Yes, big ass baby gate is a technical term.
Around here we’re always on the hunt for a better baby trap. The little Houdini has been effectively thwarting my efforts to keep him contained for a while now.
Most of our play time happens on the main floor of the house. Our home is about 12 feet wide and I believe about 21 feet long. One would think this would make baby-proofing less challenging than say, kid-proofing a 5 bedroom 6 bath McMansion. . .One would be wrong.
The house is a big open box. There are no interior walls or doorways on the main floor. And there are two open stair cases. Plus a teensy little sunken “foyer” at the front door. Trying to baby proof this joint has created some head scratching moments for sure.
We managed to rig up a gate for the stairs leading to the basement. And for added security, I slide a chair in front of it.
Then, we decided to completely block off the front portion of the house. This would eliminate the risk that Mac would fall into the “foyer” or have access to the staircase leading upstairs. It also had the added benefit of containing the dogs, their food, water and mess where he couldn’t access it.
However, keeping him out of that area had recently become a challenge. At first I wedged a gate between the stairs and some furniture. This worked well until he figured out he could move it. I thwarted his attempts for about 45 still blissful seconds by pushing yet another chair in front of it. Of course, he quickly realized he could crawl under the chair and push the gate aside. FUDGE! So annoying.
And finally, if he was feeling particularly cunning (or too lazy to move the gate), he could crawl under the desk and under the sofa (the magical baby magnet space I refer to as the rabbit hole). I know he learned this maneuver from the cats. . .Thanks, you little ingrates.
Saturday night we went to Home Depot. Because our lives are just that damned thrilling. Chris needed a 2 by 4 or a 1 by 2 or a niner or something for the basement. I basically wandered around with Mac lifting fistfuls of paint chip cards for some yet to be determined art projects. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I made 3 swings down that aisle, mostly because the first two times, I got dirty looks from the fellow manning the paint mixing station. Whatever, they’re free. And mesmerizingly beautiful.
Paint chip cards, garden center, and the wonder of shiny new appliances aside, I quickly become bored in the hardware store. So when Chris headed down a particular aisle and started examining baby gates, I started to get a little twitchy.
We have plenty of gates. . .not of them are particularly effective.
But then he pulled out a sizeable box.
“Do you want this?” He queries.
Um not particularly. What I want is rose gold spray paint but I was afraid you’d yell at me so I put it back. “Should I want this? What is it?”
“It’s a portable playard,” Chris says gesturing at the photo on the box.
The photo depicts several children happy as clams surrounded by a plastic octagonal fence.
“Hmmmm. . .I’m not sure we need this,” I say skeptically. “It’s going to take up a lot of room and Mac won’t really be free to crawl or walk very well in it.”
And that’s when Chris offers up some magical thinking: “I was thinking we could stretch it out flat. I could even put the gate piece where the walkway is between the stairs and the sofa so you won’t have to heave the stroller or your leg up over the gate any longer, you can just open it and go through.”
This? This sounds positively dreamy. I eagerly snatch the box from him and attempt to wedge it in the cart.
We’ve been using Big Ass Baby Gate for a few days now. It’s amazing. It’s so long, it covers the “rabbit hole” and then some. Mac can’t budge it (so far) and being able to use a gate instead of having to crawl over a three-foot high barricade is wonderful.
The product we purchased is a Summer brand “Secure Surround Portable Playsafe Playard.” It cost about $70. We are not using it according to product specifications so you’ll want to carefully consider safety if you are considering purchasing one for a similar use.
We are not compensated for products we mention on this blog. They are merely items that make our days a little easier or happier.