Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Sister Teaches Her Brother and It's Not Good

After Atticus learned to climb the stairs last week our lives got busier. We spent pretty much all our time following and retrieving him as he single-mindedly headed up the stairs again and again. Our house is almost 95 years-old and doesn't accommodate the baby gates we bought (As a sidenote, what the heck did people do in the olden days to keep their kids off the stairs? Surely they had gates?).

Finally on Sunday we found a gate that almost worked. It fits the width of our doorway but after much trial, error, and effort it wouldn't fit inside the baseboards so had to be elevated above them. There's an 11-inch gap between the floor and the bottom of the gate. It's not dangerous (the kids can't get stuck) so we decided to try it out.

For the first 36 hours it worked beautifully. Atticus had a field day yesterday dropping his toys between the slats of the gate and we didn't have to constantly chase him up the stairs. This afternoon, however, Norah accidentally pushed herself underneath the gate to the other side. She's still pushing around backwards with no control of her destination and was very unhappy to find she was no longer in the living room.

Atticus watched this scene unfold and a smile spread across his face. Within about 3 seconds he was under the gate and up the stairs. Sigh. I guess we're back to the drawing board.


Ed said...

Guess it's I see you do it, so I can do it also...maybe you can try just putting a piece of plywood across the stairway/doorway. We had one at the bottom of our stairs by the family room that slide into a holder that was to keep our first dog (Shadow) from going upstairs during the day. It was made by Aunt Donna's boss for us. It worked fine for a while until the dog discovered it could chew a hole in the side of it.
Sounds like you are going to have a very busy summer with them...

faeryguinevere said...

We have a 92 year old house, and the same problem. We put a 2x4 in between the wall and the gate, effectively extending the wall another 2 inches to give it a small enough opening to use the gate. We just used 3 big screws to screw in the 2x4, and then attached the gate to the 2x4 on one side, and into the wall (actually the trim of the door) on the other side. Works like a charm.
(from guinevere on ADL)