My beautiful wife, Star, asked me the other day where all of the small spoons were.

“Are there some in the dishwasher, because the drawer is empty?”

“Yeah there’s like two here.” I replied.

“That’s it?” she asked.

My thoughts played like jump-cuts in a 15 second TV commercial. I saw my 3 year-old twins stuffing spoons in between couch cushions, digging in the backyard with them, inserting them into the DVD player…

Well, my thoughts were on the right track. The very next day Thing #1, Frank, walks in the kitchen, opens the trash can and throws his yogurt cup away with the spoon still in it.

“FRANK!!!!”

“The spoon doesn’t go in the trash buddy. It goes in the sink. Have you been throwing your silverware out?”

[blank stare of guilt]

Now I know where all the spoons are. County Landfill.

As a dad, my knee-jerk reaction was a vision of the money wasted, how many other things were thrown away “by accident”, and if I could prevent the future disposal of the spoons Ikea no longer carries.

It got me thinking of how many things I need to kid-proof in the house. Yeah, we baby-proofed (child-proofing)—the usual, cabinet locks and latches, electrical outlet plugs, relocating breakables, all that stuff.

But what about kid-proofing? There are sooo many things that start happening once they know better than to drink the pretty blue drain cleaner under the sink.

So here’s a couple of kid-proofed items:

The Trash

Well this was easy, I just upgraded the baby-proofing latch from the kind you press down on, to the kind you need a magnet to open. The twins got wise to the press latch. And my youngest is infatuated with the cabinets now, and most likely willing to eat trash.

A magnetic latch to childproof your cabinets

The magnet-activated cabinet latch.

No more disappearing spoons.

Hide the magnet.

The magnet to open the childproofing cabinet latches.

Hide this sucker.

The Remote Control

I can’t think of any one item that is the cause of so much frustration in a household. Finding the remote. The buttons are chewed/broken. The batteries are dead, or just plain missing.

The latter has been my battle for at least 5 years.

#$%!* batteries. You know, once you lose the cover, it’s just a nightmare you keep reliving, over and over. Until you toss it and spend the $6 for a new universal remote.

I have a solution for preventing the batteries from going AWOL.

You need:

  • #2 wood screw ¼” long, flat or oval head
  • 1/16” drill bit
  • Countersink (like this)
  • Some type of drill

Examine the battery cover on your remote. Determine some way to put a screw in it, preventing little fingers from sliding it open, taking your precious batteries and dropping them into the abyss—otherwise known as your living room couch.

First I checked to see what I’d be drilling into. You don’t want to put that bit right through the circuit board. I had plenty of clearance for drilling and subsequently the screw I’d be threading into the battery cover.

Fix your TV remote.

Check under the area you are drilling so you don't permanently disable the remote with a drill bit.

So I drilled.

Drilling a hole for a screw.

Hold drilled. No damage.

Then I used my countersink to allow the screw head to sit flush with the surface (for the most part).

Countersink the hole for the screw.

Countersink the hole for the screw.

Put cover back on and insert screw.

Finished remote control

Done.

No more missing batteries.

Aside from locking the remote in my safe, I still don’t have a good solution from it going missing altogether.

More Kid-proofing

I actually have quite a few more. And since my writing style is long-winded, I’ll turn this post into a short series.

But, I’d like to know any creative solutions you have to keeping your sanity and see some of the items you’ve kid-proofed…

Thanks for coming.

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