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If You Think Its Child Proof Better Think Again

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We put way too much trust in our manufacturers today and too little trust in how swift and intelligent our children are. I used to believe that the words “child-proof” meant something but now I know otherwise. When I have an item that is marked child-proof I immediately categorize it as something that may take my son 5 more minutes than normal to open, break or put in his mouth. I no longer underestimate his abilities. I now realize that when you pit a crafty 9 month old up against multi-million dollar corporations and their inventions, the nine month old will win all the time.

One example of my son’s craftiness began with an innocent bottle of prenatal vitamins. Now the important point in this story is that the vitamins are in a “child-proof” bottle. One afternoon, while I am attempting to clean and keep my son entertained all at one time, he picks up a bottle of prenatal vitamins. I don’t panic, instead my thoughts are “Hey, this won’t be so bad, this bottle is child-proof and it will keep him pre-occupied for awhile. It makes noise and it’s too big for him to swallow”. I turn my back and proceed to make the bed. Suddenly, the rattle of pills in a bottle is replaced by silence which causes me to stop in my tracks. I look over towards my son and there lies these brown pills all over the floor and he is sitting there proudly with the open child-proof bottle. After my shock and disbelief subsided, I retrieved the pills while my son sat and clapped at his brilliance. I couldn’t help but laugh. That was one of my very first lessons.

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You would think that my daily experiences would have prepared me for these little surprises because Nicholas gives us hints as to his intentions and abilities on a daily basis. I see him watching our daily activities with the interest and intensity of a top level spy. One area of interest for him is our fireplace. There is a small door that leads to the gas gauge on the fireplace and on a daily basis he crawls up to that door and examines the “child-proof” lock like a pro. He touches it, smells it, pulls on it and rubs it (that’s his way of sizing up his opponent). You can almost see the smoke coming out of his little brain as he contemplates just how he is going to open that door. We always have to be one step ahead of him to prevent disaster because I know that he is working on a master plan to get inside that little door.
He has already figured out that if he rams his walker into the French doors of our front room, he is able to overcome the child-proof locks that were fashioned to keep him out. This was discovered by trial and error. And you know those nifty little covers for your electric socket? He has already managed to pry a couple of them partially out of the hole. We just can’t win with this kid. Nothing is safe and he can’t be left alone because he is always working on his next conquest, ready to conquer another obstacle and prove that he is the smarter being.

On another occasion, I put my Nicholas into his car seat to take a short two block trip to Kroger. Now, I am sure that I snapped both locks in this rear-facing, “child-proof” car seat but what occurred afterwards was definitely a shock. We pull out of the garage and proceed down the street when I hear a clear giggle in my right ear. I turn to look over my shoulder and there is my child standing in his car seat facing me with the biggest grin on his face I have ever seen. He was smiling and clapping his hands and his face was filled with pride at his newest accomplishment. After regaining my composure ( I have to do that a lot with this child), I pull over and place him back into his seat and lock the restraints, again! Who would believe that he actually figured out how to work the locks on his child seat at the ripe young age of 9 months? Denial is an effective coping mechanism and so I am going to chalk this one up to human error, my error, until I have proof otherwise. Pregnancy serves as a great excuse in these circumstances. Anyway, I have no alternative for the car seat at this time so I have to hope that my son wasn’t capable of pulling off the escaping baby trick without a little unknown assistance from his rushing mommy.

In conclusion, my main goal is to keep my son safe. I understand the danger that comes along with his type of brilliance; this brilliance that most babies and young children seem to possess. My husband and I have come to the realization that we weren’t just put here on earth to clothe, feed and love our child. We are put here as parents to protect them from our inventions and short-comings, the very things we create to keep them safe. I also feel that we could learn a few things from how thoughtful and curious they are at such a young age and what potential those little minds hold. So please take my word for it, there is no such thing as “child-proof” and never underestimate your child. Just when you think you are in the clear, they will always surprise you with their abilities at the expense of some gadget you spent hundreds of dollars on because it was labeled “CHILD-PROOF”.

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