My Beautiful, Destructive Children
My wife starts teaching again on Monday. The summer break will be over and I’ll be back fulltime at my real job of stay at home dad. I don’t mind, I enjoy the work and it’s nothing like when I first started doing it. The kids were about a year and a half, in diapers and extremely mobile back then. They were curious about everything, liked to climb and kept me busy.
Our house was set up with a series of childproof gates. Childproof what a laugh. They figured out how to scale those pretty quickly and it involved teamwork. They would climb over each other so that one could get out. It reminded me of something I’d see on a WWII movie like “The Great Escape” or “Stalag 17”. They were very good at circumventing the security, especially my son Joseph.
All the doorknobs in our house that lead to unfriendly areas for children had these plastic covers over them that supposedly made them impossible for children to open. We were sitting at Sunday dinner with the grandparents when Joseph walked up to the table and said, “This made it hard to open the door so I took this off.”
Then he casually laid down the dismantled pieces of the child protection doorknob on the table.
“Now I can open the door.”
We just stared and then laughed. This raised the security bar in our house which lead to installing door chains and other devices.
I remember one time when I was working in my office on an internet project and I had the triplets in their bedroom playing. As I typed away on my computer I suddenly heard a strange and loud sound. I can’t describe the sound to this day but I knew where it had come from. I raced to the kids bedroom and found them all standing together looking up. All three were pointing. I followed their gaze and saw that the door had been ripped from its top hinge and was staying up on only one.
All three in unison said, “Uh oh.”
My reply was an angry, “Yeah, a BIG uh oh!”
I had to remove the door.
We’ve gotten accustomed to the unique destructive qualities of toddlers and preschoolers. We have sections of our house that have the good stuff and sections that have the stuff that the kids can destroy. Our family room area has a coach and a chair that I would’ve been ashamed to have in my college apartment. It has more bounce time and wear and tear then any customer warranty could have possibly covered no matter how much testing and research went into their construction. Someday they’ll end up out in front of our house with a “Free” sign on them and I’ll laugh hysterically if anyone ever takes them.
I just hope that all this isn’t foreshadowing events in the future for when they learn how to drive.