Aft Thrusters. Engage!

April 14, 2010 By: erik Category: House, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 189 views

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Trouble On WheelsThe volume of space in our house defined by the phrase “out of reach of children” is shrinking quickly. While still a couple months from walking on her own, I believe, Nora has greatly improved her in-walker mobility. She can now move forward, backward, and turn with ease. The result is that she can get to just about anywhere where we don’t have a rug, and reach most things in the bottom ninety centimeters of the house. This includes many drawers and cabinets. Yesterday she was with me in the kitchen as I was doing the dishes. She watched intently as I opened a drawer to put a utensil in. Two seconds later she had her hand on the handle and was opening the drawer, pulling things out. We need to install some safety latches, stat! We bought drawer latches the other day, and the woman who sold them to us told us that it was absolutely paramount that the child never sees how to operate the latch, otherwise they’re useless.

Observant viewers will notice that in the days between the first and last clips, I removed and stored the tablecloth and rug that was under the table for an indeterminate number of years.

Trouble On Wheels
“Just looking to see what was in the cupboard, Dad!”

Trouble On Wheels
“Ooh, kitchen towels!”

Trouble On Wheels
Taking things out of drawers.

While I was watching her before and after taking these pictures, once she was trying to reach further into a drawer, and to get closer, she pushed her walker closer to the drawer, which in turn pushed the drawer closed on her hand. It wasn’t very hard, but it was enough for her to withdraw her hand and inspect it carefully for damage without crying.

  • Paul

    Full power to the forward shields!

  • Josh

    My personal opinion, to be taken with a grain of salt, is that drawer latches are a poor substitute for simply placing some areas of the house “off limits”. I think that my job is to define limits and my daughter’s job is to challenge those limits. Successful parenting lies in the interaction between those two essentially opposed impulses. It seems to me that by placing some sort of a physical limitation (e.g. drawer latch) without taking the opportunity to make drawers a learning experience, you are shortchanging Nora and are creating a potentially dangerous reliance on a reasonably easily overcome lock.

    On the other hand, we all have to decide for ourselves which battles are worth fighting.

    • I’d agree with Josh. We never used any kind of latches, preferring a stern look and a firm “No” whenever they tried to access something we’d rather they didn’t. It still suprises me how effective it was.