By: Jessica Aldred
“No!”, “Get Down!”, “Don’t eat that!”, “Stop touching that”…Yes folks, we officially have a fully mobile, chattering, defiant, yet still incredibly cute toddler! The days of tossing him the high chair with some veggie sticks while I made dinner are over. The 5 point harness is now strapping him in just long enough to nourish him. Although he has yet to figure out how to hoist himself out of his crib, anything he can get a leg up on is climbable at this point. This includes shelving, chairs that lead to tables, and even the dog!
While I’ve always joked that I should outsource my children to children’s safety companies for quality assurance purposes, every child is different and with each additional child it seems my child-proofing gets a little more relaxed. You’ll still find a handful of baby gates to jump over and the cleaning supplies locked up but, if I’m being honest, you won’t find cabinets strapped to walls, blind cords rolled up or padded foam on every cornered surface. Lessons have been learned in our household (sometimes the hard way) and some of these child-proofing mechanisms are just not realistic, especially when your child can pop open a blind cord protector quicker than you can open the safety latch on a cabinet.
The truth is: none of these safety mechanisms sold to the public can take the place of parental common sense and vigilance. We all do our best to keep our children safe and more than a few of us have turned their back only to find their toddler standing on the kitchen table, but that doesn’t mean we’re bad parents. It means we’re human. It means we’re doing our best to juggle the children, the job, the pets, the house and whatever else falls upon our plate. These days it’s rare that we find ourselves with a few quiet moments in the bathroom alone or enough time to empty the dishwasher without a tiny human climbing in. Conversely, it’s also highly likely that your toddler will find the one choking hazard you hadn’t noticed on the floor and scaled a steep staircase because a sibling couldn’t lock the gate before you blink an eye.
We do the best we can with the hand we’re dealt and while it drives me crazy that I’m constantly picking up the same toys before the dog gets her fangs on them and I certainly lose my cool more often than I’d like to admit, the pure fact that I keep these three tiny humans fed, happy and alive each day is a pretty good testament to my dedication to parenthood. Being a parent is tough. Being a parent of three is tougher. But, being a parent of three 7 and under, including a busy toddler, borders on an impossible mission some days. It’s a mission I gladly accept but I gracefully reserve the right to complain, vent and freak out about at any given moment. It’s overwhelming to say the least, but I asked for these little minions to join my clan not the other way around, so I’m in for the long haul. How have you handled the transition from dormant baby to fully mobile, into everything, toddler?