Monk A is crawling, standing and stepping. The time has come to baby proof our home.
We visited a special baby proofing store and purchased all the necessities: gates, outlet covers, cabinet locks, full body helmets. You know, the usual stuff. While we were there, the store’s manager offered us their “safety consulting service”. This means a person comes to your house, tells you why it’s a death trap, and then makes it safe. No thank you, I say. I already have a guy who does all of that. When we get home, I call my dad.
My dad is my go-to person for installing, assembling and building items out of slabs of wood. Dan can do these things too, but my dad is a pro at constructing indestructible items. If there was ever a tornado to sweep through my parents’ neighbourhood, I have no doubt the shelving units dad built in their garage would be the only things left standing in the pile of rubble.
When Dan’s cousin came over a few months ago (she is expecting twins) I showed her our cribs. She asked what their safety rating was. All I could do was stare at her blankly. To be honest, I don’t even know how to go about finding a safety rating for a crib. Or any item for that matter. I do, however, know that my dad drove to Walmart before we bought the cribs and did everything short of fall asleep in them himself to ensure they wouldn’t fall apart. To me, that means more than any safety rating.
So anyway, I call my dad and ask if he can come install some gates “for the babies”. I always add “for the babies” after any request now. Because he’ll do absolutely anything for the babies. For example:
“Hey dad, can you drive around to every Toys R Us store in Toronto and find the high chairs I want, for the babies?” (He did.)
“Dad, do you mind storing this giant pile of clothes and equipment we aren’t using anymore for the babies?” (He is.)
“For Christmas, dad, I’d really love a PVR and also a really nice cottage on the lake… for the babies” (TBD.)
My dad agrees to install the gates.The next day he calls. He has done some research on the internet. He wants to be sure we have purchased the best gates, which apparently are KidCo. Luckily, we have indeed purchased KidCo gates. I’m happy to hear the internet says they are the best because, for the price we paid, they should be able to keep prisoners securely inside the Kingston Penitentiary.
A few days later dad comes over, toolbox in hand. We expect the installation to take about an hour and after we’ll grab some lunch at Tim Hortons. Unfortunately, the instructions look like this:
Keep in mind the gate comes in tiny pieces – like lego – and the staircase in our 100+ year old house is slanted, making the installation even more challenging. Four hours and a few profanities later, the gate is successfully installed:
I know, not the prettiest gate you’ve ever seen. To the naked eye, it may look like those slabs of wood were thrown on there haphazardly. But your naked eye is mistaken. Each piece was carefully measured, sawed and drilled. The corner bumper with masking tape was my own personal touch.
“Well, I better hit the road before rush hour,” dad says, wiping the sweat from his brow and packing up his toolbox. I hesitate. There is still the matter of the front porch. You see, I like to sit on our porch with Monk A & B, but the front steps were becoming a bit of a problem, especially since there are no gates in existence designed to fit in this particular space (not even at the special baby-proofing store).
I finally work up the nerve to ask: “um, dad, there’s one more thing I need…”
We head down to the front porch where I stand uselessly while dad takes careful measurements. Then he snaps the tape measurer shut and says, “I’ll come up with something.”
And that he did. Two weeks later, he delivers this:
Not only has he designed and constructed a customized gate for our front porch, he has also stained it a lovely shade of grey (I like grey). The gate is installed without a hitch. Dad is pleased, I am pleased. Our neighbour is slightly confused as to why we have installed a large fence across the porch, but that’s beside the point.
Dan and I can rest easy now knowing Monk A won’t be falling down stairs or off the porch anytime soon. Next up? Installing those cabinet locks. Luckily, I have a guy who does that – for the babies, of course.