Our house is 100 years old, and had been owned by one family until we bought it. It’s not the most kid-friendly house. The living room has a five foot opening into the foyer, and pocket doors into the dining room (Only one door can be opened and closed right now because of the carpet). Both very beautiful, solid oak.

Very pretty, not very baby proof.

When we started looking for baby gates, we wanted something that wouldn’t damage the wood. Well, we thought we found the perfect solution. Two three panel, free standing, sliding gates. They seemed sturdy, and strong enough that Wesley wouldn’t be able to move them; at least not for awhile. Ha! The kid is a natural Houdini. And the gates; not as resilient as we hoped. It didn’t take long before the constant opening and closing, plus the baby’s constant shaking, caused the gates to start to fall apart. And he quickly realized he was strong enough to push them away from the opening and escape from the living room.

So we’ve had to improvise.

If it's heavy, it's blocking the gates.

I’m pretty sure it’s only a matter of time until he figures something out; like the fact that he’s about big enough to climb up and over.

We’ve ordered something different; one of those portable enclosures. Hopefully that will work until he’s old enough that we don’t have to worry about it anymore.

As annoying as this whole ordeal has been; I do love watching him as he tries to figure out how to get out of the living room. He gets so angry when he can’t figure it out. But when he does figure it out; he barks out a triumphant laugh, looks around to make sure everyone sees him, and takes off.

As difficult as it is to get anything done with our current set up, the constant climbing over furniture to get from room to room and never being entirely sure he’s where he’s supposed to be, I think he’s learning some good lessons. He wants to be free, to explore every inch of the house and discover new things. As angry as he gets when he can’t get out; he never stops trying. I hope he never loses his desire to explore or his determination; and I hope I remember to never do anything to stifle them.

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