Valdy is a handful, like every other toddler. I like to think he’s exceptional in every way, but the speed with which he can get into trouble is not particularly unique to the mini humans of the world.
When I bought my cute little 600 sq ft red house I had anticipated being single long into the future. It was small, open concept and had light coloured shag carpet.
I bought a white leather couch, glossy red accent furniture and started filling my shelves with lovely art and far too many random, breakable, knick knacks.
I moved into my home in May 2012. For those keeping track, Trent and I were married in March 2013 and baby bean arrived in July 2014.
Every inch of open space is now filled with shelves, baskets, boxes, and storage solutions trying to contain the stuff that comes from having a baby, loving books and being anything but immune to pack rat tendencies. The limited space that remained open now has gates, locks, bungee cords and additional hardware added in an attempt to keep baby boy from hurting himself (or others).
Our book shelves are overflowing from the third shelf up, as we slowly try to move everything JUST out of reach of Captain Fearless/Sargeant Curious. There’s a safety gate at the top and bottom of the stairs. Soon after Valdy started walking he provided me with a very vivid glimpse of how terrifying the potential of him ever being hurt could be. As I opened the top gate to let him begin his journey down the stairs he decided to take the first step on his own without any assistance. He lost his balance and bounced head over heals down the 10 stairs before stopping, upside down, quite abruptly against the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs. I screamed. Trent screamed. I cried. Baby boy giggled and giggled. Apparently they make these baby things quite durable.
Our open concept living room included a small pony wall backing onto the stairwell. As Valdy started climbing higher and higher on our furniture, I realized it was only a matter of time before he accidentally went over the edge and free fell into the stairwell below. A theatre friend came up with a solution when Catalyst was moving out of their Gateway Blvd location. He picked up a temporary divider that had been used in Catalyst’s office, and slid it in behind my couch and the pony wall. It lets me relax when Valdy is playing, has probably saved his life repeatedly, or at the very least kept him from hurting himself considerably. I’ve almost gotten use to how small it makes our home feel, but I am appreciative for the peace of mind it gives me when I’m making dinner, or accidentally fall asleep on the couch. I’m not sure how long this particular model of little human is going to need this adhoc “wall”; but at the rate he continually proves himself to be a stereotypical adventure seeking boy I’m guessing I’ve got another 14 years.
Every day is a game of survivor. What is Valdy going to throw, drop, grasp, lick, sip, fall off of, fall onto, swallow, pierce or shatter in the time between waking and sleeping? Recently he’s become partial to hiding small objects in his mouth as a response to my asking “What do you have in your hand Valdy…?” Seriously kid? That’s a terrible idea. Although it is a strategy I’m going to use the next time I get into a box of chocolates and Trent asks “what you got?”