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Baby Proof

September was quite an eventful month around these parts.  Guess who learned to crawl, started pulling herself to a standing position, began “cruising” (hesitantly walking while holding on to a couch, table, or other object), moved up to a bigger car seat, figured out how to drink from a sippy cup as well as she already could through a straw, and acquired full object permanence within that thirty days?

And those are just the developmental changes we’re sure happened.  We’re very tired now, thank you.

In the process of installing baby gates all over the house, I discovered that I’m becoming vaguely handy.  It’s a little weird.  Practice does get one closer to perfection, and Ged knows I’ve a very long way to go before I even begin to approach the contemplation of perfection in being handy, but I’m now to the point of seriously thinking about building my own workspace furniture, sort of like Dan did a while back.

Most of my practice was obtained by trying to baby-proof our kitchen.  This is no easy task anyway, but the, er, “interesting” choices made by the house’s previous owner made it about a zillion times more difficult.  Because of the way the drawers and cabinets are faced, it’s almost impossible to secure about half of them.  Of the half that could be secured, two-thirds of them were a royal pain.

Of course, sometimes the difficulty wasn’t with the materials.  I had a friend over to help me with the kitchen proofing, and we spent a lot of time complaining about the idiots who had put together the kitchen.  We had just pulled out a drawer to install a lock.  He selected a thin bit to drill a guide hole, and then started.  The drill bit didn’t even penetrate the facing.  He pressed harder, and still nothing.  Harder, and I realized the drill bit was actually starting to bend.  It wasn’t getting anywhere.  We were kind of impressed, as the facing didn’t look that tough.

No matter; he switch to a sturdier bit and started again.  That one made no better progress than the first one, and as he bore down, we both saw a wisp of smoke curl out of the drill site.  When the drill was lifted away, there was simply a small dimple in the facing.  Now we were seriously impressed, and more than a little confused.  What the heck was this facing made of, anyway?

Just as I started rooting around in the toolbox for a hammer and chisel, he suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, I am such a dumbass.”

It was suddenly very, very clear what had happened.  I couldn’t help it.  I started laughing, as did he.

He clicked over a lever on the drill, put the bit back in place, and hit the drill trigger.  It tore straight in.  I almost fell on the floor, I was laughing so hard.  I couldn’t speak, could barely breathe.

“Well, go figure!” he said in a self-mocking tone.  “I guess it works better when you have the drill actually going forward instead of in reverse!  Wow!  Who’d have thought?”

Indeed so.  Lesson learned.

Since there were requests for pictures of the little one in action, here you go: one crawling, one standing, and a bonus “on the swings” picture.  No, I don’t need help adjusting the brightness on these, but thanks.

Three pictures: one of her crawling away from the camera, one of her standing against a table, and one of her on a playground swing.

16 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Mon 4 Oct 2004
    • 1128
    Chris Hester wrote in to say...

    “Practice does get one closer to perfection, and Ged knows…” – As in Rush? (Me ponders on you praying to the god of bass… (Perhaps at the Temple Of Syrinx?))

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Mon 4 Oct 2004
    • 1202
    Joshua wrote in to say...

    Whew. I always find myself puffing up a bit when I find others are equally ‘unhandy’. It’s as though we have our own sort of elite gang. Now was Kats reaction just a quiet dumfoundness, staring blankly at the dangerous duo in the kitchen; calmly reaching for the first aid kit?

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Mon 4 Oct 2004
    • 1228
    Jeremy C. Wright wrote in to say...

    My wife’s the handyman in our house. Makes my life a whole lot easier ;-)

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Mon 4 Oct 2004
    • 1240
    Glenn Fleishman wrote in to say...

    Our baby is six and a half weeks old and this preview of development to come is terrifying — and exciting. Yikes. All of that within 30 days? He can just barely start to control his flailing arms now…

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Mon 4 Oct 2004
    • 1351
    will wrote in to say...

    Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Mon 4 Oct 2004
    • 1431
    Matt Wilcox wrote in to say...

    Aww! :)

    Oh – the drill bit was hilarious!

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Mon 4 Oct 2004
    • 1453
    Chao wrote in to say...

    Oooooooooooh. Pictures?

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Mon 4 Oct 2004
    • 1507
    Jeremy Flint wrote in to say...

    Ah, babyproofing the kitchen.

    Kind of sneaks up on you doesn’t it Eric. One minute you’re just sitting around, the baby is just rolling around on the floor, playing quietly. Next thing you know, you’re in the back of the house and you hear the little one emptying out the cabinets.

    Just wait until she is big enough to open the drawer, get utensils out, and put them in the sink for you. My son started doing this a few weeks ago.

    What’s even better is when they start climbing on the kitchen table.

    Ahh….the joys of fatherhood. I am sure you would agree Eric…I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    • #9
    • Comment
    • Mon 4 Oct 2004
    • 1555
    Stuart Gibson wrote in to say...

    I love reading these posts, having a daughter just about to turn 9 months myself I enjoy smiling at all the recognisable bits in Carolyn’s behaviour. I fitted the fire guard last night, I had the drill bit going the right way though ;)

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Mon 4 Oct 2004
    • 2327
    Scott Kovatch wrote in to say...

    I’ve got a large bag full of baby-proofing stuff that I accumulated during Julia’s first year, and easily 90% of it is still in the box it came in. I think we went through the first-time-parents overreaction on home protection, and a lot of stuff never got installed. If you need something, let me know — I might have it already.

    • #11
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Oct 2004
    • 0809
    Leonie Price wrote in to say...

    Just wait until she learns how to turn off your computer – while you are in the middle of an article. With a child around the keystrokes needed to save articles every twenty seconds becomes like a nervous tick.

    • #12
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Oct 2004
    • 1028
    Bill wrote in to say...

    Its even cooler when she learns to use the computer.. My 3 year old was sitting at my machine when I came home from work one day last year (she was 2 at the time) surfing her favorite website ( I didn’t even know she really understood a mouse and there she was switching between users (to load her profile), launching her browswer, finding the correct bookmark, and following links right to her favorite games. Incredible.

    • #13
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Oct 2004
    • 1217
    Jeremy wrote in to say...


    Was that intentional? Or does Eric use a Dvorak layout keyborad?

    • #14
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Oct 2004
    • 1846
    Jeremy Flint wrote in to say...

    Yeah, my son has done things to my laptop (my old dell…i don’t let him near my powerbook) in a matter of seconds that took me 30 minutes to figure out how to undo.

    • #15
    • Comment
    • Tue 12 Oct 2004
    • 1555
    Stephanie Sullivan wrote in to say...

    What’s even more fun is when you think your Mac has developed severe problems because every morning, when you come into the computer room, it’s got the little X’d eyes face on the screen and looks very unhappy. Reboot — all is well. What the heck? Finally, one morning, big brother caught the 18 month old at his trick — he had figured out how to hit the start button and then promptly hit as many keys as possible on the keyboard. The Mac then made this terrible chime and showed the face with the X’d eyes — and he cackled wildly.

    Case solved!

    Right after that bit of fun, we saw him moving the mouse around and manipulating things on the screen with purpose (Kid Pix I think)… we figured that wouldn’t happen for a while… but they do get the whole mouse to screen connection quickly… just you wait Eric! :D

    • #16
    • Comment
    • Sat 21 May 2005
    • 1753
    Gabriel wrote in to say...


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