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Safe Is a Relative Term

Posted by Kristen on June 21, 2010 at 6:21 AM in Raising Boys
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My workshop is in the basement. Many a day I put the baby down for a nap in the morning, and I head down the stairs to get some work done. I can print shirts with The Baby around, but I spend more time keeping him out of vats of ink than I do actually printing shirts. He also likes to speed up the dryer, which is not helpful in the least. The other two wander around the basement at will, moving from one adventure to the next. They really aren't a problem.

The other day I was slammed with work, and the boys asked if they could hang out with me in the basement. I was barely paying attention as I murmured an affirmative and I headed off around the corner.

The thing with my parenting is that it is nearly all audible. My children come by their mouths honestly, and they almost never stop talking. They literally talk all day long. When they do stop talking, I know it's time to make my presence known. This works for us. The combination of my excellent hearing (thanks, Mom, for never letting me go to those rock concerts that permanently damaged my husband's hearing) and their chattiness, crisis can be avoided 99% of the time.

The thing with audible parenting is that you should also LISTEN to what your children are saying. This is where I find myself faltering. Especially yesterday.

Nate: MOM. Dad's saws are here. There are tree (three).
K: (distracted) Nate, stay away from whatever you found. Don't touch Dad's stuff.

I kept working and never thought about it again. Well, until the next day when I walked down the stairs for some reason and this is what I saw.


Hmm. The set for a certain popular serial killer drama? Nope. Just my husband leaving his tools out for a job for another day. I called Derek.

K: Hi. You have all these SAWS on the ironing board.
D: I was trying to fix that WALL.
K: You are raising your voice at me?
K: You left a cornucopia of saws out for the kids to get into.
D: They were up.
K: On an ironing board?
D: It's high.
K: It also only requires about a half pound of pressure to knock over. I'm pretty sure both boys can see over the top of the ironing board. I wondered what Nate was talking about yesterday when he said he saw saws.
D: I'm sorry.
K: I have a tough enough time with these children without offering them their own weapons. Forget intent. Nate's clumsiness alone could have resulted in a lost limb.
D: I thought they were safe.

Safety is a relative concept. We had to take every single movable chair off of the first floor because The Baby has taken to climbing onto counter tops and throwing glasses and plates off. I got tired of glass shards, if you know what I mean. So I'm thinking that right about now I could use a little help in the safety department, at least with the big ticket items like saws. I don't think I'm asking too much.


Laurie writes...

I'm starting to think I just shouldn't have left on New Year's Day. I'm sure we could have found someone to sponsor me to blog some of this stuff, and also child-proof. At least the mini blowtorch didn't work -- one less way to set oneself on fire. ;)

Manic Mommy writes...

He looks like he's preparing for some sicko back-alley surgery. I imagine the iron is for cauterizing the wound?

Derek writes...

I was hoping they would fix the wall.

Lenny writes...

Just like how we fixed that wall at your old place, huh Derek?

Bernie writes...

At least it wasn't a hot iron. Ask my wife about that.

Jenn writes...

wish I had found the supersisters earlier! (I also wish MY 2 sisters would BUCK UP and give my kids some cousins!) My husband and I have 3 boys, 6,5 and 4...and a new baby. BOY, of course, because we apparently can't make anything else but blonde-haired, blue-eyed boys.

Anyway, my husband is a general contractor - turned building inspector/official - and was recently (as in, just hours before and after I gave birth to our 4th child) putting on a new metal roof BY HIMSELF on our 2 story house. (We are NOT young, in case you might be picturing a 20 or 30 something here ;). Safety is indeed a relative term: I finally just gave up telling the boys to "be careful" up there on the roof and while climbing all over the scaffolding and left it at : "Just don't fall on me and the baby, OK?"

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