So I have twin 19 month old toddlers now and, being as I have been outnumbered my whole mothering life, I have been the type to really section off my home and baby proof as much as can be done. I also am a very cluttered person and my home reflects that, this is clearly what makes this issue even harder.
This technique has really paid off in that my twins have wide spaces where they can roam free and play with nearly everything without being told no and kept off things. They play independently amazingly well, I think in large part to their rooms being places of yes yes yes, rather that needing supervision and "handling". They are the main family rooms and the center of our home where we ll spend the most of our time.
Now I am pondering how I'm going to integrate them into the rest of the house? When and how in the world? Specially with two! I also need to teach them these really world skills because more and more we are visiting non baby proofed houses, since they are so used to being able to move around freely in their "zone" they find these new places full of frustrating no's that they are not used too.
Currently they have the large living room and dinning room as kid friendly zones. Amazing play areas and wide gated openings to the kitchen and hallway so they can watch and interact with us when we are doing cooking or chores. About the only no's in those areas are the TV (no touching) and the dining room table (no dancing on) We also have our platform bed on the floor and a 2 ft area all around it fenced off, so that they can wake up and play with a handful of quiet toys (or just play dress up in whatever we leave nearby!) That's also our post shower wind down area. Their own bedroom is kid friendly as well except that is where the nice books are kept, that are for parent read story times. Since all we do is read and sleep in their rooms, it has no toys and they are not left awake in there.
Now I would like to start opening up larger areas and really feel overwhelmed. Heck they are getting too big for me to carry both from one area to the next during transition times (when the both wake from nap and such) and walking them thru the non kid areas is challenging.
I could really use to have them able to walk to the carport with me. I'd also like to incorporating a bathroom in their space so they can learn that naturally. This means opening up the entry hallway to them, which means our shoes and other normal entry things, not to mention a hall closet with bi-folding doors, ouch. The bathroom itself has a trashcan and currently the diapering extras stored in open boxes and bins below a open counter. (it's their changing room) or i could go open the guest bathroom which has more room for their potties, but that includes a bathtub and faucet.
I would also like to open up our bedroom a bit more, maybe just close off our closet/bath area and let them move around the rest, but I'm stuck with how to do the bedside tables (currently outside the fence and frustrating anyway. We rely on our phones as alarms and they won't leave them alone, they also won't leave lamps, glasses or anything else alone and can really do some harm. (turning off alarms, breaking eyeglasses) we have drawers in the bedside tables and i am planning on getting some latches, but heck can't really put the alarm clock in the latched drawer and the lamp would be tight fit.
So I keep pondering, how to you ever teach kids to leave somethings alone?? Is this a age thing, a get board with things? I have friends that have their similar age kids apparently moving around houses that are seem barely baby proofed, do they just run around after then all the time? I can't leave anything on a counter they they can reach now, when will I be able to?
Frankly I can't even begin to think how I could let a kid in our office before they turn about 8, but that is for the next round, I'm going to start on the easy things now.
P.S. Please spare me any negative views on gates or kids free areas of homes, these tools have given us freedom, not taken it away. I am a SAHM that has devoted every day of the last 19 months to my kids joy and growing, I just may not have done it exactly like you.