Over the holidays we stayed with my husband’s parents.  For Christopher it was a new adventure; two more dogs to chase after, a more sturdy tv to bang on, new hallways to explore, and a gigantic parrot living in a parrot condo in the kitchen.  As first-time parents, Mark and I didn’t even think to suggest babyproofing anything.

The cool thing about staying with family, especially one with two brothers, is that there is always some one that wants to watch your child while you take a shower or pretty much anything else you want to do.  THAT was awesome.  The not so cool thing…

It’s not your house.  You don’t know what cool adult toy is going to attract your child, or which electrical outlet he is going to go for next.  At your own home, you have had months of watching and analyzing every move he makes so you know where to strategically place the sofa to cover the fun curtains or where to put a gate so he doesn’t magically disappear into the kitchen.

We’re lucky because Mark’s parents have a pretty good set up, a huge living room where Christopher could roam around and play.  The only downside…two exits.  One exit went down a hallway where all the doors were close, not a big deal.  The other led to the dreaded kitchen.

Those of you that know me, know that I have a severe dislike of getting my hands dirty with anything food related.  UGH, I can’t even think about it without getting grossed out.  I NEVER let Christopher play in my kitchen mainly because it grosses me out to think of anything getting on his hands.  Not because I’m worried about him putting it in his mouth or getting germs, just because I think having food on your hands is gross.  So, having an open entrance to the kitchen was just killing me the whole time because you know that if he gets a chance to escape that’s exactly where Christopher will want to go.

So, the first week went by without any problems.  There was a lot of, “Christopher, stay in this room. No, Christopher.  No, sir.  Stay here please.”  But, other than that he didn’t pull the Christmas tree down or get electrocuted from sticking his fingers in an outlet.  It was pretty good.

Until week 2.  We had three days left of the trip and I was starting to think we were going to make it.

Remember the giant parrot in the giant parrot condo in the kitchen?  Now, birds apparently are cold-blooded animals and domesticated giant parrots can’t live outside during the winter because they’ll freeze.  So, Lucy the giant parrot lives inside, in the kitchen, during the winter.  Up until this point, Lucy was just a giant parrot making a lot of really loud noise.

Then came the Bird Warrior.

Remember the aforementioned exit to the kitchen?  Well, I was in the bedroom and Mark was in the bathroom and I’m not really sure where everyone else was but, the Bird Warrior escaped into the kitchen and what I think happened was that he tried to pull up on the giant parrot’s giant parrot condo and the giant parrot really didn’t like that so, she bit him.

What I experienced of this incident?  Loud yelling and screaming and thinking that he pulled the tv down on himself.  When I came out the poor Bird Warrior was sitting on the sink with Grandma and Uncle Mike screaming and bleeding.  Obviously, the giant parrot won round 1.

We decided to take the Bird Warrior to the ER to get checked out and the bites, yup there were 4, were not as bad as they looked.  And, since birds are cold-blooded, there was no chance of nasty rabies or anything like that.  At least, that’s what Animal Control told us.  When someone comes in with an animal bite the hospital has to call Animal Control.  It was all very Cops-esque.

Bird Warrior was bandaged up and we were out of the hospital within 2 hours.  We had to learn how to rebandage him and keep the wounds covered until they healed and also had to give him antibiotics.  But, it’s been a little over a week and he seems to be doing fine.  I think this little incident has sealed his left-handedness though since, the battle scars are on his right hand.

The lesson Mark and I learned, bring a baby gate with you where ever you go.  Not just one of those stick-them-between-the-doorway gates either.  One of those baby corrals.  After the ER we went and got one and the next three days were awesome.  Not only that, but we didn’t have to keep saying NO to Christopher over and over again.  Plus the corral doubles as a great wrestling ring for your brothers-in-law!

We brought the corral home with us and have put it up in our living room.  You can use it as one long gate, which is what we’re doing with it.  It gives Christopher his own play area in the living room where he can’t reach the tv or anything else that he can pull down on himself.  It also gives him enough space that he can be independent even though I’m sitting in the play area with him.

As for the giant parrot, I think she may still be in the garage.