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Childproof or Compromise?

When I was little, my parents would leave a vegetable on the vine ‘for the bugs’. My mother claimed that if the bugs could eat that one vegetable, that they would leave the rest of the crop for us! I’m not sure if it ever really did work, but I thought of this just the other day as I was child proofing our kitchen again.

I say again because I am constantly trying to stay one step ahead of our increasingly mobile toddler. It’s not an easy job.

My great moment of epiphany arrived while I was watching him try to figure out how to open up a kitchen cabinet door. Of course he couldn’t because of the new child-proof locks I’d installed after he’d figured out the old ones. He was frustrated and a temper tantrum quickly followed. As I consoled him, I thought about it all.

Why couldn’t he have his own cabinet? If I emptied out a small cupboard far away from the stove and other appliances it should be ok. I could fill it with safe items like spatulas and old pots and wooden spoons. Note, our doors have no hardware on them, so they open and shut easily. If you have older cabinets, you may want to remove handles or magnets that hold the door shut.

I emptied out a cabinet and put in some of his toys and a few safe kitchen items: wooden spoons, spatulas and old pots. I showed him ‘his’ cabinet and he was thrilled! When I am working in the kitchen now, he’ll open up his cabinet and play. Because he now has his own cabinet, he no longer has the desire to try to get into the other cabinets. Of course, I always am close by to supervise him when he is playing!

I’m not sure how long this truce will last. But for now, he’s happy and safe, and that makes me happy.


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