Baby-Proofing Tips For Gamers

Meet Seamus. Seamus wants to eat my delicious PlayStation 3 while strangling himself with the network cables coming out of my internet router. But Seamus has been thwarted by the power of the reverse baby gate.

Every day, people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on items meant to protect their tiny sex-by-products from the sinister everyday household items that would do them harm. Do any of them stop and think about the electronics?

I spent a couple thousand dollars on the items hiding behind that colourful baby gate. My twin sons, on the other hand, were technically free. Sure, there were hospital bills and such, but they would have shown up anyway. It’s the nature of reverse Thunderdome (best pet name ever): One man enters, two men leave.

Seamus has been fascinated by the blinking lights of the entertainment centre since he came home nine months ago. Whereas his brother Archer is content in sitting in the middle of the floor trying to get his hands inside his diaper, Seamus is an infant technophile. It’s like I’ve been split in half and reconstituted in baby form.

Recently Seamus has started climbing and crawling and the first place he climbs and crawls is right over to the entertainment centre, where he stuffs the PlayStation 3 USB cable in his mouth, ejects discs and occasionally resets the entire system. He’s also been known to kill my internet connection by attempting to eat the router. He never touches the Wii. No one in the house ever touches the Wii. Well, except Archer, but that’s different.

So I spent $US80 at Babies ‘R’ Us (a store that doesn’t take in used babies for credit, I’ve found) on a colourful plastic baby enclosure that takes up my entire living room and seems to have been specifically designed to make children cry for hours on end. The crying hurts me. Who am I to suppress the curious, exploratory nature of the more mobile of my children? His father, you say? Tell it to the judge in my breaking heart.

So I decided to let them roam relatively free, but what to do about my precious, precious electronics? Should I buy a locking entertainment center? Should I put them all on top of the precariously teetering bookshelf I keep around to foster a sense of dramatic baby tension? Should I remove those crystal glasses and poisonous chemicals from the shelves next to the television set before worrying about the state of my game consoles?

Of course not.

Rather than spend more money or worry about those other potentially deadly objects, I just turned the gate around, protecting my electronic babies behind its colourful walls. If only they made rainbow barbed wire.

Now Seamus stands with his face pressed against the plastic, the blinking and glowing lights taunting him. Sometimes he cries for minutes at a time. Sometimes I almost feel bad. Almost.

Now all I need is a tiny baby gate to keep Archer from touching himself and the first chapter of the tell-all book they’ll release about me 40 years from now writes itself. Chapter One: Our Father, the Hypocrite.

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