began pulling on it like a convicted felon attempting a jail break. You know, the half-temper-tantrum, half-brute-force-will-fix-anything type of yanking that you'd expect from a toddler. I'm not sure if she's technically classified as a toddler, but you get the idea. After realizing that nothing was working she looked back over her shoulder while she stood there as if to say "Really guys? You're soooo lame."
Alli has also taken a fancy to opening the cabinets that are at her level. The cabinets in the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, everywhere. She enjoys discovering their contents and throwing them on the floor. Well, just like every other homeowner on the planet, we have a cabinet full of chemical-laden cleaners under the sink. I didn't really enjoy the thought of her downing half a bottle of 409 by accident, so Mommy B picked up a handful of baby cabinet locks that I got to install all over the house. We're not really excited about these, because I'm in the kitchen cabinets all the time and Mommy B is in her bathroom cabinet all the time too. I may sound lazy, but it just means that I have to have both hands free to get something out of the cabinets. And this doesn't bode well for a hungry child - and the last thing she wants at that moment is to be put down.
I'm sure there are plenty of other things that need baby-proofing, but I think these additions will suffice for the time being. I have to say, while its a pain to have to unlock the gate each trip through, it's wonderful just being able to put Alli down anywhere on the second floor and know that she's not going to end up tumbling down the stairs if I don't get to her in time. It's made my morning routine (alone) with her much more pleasant, that's for sure. Hopefully we won't have to make too many more changes, but after all, she's only going to get taller...