Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not so safe-ty gate

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Picture a newlywed couple just four months after their blessed and beautiful wedding. Picture this same happy couple closing on their first house together in a peaceful town. Picture the couple finding out that they were going to have a baby at the same time they closed on the house. And finally, picture the couple with 2 and 3 year old nieces and nephews coming to visit their brand new house any day now.

Those pictures are what caused us to install a safety gate at the top of our stairs over 1.5 years ago, or 6 months before Kaylani would need one. Before now, we all had zero need for a safety gate, other than the 3 or 4 times our nieces and nephews came to stay with us. It came in handy to lock the kids upstairs prevent any of the kids from playing on the stairs, but when it came to Kaylani, it was just decoration for 9 months. Now, we're glad we have it. Well, we were.

For the past 3 weeks, Kaylani has been mobile, and oddly enough, the hallway is the safest place for her to be. If we close the gate and all the bedroom doors, there's not much trouble she can get herself into. All the outlets are covered, the air condition vents are untouchable, and the gate is immovable. No trouble to be had. And just to be clear, it's not like we just put her in the hallway, shut the gates and doors, and leave her be. I'm just saying that it's a fairly safe place to be were she to spend her time there.

Anyways, this morning, the three of us were hanging out in the hallway before Daddy had to leave for work. Kaylani was crawling all around, and Mommy was sitting on the floor getting climbed on every now and then. When it was time to go, Daddy opened the gate and sat on the top step. Kaylani, who clearly wanted to come give Daddy a big hug and a kiss before he left, starting crawling towards him. That's when she got distracted by the gate. Turns out that swinging the gate into Daddy's back and watching it bounce back towards and past her was much more fun.

This went on for about 5 minutes. Throw gate at Daddy, watch it bounce back, laugh, repeat (and listen to Mommy saying "gates are not a toy"). But then, things went bad. Kaylani, who was still in her full footy pajamas, tried to crawl towards the gate some more. She tried to go from sit to crawl, which she had already done 5 or 6 times to get closer to the gate or out of its way. But this time, she didn't make it. This time, she got tripped up in her footy pajamas and fell. Onto the gate. Onto the little metal knob of the gate that goes into the latch to make it lock in place. Right on her eye. Her eye. Metal knob of gate. Ouch.

Of course she screamed right away. After we finally got her to calm down, we decided it wasn't TOO bad. It wasn't call the doctor and have them call social services bad. It was a little red, a little swollen, and upon closer inspection, a little scraped. Poor little baby. Damn footy pajamas. Stupid gate. Those 3 thoughts were what went through my head immediately. The next one was how injury prone babies/kids are. I mean, both Mommy and Daddy were RIGHT THERE (Daddy was closer) and we still couldn't prevent her from getting hurt. Sure some may say that letting her play with the gate in the first place is probably the problem, but who can say no to a baby having so much fun!

Anyways, Kaylani's alright. She still has a little scape above her eye (it wasn't her actual eye thankfully) but she's fine. No swelling, no bruising, no more crying (well other then her unusual fussiness today). She's asleep for the night and hopefully for the rest of the night. Tomorrow morning we'll get up and hopefully not do it all again. Stupid gate. From now on, you're staying completely open or completely closed. Gate's are not a toy, but you'll notice that I never called it a "safety" gate because in my experience, that's just not true.

So before you go out and buy yourself an all plastic safety gate, don't forget to check out Dad-Blogs for the latest installment of Fatherhood Fridays! I missed out on last week, so make sure you don't miss out this week!


Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

When my son began pulling himself up using his dresser drawers, I installed "safety latches" to prevent them from flying open...but they open just enough to smash fat little baby fingers. I feel your frustration.

Doug said...

Makes her look tough. To paraphrase: Guys dig chicks with scars

PJ Mullen said...

I'm glad she is ok, that is scary. We don't have stairs in our house, so we don't have gate issues, but he manages to find other ways to injure himself.

Smallprint said...

We have three flights and at least four gates - a veritable gate maze!

You always feel so guilty when they get bumps and bruises.

Otter Thomas said...

We have a latch on our gate that I am constantly worrying about. I only worry because it sticks out and I am afraid it will gouge Braden's eyes out. I good old scrape on the noggin builds character.

WeaselMomma said...

If not the gate, it would have been something else. As she grows and learns there will be many bumps falls and even stitches. You heart will skip a beat everytime, but it just all part of growing, learning and exploring.