Toddler-Proofing Your Home In The New Millennium

My home looks like the typical baby-proofed home: guards on the electrical outlets, covers on the doorknobs, latches on the cupboards, and gates strategically set up to keep knee-high explorers safe. Which they don’t. All they do is make life more challenging for the adults in the household.

These gadgets are outdated and no match for the baby of the new millennium. It only took two months before both toddlers understood how to get around these impediments to their curiosity. (Even the kittens know how to take out the little plastic pieces that plug into the outlet.)

Needless to say, the gates are all looking haggard and bent and they are pretty much useless due to little ones either running full speed into them to crash them down or wearing them down by scaling them.

The dilemma? How to keep the little ones out of rooms they don’t belong in. The solution? Animatronics.

No kidding. I have one toddler that is scared to death of a dancing musical chicken I have (it clucks to the ever-popular ‘Chicken Dance’ song) and another that is terrified of the cute blue fuzzy monster made famous by Disneys “Monsters Inc.”

So I have placed these motion sensory activated toys EXACTLY where I don’t want the kids to tread. The results? Success!

Now I have both the pleasure of warding off children and hearing their screams so I know exactly where they are in the house. (In my childhood my mother and grandmother had eyes behind their backs. Now, as a parent, I have dancing toys that look possessed.)

ROWWWWWWWRRRR! says the blue monster. EEEEEEEEEEEK! says my one-year-old.

Get away from the computer! I warn from across the house.

Pu-cock, PU-COCK! pipes up the chicken. Shrieeeeek! screams my three-year-old.

Get out of the kitchen! I call out from another room.

So I’ve stocked up on animated toys and now my home looks like an exhibit at Disneyland. And the toddlers sit quietly with unblinking eyes and severe facial tics but let me point out that they are QUIET and not getting into everything.

And all this I do, not for some sense of retribution (to pay the little goobers back for constantly eking away at my own nerves)–oh, no! No, not at all, no siree, Bob. I’m doing this for their safety. Yeah, that’s it.

Heaven knows I love these little ones and wouldn’t want a thing to happen to them. Now pass me the remote. There’s this talk show I want to catch while somewhere down the hall a chicken dances and a monster growls….

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