Friday, August 13, 2010

Close Ev'ry Door To Me

Much to Ryan’s consternation, the fact that he is both mobile and FAST means that we have to limit his freedom a lot more than we used to. To wit: closing doors. When he’s playing downstairs, I have to close the sliding glass doors because otherwise he’ll fall out of them and down the steps. I have to close the laundry room door because there are dangerous things like bug spray and tools on the lower shelves. I have to close the study door because Daddy’s office chair is an irresistible temptation whether Daddy is sitting in it or not. I have to close the bathroom door because of the siren call of the toilet (with the lid closed, it’s a great drum; open, it’s a splash pool). Upstairs, I have to close the door to whatever room he’s in because the landing is small enough that he’d be falling down the stairs headfirst before I even noticed he was headed out the door. I even closed the pocket door in the dining room so he couldn’t pull himself up on the sideboard and knock down the wineglasses.

And today, for the first time, I even added a new “door” in the form of a baby gate in the kitchen hallway. There are several problems with the gate, however. The main problem being that Ryan is not only stronger than I am, but given his short stature he can put his entire body weight behind dislodging the gate. So I can wedge the gate against the wall firmly enough that I can’t move it, but after a few determined pushes Ryan can get it to tilt enough that I have to go rescue him before he gets himself into trouble. And the other problem is that I’m not quite tall enough to step over the gate, so I need to sneak out through the pocket door in the dining room if I need to leave the room for a moment. But it’s probably a good thing it’s not any shorter, or Ryan would be able to lean over it just enough to fall on his head.

Just to add to his frustration, even above and beyond room doors, he’s banned from opening cabinet and closet doors. And there are so many fascinating things lurking behind those doors! Pots and pans that could be banged and clanged, boxes and bottles of all shapes and sizes and colors, clothes that can be tossed across the room, shoes with laces to be untied and knotted and chewed on. And all of them tantalizingly out of reach!

I can understand why most babies cry all the time. It must be immensely frustrating to be so close to exploring new things but not quite being able to get at them. To be able to peep through the baby gate at the world beyond but not be able to reach it. To see the outside world through the sliding glass doors but not be able to go and explore it. To know there are wonderful and exciting things lurking behind closed doors but not being able to see them. I’d probably cry all the time myself if I were always being frustrated that way!

Someday soon – probably too soon, in my eyes – he’ll be ready to open all those doors and explore the wide world on his own. But for now, I’ll be closing those doors.

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