By Lee Scott
Recently I discovered that my house is very unfriendly. This came to light when my husband and I heard that our youngest grandchild was coming to visit.
Most of the grandchildren are between the ages of 4½ and 10 years old, so we had forgotten about the whole “unfriendly” house issue.
My husband walked into the living room and spotted me on my hands and knees crawling around the floor.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m getting ready for Little ‘T,’ ” I said, “but I also found a couple of the dog’s toys stuffed under the couch.”
I reminded him that our house was a hazard to little kids. There are lamp cords hanging down to electric plugs, not to mention the electric outlets themselves.
Then there are the pointed edges on the coffee table and the silk flowers in the beautiful vase that might be a temptation.
Everywhere I looked there were potential problems, including all the cabinets in the dining room, kitchen, family room and the bathrooms with tempting doors. Our cleaning products had all migrated to the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink.
Having been out of the child protection mode for a long time, I had forgotten about little ones.
As I wandered around the house putting those plastic plugs into the electric outlets, my spouse suggested we put the kids up in a nearby motel. Although that might have been easier, I said no. My real objective was so the parents could sit around with us for hours and talk without having to jump up every two seconds to rescue their son.
When they arrived, sure enough, Little “T” headed for the fireplace (which was unlit) but still had some ashes from the last fire. Then there was the liquor cabinet which I had totally forgotten about and the adjacent wine cooler. Little “T” discovered how much fun it was to open and close the door.
It was then his grandfather said in his very authoritative voice “No! Do not touch that door again.”
And that was that. My unfriendly house became very safe. It did not take long before grandfather and grandson were communicating on their own level. Little “T” would look over to touch something and he got a nod or a shake of the head. It worked out beautifully until the morning, when I looked up at the railing outside of his bedroom and saw him ready to throw a toy below.
That is when he learned, that even grandmothers can say “No!”
He left our home unharmed and my unfriendly house returned to normal, until the next time a little one shows up.