Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Breaking the Rules

So you knew I was totally going to buy one, right? With a little online checking I found it at, Costco online, and Amazon. For just under $18.00 including shipping I totally had to have one. One of the Amazon reviewers said they bought one in Target, but I didn't find them online and our closest Target is little.

Now I totally realize the numerous downsides of such a device when your child is small...

The Cracker is still in a crib. He climbs IN, but won't climb OUT. Why? Hell if I know. But why would we screw with a good thing? (Insert one of my favorite lines here: If you wake him you take him.) He climbs everything else. He is A CLIMBER. But since he's still perfectly happy, or rather when he's perfectly UNHAPPY and doesn't want to nap/go to bed but doesn't do anything except scream from what we like to call baby jail, it's nice knowing that he won't escape. (Knock on wood.) So a smoke alarm with my voice yelling "Wake up (insert Cracker's real name here)! Wake up! There's a fire! Get your ass up!" isn't going to do much except wake him up and confuse the shit out of him. But we still use our baby monitor, so if the alarms don't go off on our side of the house, it might just wake my ass up.

Another downside: a little kid, say under the age of 6 or 7, may get scared and hide. So then you have to go looking for them, IN A FIRE, that is, until they are old enough to understand your family fire plan AND actually follow instructions under stress.

Next downside is that if you have child proof locks on your doors to prevent escaping they need to be old enough to be able to figure out how to unlock them in an emergency. We have locks on 2 of 3 of our best non-window exits because if he could, the Cracker would take himself outside every time I turn my back. I know this because he's already done it. (Story time!) We had already installed a lock on the sliding glass door, but I wasn't yet in the habit of remembering to use it. (It's on the track up top so that he can't reach.) Now the way the house is set up is garage, laundry, kitchen, breakfast nook with sliding glass door all in a nice straight line. I was in the laundry room, door to kitchen open, with a perfect view. But I bent down to transfer clothes from the washer to dryer for all of 90 seconds and didn't see or hear him unlock the sliding door, then the screen, and then close them both to conceal the evidence. A few minutes later, after I was done with the laundry transfer and back in the kitchen, I saw a streak out the window. What the heck? I thought it was a dog or maybe a burglar. No, IT WAS MY CHILD, MY THEN NOT QUITE 3 YEAR OLD, RUNNING AROUND THE BACKYARD HAVING A GREAT OLD TIME. Yeah, that's right, I didn't even realize he was gone. HOLY SHIT. Let your mind wander with the implications of that one. I didn't know he was GONE.

Now since we're now off on a tangent, let's just continue.

When my parents came to visit last month, I had my dad (with J supervising) put a lock on the front door too, up high. The Cracker has been able to manipulate the lower preexisting locks on it for months now, but hasn't gotten it open on his own yet because he can't figure out which is lock and which is unlock and there are two locks to get through. So he stands there, locks one, unlocks the other, and is unable to make a getaway for cookies and Tootsie Rolls (ahh! Choking hazard! Stop giving them to him without asking me!) at the neighbors. (The neighbor with the dog I am constantly dog sitting.) Now he could easily unlock the new one too, but even with a stool (and he's tried, oh he's tried, and he knows what a stool is for) he's not yet tall enough. Phew!

So my beautiful SIL had this problem a few years back, when perfect nephew was around the Cracker's age. They lived in an apartment complex and he'd just unlock the door and let himself out without asking. Snuck, really, if we want to get technical. At the time I was disgusted and shocked by her solution, but now that I'm a parent I think it was genius. They didn't know if they couldn't install hardware, they were renters and moving out soon anyway, so she used BEARS. Yes, bears, as in the animal. Their area is well known for bears, coming to raid your garbage, and so she told him that if he went out alone that the bears would get him. And he was scared shitless of bears, so it totally worked.

You do what you gotta do to keep your kid safe.

Back to the smoke alarm, why would I buy one now? Because when he is old enough, which will be in just a few short years, I'll probably have forgotten all about it. Or, I will remember as I'm counting sheep and desperately trying to fall asleep, and not want to get out of bed, turn on the internet, shop around, and then buy one.

I'll let you know what a worthless piece of crap it is when it arrives in 5-10 days.

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