Friday, April 19, 2013


We live in a small townhouse with three stories.  Our main floor has the living room and kitchen, upstairs are two bedrooms and a bathroom, and the basement is down a flight of stairs in the corner of our kitchen.  Now that Miss F is mostly mobile, my house is full of barricades.  It's like my little house is slowly getting smaller.

When she learned to crawl, we had to put up our first barricade at the top of the stairs that lead to the basement.  We couldn't put up a baby gate because the cats' litter box is downstairs.  So we improvised.

We always kept a chair in the corner under the white recycling bucket.  The cat food is in the scoop away bucket, so we just pushed our step stool up and wedged it in front of the two.  The cats can go over or under it, but (for now) Miss F can't get past it.

We also liked to be able to work upstairs without locking Miss F in one room.  So we bought an extra tall wooden baby gate, but found that it didn't fit with our chair rail.  We'd have to cut pieces of the chair rail out.  So we bought a plastic one instead:
This setup worked for a good three months or so.  But lately, we've had another problem:

These pictures are only on the bottom four steps or so.  She started out only on the bottom, but she wasn't very adventurous, so I let her do it.  Then, one day, she sounded really echo-ey.  I went out to see what she was doing, and she was two steps from the top.  Something had to be done.  Because we have this weird diagonal cut out on our stairs (you can see a little in the top picture), we can't really put a gate across the stairs.  So we improvised again.

Our first attempt involved a chair and the box with our original gate in it.

Side note:  I was going to clean out the chair before I took a picture, but I figured I might as well show our real lives.  Those are all the chemicals and products we pulled out of our cabinets.  Miss F doesn't mess with them, but to be sure, we turned the chair around the other way soon after this picture.

It was a big pain trying to move this heavy, cumbersome chair when I had to get upstairs.  And I have to go upstairs fairly regularly.  So I pulled that gate out to see if it would stretch.  It didn't, but I managed to make this instead:

It's not perfect, but it's a lot easier than the chair was.  And it fits the motto that I'm trying to live by:  use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.  I had been feeling guilty about having the wooden gate without being able to use it, so this seems to make up for it.

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