January 15, 2006

A Warning

One of the many, many, many warnings I received from my mother as a child was never, ever to use the drawers of my dressers as steps. She told me something along the lines of, "It will fall down, squish you and you'll die."

When The Boy was a wee lad, I made my husband fasten all sorts of things to the walls. You can even buy baby-proofing stuff just for this, although we used wire, screws set into the studs and the backs of the furniture and some washers, I think. When we moved into our house here, I meant to have my husband do the same stuff again

We were busy moving in and doing the big, necessary stuff and having another baby and all. And besides, The Boy wasn't a climber and I'd told him not to climb the furniture lest he die. So we never got around to it. And honestly most of the furniture isn't about to tip over on anyone.

The Middle Girl is a climber. I've told her never to climb the furniture and although she scales the cabinets, stands on the top of the kitchen table and could probably hang from the chandelier, she hasn't ever climbed a bookcase or a dresser.

When we recently moved a bookcase/drawer thingie from one side of our dining room to the other and started using the drawers for the kids shoes, I worried and suggested that we really needed to fasten it to the wall. Especially, because the floor isn't exactly level there and the thing wobbles a bit. It's not on the verge of falling over, but its big and solid walnut and if it went, it would fall hard.

And, of course, life intervened and my husband didn't think it would fall or that the kids would do anything stupid. (Ed. note -- Ha! As if!) Nobody climbed it, but this evening, The Middle Girl sat down on the bottom drawer to remove her shoes. It wiggled, so she rocked. I was across the room and saw it going. My husband and both daughters were in its path. We both caught for the shelf, everything came sliding off. A gorgeous art tile we got for a wedding present and potted plant we've had almost as long smashed on the floor. Remarkably, the only injury was the corner of the shelf clipping my husband's head. Nothing hit either girl. We were incredibly lucky. If I hadn't been watching. If I hadn't yelled. If we hand't caught it or if things hadn't landed where they did, we'd be in the hospital right now.

That shelf was fastened to the wall -- into two studs -- immediately.

This wasn't funny. It was a scary reality check -- a reminder that kids do stupid stuff and baby-proofing some things is totally necessary.

Give all your babies a hug tonight and fasten down the wobbly furniture.


I will never forget many years ago while at a storytime at the library, a little girl was brought in.
She had a body cast. She was probably 2 years old.
Her mom said that she had climbed the entertainment center and it fell on her, breaking almost every bone in her body.
Luckily her head and neck were above the wood so they weren't crushed.

I ALWAYS secure the furniture that may topple because of that little girl.

Posted by: Mary at January 16, 2006 10:04 AM

How scary! I need to get a few things fastened. I'll put up several reminder notes and get to it this time!

Posted by: beth at January 16, 2006 11:14 AM

Thank God for adrenaline and mother's instincts! I'm glad everyone's ok!!

Posted by: Lenise at January 16, 2006 04:56 PM