Posted by: Tricia | Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Adventures in Babyproofing

Whew, I finally got that baby gate installed at the bottom of the stairs this morning. And what an unbelievable ordeal that was! I can’t remember if I mentioned this earlier, and I just don’t feel like going back right now to check, but I ended up not installing the one I bought months and months ago. It was one that mounts directly into the wall with screws, and as I was reading the instructions, I discovered that the gate wouldn’t fit properly if the bottom mounts were to go into a baseboard. And the bottom edges of each stair is nothing but baseboard. Great.

So Sunday afternoon, I shlepped all the way over to the baby supply store and bought a pressure-mounted gate (along with some serious IB-spoilage). Without having measured the width of the staircase beforehand. So I get the gate home, and realize there are gaps each the size of the Grand Canyon on either side of the gate when I stand it up at the bottom of the stairs. I get online to see if they make an extension for this particular model of gate, and they do.

Skip to Monday. The boys and I head all the way back over to the same store and pick up one of those extensions. For the paltry amount of $14.99. With the extension, the gate should just be wide enough to fit properly.

WRONG! It’s still not wide enough. The RK and I had decided to go out to eat to celebrate the IB’s birthday, so back to the baby store we went before dinner. I picked up yet another gate extension, making the whole gate mechanism set me back $80 plus tax. Boy, do I feel like a shmuck. The gate is up, fully functional, though…

…which I discovered another problem with having this gate up at the bottom of the stairs. My good-for-nothing, lazy, annoying cats. Their litter box is upstairs in the laundry room. And they don’t jump that high. They won’t jump over this gate. They won’t even try. They’ll sit at the bottom of the stairs, whichever undesirable side of the gate they’re on, and moan and wail until I come open it for them. So not only did I shell out enough money for this gallderned gate that would pay for more than five months’ worth of the live feed of Big Brother 8, I now must leave it open when the IB’s not in free range mode for those pesky felines. (Don’t you love my sense of priority? And yes, I realize that a season of Big Brother does not even last five months.)

Now I must tell you about dinner last night. We had decided to go eat a big ol’ steak at Outback. As we exit the freeway, we notice that all the traffic lights are out. So we pull into the shopping center where the restaurant is, and sure enough, the whole strip is black. Even the other plethora of stores across the street from this shopping center were in the dark. So the restaurant was closed, needless to say. I search for ‘steakhouses’ on the handy-dandy GPS, and nothing nearby jumps out at us as appealing. So I punch up the ‘all food’ heading, and a really cool bbq/sports bar-oriented restaurant known as Damon’s comes up. And it’s far enough way that I can be reasonably certain they have not fallen victim to this blackout, but still only about a 5-10 minute drive from our current location. So off we go…

And the RK instantly fell in love with this place once we were led to our table and he discovered that we had our own little speaker for the TV which could be tuned to any one of the four channels airing on the ginormous projection screens taking up an entire wall of the dining room. I’ve never seen this kid so excited! And now to place the cherry on top of this sundae of dining nirvana — the waiter told him that Wednesdays are kids’ night. Kids’ meals are only 99¢, and instead of ESPN and FSN on the TV’s, it’s Cartoon Network and Nick. I thought he was gonna go into fits and convulsions of excitedness. It was really quite amusing. He’s definitely circling a Wednesday sometime very, extremely soon on the calendar to take advantage of this. And actually, I’m looking forward to taking him. It should be fun, given that I love cartoons, too. Except Fairly Oddparents. That show annoys the heck outta me. Now some good ol’ Looney Toons on Boomerang would be just the ticket for me.

We both ordered steak (and I love any restaurant that has steak on the kids’ menu), and savored every bite. Even the IB wolfed down the teeny tiny pieces of steak I prepared for him. He cried and fussed pretty much the rest of the time before and after we ate, but that part he definitely enjoyed. Maybe it was because by this time it was getting late (way after 8:00), but I’ve decided to blame it on the guy sitting on the upper level just above us smoking a big ol’ nasty stinky cigar. There was another family sitting not too far from us that also didn’t seem too pleased. P-U.

So that was what transpired on the IB’s birthday. It wasn’t as exciting as what his dad and his other family did for him…they all went to Chuck E. Cheese’s, had balloons, hats, the whole bit. The IX sent me the pictures. So I’m feeling pretty lame about that. And hurt. And disgusted. I didn’t even take a single picture yesterday. *sigh*

All right, this post is about to take me an hour to create. So that’s enough for now.



  1. an hour? well, it’s important to write it down, so you can remember it all later

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