Leanne and I never really went through a weekend of baby proofing our home. Our strategy was to wait for Olive to point out potential dangers to us and then we would fix them.
-Ooops, looks like we forgot to cover that electrical socket.
-I guess she can reach that drawer full of knives now. Should probably do something about that.
-Did you know that string on the blinds are a strangulation hazard?
-You know, now that she is walking we better get a gate or the top of the stairs, huh?
The result is that, over the last 15 months, our house has become relatively baby proof.
Unfortunately, you can’t baby proof the world.
Over fourth of July weekend, we took Olive on vacation to see her grandparents up in northern Maine. We had a fantastic time and Olive loves nothing more than seeing her Mimi and Grampy and running around their gardens and playing with her cousins. The second day we were there, though, Olive decided to put a little damper on the fun.
The nice thing about grandparents, especially ones that don’t get to see their granddaughter a lot, is that any time with Olive is time well spent. Change her diaper? Sure! Wake up early with her? No problem! Give her a bath? I’ll give her three!
The second morning there, Leanne and I were just waking up from a restful sleep at, gasp, 7:30 AM to hear the little pitter patter of Olive’s chubby feet running around the floor above us. Ahh, vacation. We get to sleep in and Mimi and Grampy can groggily entertain the early riser. Then we heard a horrible THUD and Olive crying. Uh-Oh. Leanne hopped out of bed like she heard a starting pistol and ran upstairs, probably covering five steps at a time.
Olive had been playing with her grandparents and apparently thought that a full-length mirror leaning against the bedroom wall was a door and decided to, well, close it. In an instant, before anyone could react, Olive pushed the mirror over, slamming it into the ground. I wasn’t there, but I can imagine the helplessness that my in-laws felt as they watched the mirror make its slow-motion journey to the floor.
Looking back, we are lucky. The end of the mirror landed on Mimi’s hand (she had been laying on the ground playing with Olive) and caused a nasty bruise and a lot of soreness, but no major damage. The other end of the mirror slid back and clipped Olive’s foot, opening nasty gash in her toe you can see below, but nothing else. No broken glass, no bonks on the head, no trips to the emergency room. But you never want your daughter’s foot to look like this:
We got Olive cleaned up. Well, Mimi, Grampy and I got Olive cleaned up as Leanne couldn’t look at her daughter’s bloody foot without almost fainting. I think the person who felt the worse, though, was my mother-in-law, who somehow felt she should have adopted the reflexes of a mongoose and speed of a jungle cat to pop up from her position on the floor and catch the mirror mid-fall. There was really nothing anyone could have done once Olive decided to push. We called the doctor to make sure we were doing everything right, and before we knew it we were laughing and Olive was walking around the house, bloody toe and all.
Two weeks later, Olive’s toe is healing well. She lost her toenail today (just in case you wanted a nasty mental picture to go with the actual one above) but she is really no worse for wear. Babies, I have learned, are accident magnets (and luckily, quick healers). They seek out the most dangerous item in a room and immediately see if they can a) knock it over, b) put it in their mouth, or c) stick their finger in it. Sometimes you can stop them before anything happens and sometimes you can’t. No matter how hard anyone tries, we will never baby proof the world.