The Great Gate Experiment

To prepare for the boy’s Epic Birthday Weekend® last month we had to find a place to store all of the crap that usually litters our garage. Sacks of grass seed, tools, and other miscellaneous junk do little to evoke an elegant party atmosphere. Our solution was to drape tan sheets from the ceiling in the back of the garage and put all of the unsavory items behind it.  As sheets don’t provide much deterrence to little hands, we needed something solid to put behind them to keep curious kiddos (like the boys) out. We decided to take the four-piece gate that was in front of our entertainment center and put it out in the garage. Originally it was just for the two parties, but after it was all over we decided to try an experiment.

A gate has been in front of our entertainment center since before the boys turned one. It was there to protect our electronics from little hands and to allow us to step out of the room for a moment without worrying that the boys would eat their Desitin or reformat our DVR. It also created a physical boundary to keep Zachary from getting up close and personal with Raffi or Calliou by inspecting the pixels on the TV. Removing opened a hole that we wanted to fill with trust in the boys’ listening skills.

It’s been about six weeks and I’m happy to report that it is working well. As soon as Adam came down from his nap and noticed it gone we explained the “no touch” rules to him. He subsequently scolded Zachary for breaking the rule. Since then we have only had a few of incidents where the boys turn on the subwoofer for the sound bar or turn on the PS3. Otherwise they have left it alone. We were very excited about it because it brought just a little bit of adult into the living room. Over time it has just given us more space to store toys, but, well, at least we’ve established some of that trust that we sought. We still have enough gates to keep the boys imprisoned safely located in the living room and I don’t think those will go away any time soon. The next one would most likely be the one to the hallway – the kitchen and stairs are still too dangerous.

So in summary, one gate is gone, our experiment worked, and maybe, just maybe, the boys will be a little less interested in entertainment centers now.

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