Friday, August 31, 2007

Minefield

One of the purposes of having four kids in six and a half years was so they'd go through the stages of their childhood at roughly the same time. I could throw them in the bath together, they'd all take swimming lessons at the same time, and they'd all (yikes!) go to college around the same time. I really didn't want to end up pushing a stroller at Bryce's high school graduation.

But I'm beginning to realize that I might not have had them close enough together. When Bryce was a baby-- he ruled the roost. As soon as he could crawl and pull up, we babyproofed the house and got rid of all of the tchotchkes that could end up in his mouth. Other than emptying our bookshelves and VCR tapes on a daily basis, he didn't get into too much trouble in the "moblie but still stupid" phase of babyhood. It was pretty much the same scenario with Annie. Bryce had toys that she'd get into, but since he's less than two years older than she is, he'd get annoyed when she'd knock over his blocks or get into his puzzles, but other than getting sat on or knocked over, she was never in any imminent danger. Pretty much ditto the situation for Isaac, except that he had two older siblings who would scream if he got into their stuff.

But in the last two years, Bryce and Annie have moved on from blocks and stuffed animals to Polly Pockets and Star Wars action figures and Legos. I keep the kids' doors closed most of the day (and they have to keep all of their "big kid" toys in their rooms instead of the playroom) but in a single day the other day, I found a Lego walkie talkie, a Polly shoe, part of a South Beach Diet bar wrapper, and a leaf in Maren's mouth. And she was sucking on a Thomas engine too, so even if she hasn't choked to death or died from Polly magnets in the intestine, she'll probably be done in by lead paint.

At this point, I'm glad for the 100 fewer kid hours in the house each week. Maybe, just maybe, it will decrease the mess to the degree that I can keep up with Maren and what she puts in her mouth.

5 comments:

sheri said...

Try living in a 2bdrm apartment where your baby and 5/6yr old kid share a bedroom. Good times. I'm just relieved that at age 2, Kelly's finally getting over the stage of putting dangerous things in her mouth. (mostly) And having them 4.5 years apart helped slightly in that Kyle was kind of old enough to try to keep his toys out of her reach. But even then, I was so envious of those that have separate bedrooms for such choking hazards. Ugh. Kids.

Nobody said...

You know, I had two that have made it to 4 and 2 and a half without putting things in their mouths. They just weren't the type. But, I think my luck may have run out with #3. At 3 months, he constantly has his hands in his mouth, I'm thinking when he discovers the legos and army men, he'll be in heaven.

Blackeyedsue said...

I am realizing the wisdom of having your kids boom, boom, boom. It is going to kill me to have to start diapers and breast-feeding after having so much independance after so long.

Lucy said...

I totally get this! I've actually relaxed and realized that he's just not going to choke to death. But when other people find dimes and marbles and small rocks...they freak out. Then I have to act freaked out too. But really...he would have choked already! There is ALWAYS something in his mouth.

There is no way to have a baby proof house except with your first, and maybe second (if they are close enough together)!

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