I remember vividly the weekend we spent putting baby gates up around the house. It was when LP started cruising around the furniture, moving so fast that we needed eyes in the back of our heads. We put a baby gate on the nursery so that we could leave her in there playing, outside of her cot, and not worry about her falling down the stairs.
Then Little Man came along, and we moved LP to her big girl room, moving her from her cot into a single bed and adding a new baby gate on her door to stop her wandering around the house at night. That baby gate got taken down when we decorated that hallway and LP had learnt to stay in her room all night.
But the baby gate on the nursery remained and over the last few months Little Man has been waking up and standing at his baby gate patiently until we came to undo the gate for him. But when we were on holiday in the Isle of Wight the children loved running from their rooms and into ours, climbing in bed for cuddles in the morning without waiting for us to get them.
So when we came home we decided to take the gate off Little Man’s room. Since then he has run into our room every morning with a look of glee on his face, dragging an assortment of cuddly toys behind him. But yesterday I realised, that’s it. A house without baby gates and children with the freedom to move around the house as they like.
We have spent nearly four years surrounded by baby gates and it feels like yesterday we were screwing them in place. But it’s just another of those signs that children do grow so fast and although it feels like yesterday that LP was just finding her feet, just starting to cruise around the furniture, in reality it was so long ago and those babies really aren’t babies anymore.