A Baby Room of One’s Own

baby barricade

All hope, all ye babies who enter here?

Our baby has finally (at the age of 9 months) shown signs of crawling. Or at least turning around and scuttling backward, then turning around again. She can also sit on her own (with occasional falls to either side, depending on how quickly she turns her head), and last week she managed to grab onto objects in order to pull herself forward a few inches.

It’s time, we thought. Better get the baby barricade.

When I was in junior high school, I remember my family having a playpen for younger brothers. The playpen was essentially a metal frame wrapped in styrofoam bumpers, with a cloth/plastic mesh for walls. The bottom consisted of two hardened plywood slats with an open space in the middle for a hand to fold the playpen in half. The thing was tiny: I’m not exactly sure how much, but probably not much bigger than the average square poker table. Plus, the baby always got his or her foot stuck in the handhold space in the bottom wooden slats. Imagine the court cases today!

Now we have the all-plastic “baby room” (made in Korea). It fits together quickly and easily, piece by piece, like making an oversized Lego castle for kids. Unlike the playpen, there’s no bottom and no net weave. It comes as a set of four walls, which includes one wall with a gate and latch and another wall fitted with all sorts of wheels, dials, and assorted noise makers.

The enclosed space seemed a little small when I read the online description, so I got two sets, delivered home via Amazon in less than two days. Thanks to the laws of spatial anomalies, two baby rooms each enclosing about two feet squared could be combined to enclose a tatami mat room of about eight feet squared. (Actually, the shape of the room is more like ten by six.)

Actually, the baby room doesn’t take up the entire tatami mat room: there’s still space on the outside of the baby room for two bookcases (mostly filled with Dr. Seuss books and baby clothes) and two clothing racks for Mom and Dad. Still, the size of the enclosure relieved my wife, who was concerned about putting our daughter into a “cage.”

Once in the “cage,” the baby happily played with the various noise makers. And then promptly smacked her forehead into the wall while trying to open the gate. (This is why the baby room is not a substitute of parental supervision!)

About MThomas

Long ago, I gave up my high school dreams of becoming the next Carl Sagan and instead wound up working (in order) at McDonald's, a '60s-themed restaurant, a video rental store, a used bookstore, a computer seller, Kinko's, a Jewish newspaper company, and an HR firm. I eventually became a teacher of intercultural communication in Kyoto, where I vainly attempt to apply quantum mechanics to language teaching, practice martial arts and Zen Buddhism, and always keep one eye on the sky. And yes, I know my profile photo's backward. I just think it looks better this way.
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3 Responses to A Baby Room of One’s Own

  1. sixmats says:

    One day they’re turning, the next they’re walking. Somewhere in between they’ll be talking.


  2. Pingback: The barriers go down…with the past… | Taking Leave

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