Adventures in Baby-Proofing: Part 1 – There Will Be Blood

Child Safety Latch

You never hear people say “I’d rather be installing child safety locks on my cabinets.”

I wanted to finish baby-proofing our house earlier. I really did. But it’s the thought that counts.

I had the best intentions when I began work in October, and have slowly made what I believe to be significant progress given the circumstances, as the project has been narrowly constrained by multiple, immovable factors:

1) My Fans

I am apparently so incredibly awesome and compelling that my pint-sized fans cannot bear the thought of me leaving the room. Not to go to the bathroom, wash dishes, get diapers, or anything else that takes longer than five seconds. The Experts call this “separation anxiety.” I call it “the reason I can’t get anything done around the house unless I want an improvisational high-pitched duet as a soundtrack.” Due to sharp drills and screwdrivers and the same hazardous cabinet contents I’m trying to bar from their tiny, inquisitive hands, I can’t have them climbing all over me while I install latchery. Keeping them in the room with me as I work necessitates restrictive holding cells such as Pack ‘n’ Plays and Exersaucers, but they are proficiently crawling their way to walking any day now, and thus assertively refuse any restraints in efforts normally attributed to Wild Horses and Freebirds and Eyes of Tigers. These factors all imply that the ideal baby-proofing window is during a Nap Overlap or Ni-Night Time. Aside from the fact that a Nap Overlap itself is rare, the slightest of sounds from a pin dropping to a grizzly bear/man hybrid slamming a car door can wake them, so firing up the drill while they’re asleep is simply ill-advised.

2) My Schedule

Two of my weekdays are spent on campus studying in preparation for world domination. I have not yet taken my program’s Building and Remotely Controlling Your Own Robot Henchman 101 class, so baby-proofing production grinds to an unfortunate halt on these days. The remaining three weekdays are dedicated to house-husbanding and twin-wrangling, which, as I just mentioned, are not conducive to accomplishing anything but avoiding tantrums and occasionally escaping for a guerrilla laundry load. This leaves the weekends, the only time we are together as a family, during which we spend quality time driving around town running errands, and every once in a while, pretending we have a social life. This aspect has recently been amplified by…


3) The Holidays

Hmm… Let’s see… I could exhibit my unmatched pumpkin-carving prowess; eat turkey, stuffing, and cheesecake; open Christmas presents; have an excuse to actually “go out” and imbibe more alcohol than usual while celebrating the year; OR… install child safety locks. Well, that’s a no-brainer–I’ll take the child safety locks for $500, Alex.

4) Baby Gates

These beautiful, game-changing devices have justified my laziness more than anything, as they have enabled us to simply keep the kids out of hazardous, non-proofed areas. But as I’ve already explained, the Twins are getting more and more aware of their confinement, and putting up with it less and less.

. . .

So since I finally had some semblance of time off during the Holidays, I (my wife) decided it was finally time to tackle this daunting task, and on New Year’s Eve she packed the kids into the car and took off for the afternoon, finally affording me the necessary circumstances for full cabinet and drawer lockdown.

I have previously revealed that I am a ninja, and also, ironically, that I am quite the klutz, earning me the accolade of The Clumsiest Ninja in our graduating clan’s yearbook, and one special feature of any projects I undertake involving power tools is best explained by the following tweet:

So how, you may ask, did I make it official?

Well, on the way back to my work area after answering nature’s call, I failed to remember that I had left the drill on the kitchen floor, and because I was barefoot (like all expert carpenters), I proceeded to kick the drill bit head-on, sending the tool sailing several feet in front of me.

Safety Last 8

The wound after 7 days of Ninja Healing. (Try to contain yourselves at the sight of my entrancing foot, ladies.

To my credit, my blow was so powerful that I snapped the bit in two, rendering it useless.

However, this did not faze me in the slightest. I have an impressive arsenal of first, second and even third aid products on hand for such unfortunate occasions, and once the bleeding finally stopped, I proceeded to successfully latchify all necessary storage components.

Well, all except one.

But that’s another story.



Will the power drill seek vengeance for its dearly departed drill bit? Will John Pseudonymous ever finish baby-proofing? How much more blood must be spilled before this injustice ends?

Be not afraid, O Loyal Reader! All will be revealed in the riveting continuation:

Adventures in Baby-Proofing: Part 2 – Safety Last


You may also enjoy:

Poop on the Wall   Coyote Fugly: Part 1- Your Friendly Neighborhood Predator   An Open Letter to Elmo

If not, I apologize.

It’s my foot, isn’t it? You can’t get it out of your head, can you?


  1. Daddy's in Charge

    I recognize those feet. I too have done projects barefoot, even decided to paint a wall with a nice shirt on. Needless to say that shirt is no longer nice. I think all I did in the name of baby proofing was plug those outlet covers in. So the kid gets a knife, what could go wrong there?


    • John Pseudonymous

      Yeah, I didn’t go too nuts with it. I’ve just found that if I’m with the kids by myself I’m going back and forth from kid to kid telling them to put down dangerous stuff. When there’s two trying to get into as much as possible, in my mind it’s just easier to lock down the dangerous/breakable stuff. Our house has mostly low cabinets, so we have sharp and breakable items just waiting for them at their level.

      Why do we do projects barefoot and paint with nice shirts on? Is it a laziness thing–not wanting to take the extra step to change clothes, or is it a denial thing–“I can do this barefoot. I’m THAT good.”?


  2. Cari

    Baby proofing is overrated. Okay, maybe that’s a lie. But the gates come in handy not only for keep them from harms way, but containing them. Go old school style learn CPR and get a first aid kit. Oh and don’t leave any bleach lying around.

    Besides, you have two, if something happens to one, you still have the other. Okay, I better shut my mouth before I’m pegged a baby hater.


    • John Pseudonymous

      I hear you on the overratedness. I still like gates better because my kids have proven to be MacGyver-like when they really want something bad enough. It’s just nice to have that extra obstacle, especially when they’re simultaneously exploring the domestic terrain, since there’s two of them and one of me.

      I’m dreading the day they learn to effectively team up. Maybe I’ll have one of those Robot Henchmen by then to help out.


  3. Pingback: Adventures in Baby-Proofing: Part 2 – Safety Last « Twinfamy
  4. jetts31

    My Dad always told me that in order to do the job right, you should bleed at some point. This was sage advice and maybe explained why he wasn’t in the construction industry.


    • John Pseudonymous

      Hehe, yeah, maybe bleeding is an indication of how badly you want the job done–how willing you are to throw caution to the wind.

      My dad is actually less of a bleeder than I am. I inherited my mother’s graceful motor skills. That made it always a blast when I was trying to help my dad and learn the ropes in home improvement projects.

      Here’s hoping my son takes after Grandpa. But if not, I have plenty of Band-Aids…


  5. Adam @Hanging with Dad

    I was able to put off baby proofing for quite a while. Eventually, however, I was informed that putting it off was no longer an option.

    I opted for after he went to bed and went the old school route of actually hand screwing it in. No drill for me. Only problem? I put one or two on incorrectly and had to redo them. That part wasn’t so much fun.

    But hey, now your house is baby proofed until they’re 3 or so and learn how to undo the latch themselves.


    • John Pseudonymous

      Good for you on screwing by hand. I actually didn’t use the drill for screwing. I’ve been pre-drilling the holes and then hand-screwing because after trying to only hand-screw and beating the crap out of my hand after three rock-hard cabinets, I decided it wasn’t worth it.

      That also justified putting it off longer.

      I am pretty psyched that it’s done and we can let the kids roam free(er), so it’s all good.

      My foot will heal, until the next project.


  6. Jenn

    I’m dying laughing over here. Although your mishaps are my main entertainment I imagined my own husband as I was reading. Oh how well remember our mishaps with baby proofing. By the way if you did install the same cabinet locks pictured above you can look forward to the day that both little ones discover how easy it really is to unlock them and render them a useless buy. Hubby proudly installed them all 2 weeks before my LO started walking (at 10 mths), and it only took another 2 weeks before we realized she wasn’t stupid as we watched her stick her hand in the cabinet and unlock it with ease.

    Baby gates are you best friend…until they learn to climb!


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