Kids ... so smart, and yet, not
Outlet plugs. Toilet locks. Cabinet latches. Door locks.
Hard plastic utensils. Specifically textured foods. Small, tiny pieces.
Smoothed playground edges. No exposed bolts. Soft rubber floors.
There is no end to what we do to keep our children safe. Products, companies, foods all exist to protect them.
Of course, there's the one thing we can't keep them safe from — themselves.
It's the first rule of children — they lack common sense. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. It doesn't how smart they are, how early they are walking, talking, potty training or reading — they are very, very dumb.
The problem is that children are also very, very smart. For instance, my 17-month old son is obsessed with the broom we keep in the pantry. It's a good whooping stick to use against his twin brother — and should the need arise, his 4-year-old sister.
For a while it was all good. That was until the last couple days, when — much like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park — both boys have figured out how to open doors. So before we were able to childproof the pantry door, he had access to his whooping stick.
But obviously this doesn't make him smart. No, what makes the little booger so clever — and I am very sure many kids figure this tactic out — is his divide and conquer technique. Since he's not talking yet, I don't think he plots with his brother, but he waits until Linc garners our attention. Then Charlie makes a bee-line for the closet and gets his whooping stick. Very smart.
Of course, he's also dumb. That's why he smacked himself in the head with the stick. It wasn't a klutzy move, or that he was tripping and falling. I guess he wanted to see what it felt like. Very dumb. Unless he's doing it for some reason I can't seem to fathom. If so, paraphrasing again from Jurassic Park, “Clever boy.”
Again, this isn't a “Look at how special stupid/smart my kids are” anecdote. Every toddler has this level of genius and idiocy that makes keeping them safe a near impossibility.
Plus, you have to factor in what happens when you're not around. The bubble technology I keep advocating doesn't seem to be coming any time soon. So in the meantime there's not much you can do.
Charlie came home the other day with a scratch under his eye. It did happen at day care, but they didn't seem to know how. Which is fine. I just assume he hit someone back. Or did it to himself, which may shine some light on the above story.
But I am terrible of keeping track of scratches and bruises on my kids. Heck, I can't even keep track of my own. One of my wife's favorite games is to notice a bruise on my body, asked me how I got it, then be amazed when I don't have a clue.
With kids, there are scratches galore. And nicks. And scrapes. And boo-boos. And owies.
And because kids are so very smart, and so very dumb, no amount of safety products will make the owies disappear.