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We’ve arrived at a rite of passage in our house that I can’t quite put a name on. I don’t know if we’re de-child-proofing or un-child-proofing, but either way the last remaining gates and latches that served as protective devices and/or obstacles have come down.

Simultaneously, and not coincidentally, my attic of baby and toddler clothes and equipment has also been vacated or soon will be. My crib and high chair left the house when Agotich arrived from Sudan. An exercise mat, diaper bag, and bath were given away when another friend had a baby. When Anyieth was born, I found a home for a large Jumperoo. But a ton of other things—a booster seat, stroller, port-a-crib, swing, changing pad, bed rail, table and chair set, and rocking horse—remained.

In part these things stuck around out of convenience: Hauling everything up to my attic was easier than finding a new home for it all. Another reason was sentimental attachment; it was hard to get rid of things attached to fleeting babyhood. And yet another reason was fear; I figured the second I got rid of all my baby stuff, I’d up and have another baby.

But time marched on, I didn’t have another baby, and the baby I did have needed more space to play and store his big kid stuff. Thus began the March great attic clean out, which is now mostly complete. That dominoed into the other areas.

  • Did I really need the magnetic kitchen safety latches that make it a two-step process to open the area under my sink and that everyone but me has struggled with? Simon is old enough to understand not to sample the cleaning supplies, so no.
  • Did I really need the last baby gate at the top of my stairs? Agotich doesn’t any more and Simon hasn’t for ages, so no again.
  • What about the art easel I bought a few years back? Simon’s not artsy, so it’s at least getting moved out of my kitchen, if not out of my house.
  • And speaking of kitchens, what about the play kitchen hogging up even more space in my already not-very-big kitchen. Well, Agotich loves it, but Simon lost interest a year ago and certainly doesn’t need encouragement to stand anymore (we got this in part to encourage walking). So once school ends in seven weeks and Agotich isn’t here on a regular basis, it’s gone, too.
  • And the baby pool in our shed? The next time the DAV comes a-calling, it’s theirs. Simon can’t practice his backstroke in a baby pool.
  • And the train table and Thomas set in the basement? They are super sweet, but Simon is much more interested in his motorized Japanese train set these days. So Thomas and his Tidmouth shed buddies are not long for this house, either.

It’s liberating really. There’s already a less cluttered feel to the house and more open space. More significantly, our house is starting to reflect three occupants who operate on much more even footing. Simon doesn’t need a whole category of special stuff anymore: just a kid-friendly or kid-sized version of the same card games, board games, and sports equipment everyone else uses.  These days we spend more money on activities than stuff, so it’s time for our house to stop looking like a day-care center or preschool.


One Response to “De-Child-Proofing the Home”

  1. Amanda says:

    But just think how happy the kids who get your old stuff will be!

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