Dear Dash,

Dear Dash,

Listen, Buddy, we need to talk.  The other day you figured out that if you pushed a chair up to the kitchen counter you could access a whole new world of exciting things.  This morning you got up, pushed the chair to the sink and spent an entire 2 hours there, playing with dishes and soap bubbles.

keeping toddlers safe

Look, Dash, I’m glad you’re having fun.  But Mommy really needs you to grow up.

I’m sorry, I’m saying this all wrong.  Let’s back up a little.  Do you remember when you were 14 months old?   That was when you learned to open the “toddler proof” cabinet locks.  At first I thought they were left open?  Defective?  Nope.  You could actually open them.  So I found high up shelves to put cleaning products on.  What I couldn’t fit I moved to the garage.  I put all the sharp things and breakable things up in high cabinets.  Well, most of the breakable things.  The ones that stayed put are now broken.  No big deal, Dash, I can do without the ceramic bowls.

The same week, you started climbing up on the kitchen table.  There was only one thing on the table, a glass pitcher.  It was shattered on the floor within hours.  That’s okay, Dash, I should have thought to move it.


Remember this little guy?

Around the same time, you learned to dismantle the play pen, which was supposed to keep you safe while I cooked dinner.  So much for that.  Down to the basement it went.

Pretty soon you were climbing the barstools onto the counter.  I already knew those stools were trouble.  Finn has a scar on his nose from knocking one of them over on himself when he was tiny.  We could do without the extra seating.  Barstools went down to the basement.

One day you pulled a little table over onto yourself.  You were so short, it actually fell right over top of you, landing with you standing between the legs.  Thankfully you weren’t hurt.  I immediately put that table in the basement and I had Daddy double check that all the other pieces of furniture in the house were tethered to the walls.

So now we’ve gotten you to almost 21 months old.  You can open and unscrew bottles as fast as an adult. You’re obsessed with electrical outlets.  You love to turn on the water faucets.  I’m trying to teach you which is “HOT” and never to touch it, but I always have my eyes on you in the bathroom.  You always have to lean over things and reach so far that you go toppling in head first.  You’re always knocking your head into tables and I’m always trying to put my hands out to cushion your little noggin when I see you’re too close to going BUMP.  You put everything in your mouth and jump at a chance to get your brothers’ little Legos.  I’m always scanning the house to make sure they didn’t leave anything choke-able within your grasp.  You climb everything that will stay upright and plenty of things that won’t.  You scamper up the boys’ bunk bed ladder and start jumping and squealing and hitting your head on the ceiling, all while trying to scoot just out of my grasp.  I try and let you climb and jump as much as possible while always keeping my arms out to catch you if you get to close to the edge.

But now, NOW you are climbing the chairs up to the counter.  The kitchen counter with all the hot things and sharp things.  The stove, toaster, coffee maker, water, knives, glass, pottery, garbage disposal…  AAAGHHHH!!!!

I’d really like to put all the chairs in the basement until you are three.  I could live without them, but I don’t know how your Dad and brothers would feel about eating standing up.  So for now, I’m keeping the knives out of the sink and I’ve barricaded the knife block so you can’t get to it.  And I’ve dragged you away from the hot toaster and stove (kicking and screaming, I might add) multiple times already.  And I’ll never let you be in the kitchen by yourself.

But SERIOUSLY DASH.  You’re wearing me out.  I need you to grow up.

It’s not that I want to rush you through your toddlerhood.  I love your snuggly toddler-ness.  I love your little stinky toes.  I love your curly baby hair.  I love the way you ask for a smoothie and call it a “mini”.  I know soon you’re going to be all grown up and I don’t really want you to be all grown up just yet.  But I get so scared sometimes that I can’t keep you safe.  So I stand in the kitchen for two hours helping you play at the sink, making sure you don’t get hurt and hoping you get sick of it soon.  And then I start crying because your new carseat won’t fit rear facing in the van and I really want you to be rear facing because it’s safest and I just don’t know what to do to make sure this incredible little person in my care grows up and never, ever gets hurt.

You’re just so tiny.  And so crazy.  And I’m so tired.  Know what I mean?

So Dash, I’m sorry.  You don’t have to grow up just yet.  But I’ll be glad when you’re a bit bigger and you have a little more sense to stay out of trouble.  Until then, and after then too, I’m here for you Buddy.


Love, Love, Love Always,



  1. I swear we have the same toddler!….we chose to baby gate ( the big metal locking kind) our kitchen …it seemed the only option that might keep us sane …he can now unlock and climb the gate but it tends to slow him down at least! You have my sympathy you REALLY do. 😀

    • I thought you might relate! They would get along good, that’s for sure. That cracks me up that he can unlock the gate now! Oh my goodness!!! Our kitchen is kind of a wide open area so we cannot gate it, unfortunately. This morning he pulled the chair over on his face and now he has a black eye. :'(

  2. Oh I so remember these days. I too had a Dash… well all three were Dash-like, but only one was a true Dash. Too bad your house doesn’t have the fireplace in-between the kitchen and great room like ours. I had 2 baby gates there which would slow him down a bit. Not stop him, since he would try to scale them, but slow him down at least.
    Good Luck!

    • Thanks Karen! Yes, I SO wish I could block off the kitchen! I think I was spoiled with my other two, they were not nearly so wild. Dash babies have a little something extra! 🙂

  3. You should be a toddler product tester. It sounds as if he would really put them through their paces.

    • Good idea, Aimee! Danny keeps gets upset because Dash is forever destroying stuff (on my watch, of course.) Someone needs to send us some free stuff to destroy. 😉

  4. Sherrrill says:

    Just so you know, in case you didn’t: you are doing a great job. For all three of them, and Danny too. You’re a wonderful wife and mother. Imagine what you could accomplish given adequate sleep!

    • Thank you!!! 🙂 I always want to keep doing better, but sometimes just keeping everyone alive wears me out. 😉

Speak Your Mind