Friends, the moment has come: I can make dinner, set the table, and even go to the washroom without bouncing a squiggly baby on my hip, or my back, or my knee. I don’t have to chase my speed-crawler around the house, wrestle dog food bits from her death-grip fingers, or intercept a potentially nasty nip from our temperamental rat terrier.
I can go to the bathroom in peace, door closed, without having to fly off the toilet to save the wine glasses from a shattered demise, or to wrestle the internet cord out of Chickadee’s fingers before it reaches her mouth. I am writing to you from the Other Side.
It. Is. Awesome.
As I type this, I’m watching my eight-and-a-half month old play with her toys through the white jail-like bars of a baby-proofed play area. I am accomplishing something, and she is happy and safe. #Winning!
You heard correctly: two sets of Baby Play Pen Extraordinaire now encircles our primary living area, which has been completely rejigged to accommodate a very curious and determined toddler. Taking this big step was not easy, however, and here’s why.
Firstly, our house isn’t huge – we don’t have the space for a separate play room – and we weren’t too sold on the baby-pen look. In the end, practicality – and the need for sanity – prevailed.
We also considered cost, and these play space kits weren’t cheap. Trust me, we weighed our options. Cardboard? Free, but not durable and definitely not pretty. A furniture blockade? Cheap, durable, questionably safe (?), but ugly, and also impractical.
A few weeks of humming and hawing later, and we finally did it. We ordered the Deluxo Baby Play Space Supreme Pen x2, the metal kind that bolts to the wall, with a cute little baby-proofed gate to walk through. This weekend we installed it.
And here I am, in a place that once seemed so impossibly far away; a place where I can regain some small parts of my life in time and accomplishment. Here I am, enjoying some wine from a still-intact wine glass, watching my baby play and learn and grow within the safe confines of a ridiculously large and definitely safe play space.
Does it look awesome? No. Does it feel awesome? Yes. It feels like freedom.
Bronwyn Moser is a teacher and former journalist, and lives in North Pine.