August 25, 2013 by Seamus Curtain-Magee
I am not a handy man, but for my demographic I consider myself to have above average handiness. I am a Gen Y-er, a geek, and my parents had very limited handiness. My dad was a barrister and my mum is an artist. Apparently my Papous (grandfather in Greek) was a bit of a tinkerer, but that’s as close to any lineage of handiness as I get. So when I manage to do something right I tend to do a bit of a song-and-dance about it.
Don’t get me wrong. I can fix a crashed computer. I can assemble Ikea furniture with relative ease. I can also make a printer work. I have replaced broken touch screens on tablets and phones too. The power of Google is strong with me.
I have managed to do a few things around this house of ours (the first we have owned that is). I mounted a ceiling-hung clothes airer. Put up a fire-screen (which I have to re-do next winter because I botched it…). I have fixed our towel rails. I drilled out holes for our dishwasher pipes and wires (which I also “installed” – turns out it’s a piece of cake). I have been into the ceiling space of our house.
I hope to learn how to use a chainsaw soon, and we have recently bought a mower, so I hope to cultivate more handiness in the months and years to come.
But this post concerns my most recent achievement. We have always had this set up in the kitchen as our mode of ‘baby-proofing’ it:
It has served us well, kept him away from the stove and the oven, from knives and all those nasties. But it was time to move on. Time to adopt a new more conciliatory approach. After all, he’d shown several times that he was capable of charging through our plastic barricade with enough of a run-up. It has also gotten increasingly difficult for the pregnant Mamanator (38 weeks today by the way) to get over as the weeks have gone by, and the past week it has gotten to be too much.
We found out that at daycare The Lad is happy enough to run around the kitchen, they just have appropriate locks on the drawers and cupboards to keep little fingers out of them. We have loop things to hold the cupboard doors closed, but we didn’t have anything for the drawers.
So today I bit the bullet and installed these:
Did it myself and all. Only swore 5 times or so installing 6 of these things, a fine ratio for me.
What this all means is that our Lad will have free reign of the kitchen. He will turn on the dishwasher a few times I’m sure, our main thing will be to keep him away from the stove, and prevent him from opening the oven while it’s on. His world just got a little bigger, and so did the risk he is exposed to. It’s a tiny minuscule little step, but it’s another step on the path he’s been on since he was born. Rolling, crawling, walking, climbing, jumping. The one day it will be riding, driving, working….. The past week or so he’s been in some kind of developmental hyper-drive.
He asked me in the bath the other day “Where Mummy gone?”, and he waited for an answer which satisfied him (I told him she was getting his pyjamas ready in the lounge). He doesn’t just parrot any more, he enquires and responds. He’s started to play the games we played with him when he was really small with us. He sings songs himself and he is quite capable of keeping himself entertained. He recognises his routine, and bugs us to maintain it. He remembers EVERYTHING. The flipside of it is that he also refuses things now. I offer him food and ask him to try, he grins as he shakes his head and says “no”, as though he enjoys having the power to communicate his refusal. He often tries things later off his own bat anyway, so I’m not too fussed with the behaviour, but to be getting a cogent response instead of a hissy fit or an attempt to slap the food away is a welcome change.
He’s come so far. And he’s still so young. What an immense privilege to see it all. Hopefully we can survive without the Great Wall.