Al just remarked how funny it was that our first baby gate is likely to be our last. He's right: Since he took the gate off the doorway to the Beaner's bedroom (we've been leaving it open for a couple months now at least) this morning, the gates around the staircase in the living room and entrance hall were dismantled months ago, and I remember putting the basement playroom gate out for freecycling when it was snowing, we're now down to the single gate at the top of the long, third-floor staircase. That gate is essentially the only door to my office, which is in the open space outside the Beaner's bedroom.

We bought this one remaining gate not for the Beaner, but for his cousin, who was two when he first visited us and stayed up here in the guest bedroom (where we're sleeping during the bathroom remodel, which is oh-so-close to being done, and yet drags on; more on that later). The Beaner hadn't even been born yet. It's mostly stayed open in the three years since Al installed it, but we started closing it as a precaution when we left the gate to the Beaner's bedroom open. We didn't want him to get up in the middle of the night and stumble down the stairs. (Fat chance of that happening; I think he's only ever opened the door to his room and let himself out two or three times at most, and those times were all in the light of morning.)

I also started closing it during the day after I injured my ankle and saved a bit of energy by moving around the upstairs in my office chair; I didn't want to miscalculate my trajectory and accidentally launch myself down the stairs. <shudder>

I imagine that gate's got quite a future ahead of it still, as we move back down to the master bedroom, and the Beaner's still in danger of pitching down the stairs in the dark. And it is, as I mentioned, somewhat useful as an office door—at least in that it blocks the Beaner's and the nanny's access to me. Honestly, I don't want the former upstairs when I'm working or the latter up here at all.

Anyway, it might seem like a mundate observation, that the first baby gate in will be the last out, but I wanted to record it here because it marks a connection to the early days of parenthood, and also because I haven't been blogging quite as much about parenthood in general or the Beaner in particular as I once did. It's that he's got a personality now/he deserves some privacy now thing, mostly... or maybe exactly.

When I try to think of what else it could be, it all ends up coming down to the fact that our parenting experience is starting to feel mostly unique to this kid, rather than being universal to all parents of newborns and infants, as it once did. I want to share some of that uniqueness, but I also want to treasure it, to save it for us and those closest to us.

I do wonder what it will be like when the Beaner starts school (in almost exactly 1 month), and I have new experiences of his that I'll want to chronicle. Will I do that here on the blog, or will I keep my musings private? I'm not sure yet. I *am* sure that I don't want to embarrass him (or at least, to the extent that I can prevent that; I am a MOM, after all, and therefore prone to embarrassing my kid at every turn, whether I intend to or not) or make getting along at school any more difficult than it otherwise would be. I also don't want to endanger him or his classmates in any way (and you never really know if you're doing that when you blog about your kids). I'm also sure that school will utterly shake up our lives *again*—I'm not sure I'm quite prepared to be ruled by the school calendar, school hours, and school rules just yet—and that I'll have *something* to say about that here.

Anyway, sorry to turn this post into a random ramble about parentblogging. I really did intend to just write a one-paragraph post about the gate, and I'm not exactly sure where it went off the rails. I don't feel like editing or deleting just now, though, so out it goes into the world. For those of you interested in the bathroom remodel, which I abandoned chronicling long, long ago, I'll try to post about that tomorrow.

Posted by Lori in parenthood at 10:32 PM on July 28, 2007


A colleague recently told me she had trouble getting rid of her kids' things, and still had the crib in her basement. Her daughter is 14. The only thing I could think of was NOT ME! I'm already thinking of the stuff I can toss/give away as soon as our not-yet-born daughter no longer needs them. And the maternity clothes. Adios!

Best wishes in the big Beaner stuff coming soon. I always enjoy hearing about him, so I hope you'll share as much as you find appropriate.

Posted by: juliloquy [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2007 2:59 PM

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