Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The single life

What do you do when you go to a non-parent friend's house with your toddler/baby? I tried to make a subtle comment about how he gets into everything when I talked to my friend before we went to her place. But this friend (lets call her Colleen) has lots of knick-knacks, photo frames, and other things all within reach of my son. Yikes! Thank goodness I had the foresight to put the pack-n-play in the back of my car. I went to retrieve it from the car within the first 5 minutes. Luckily we don't use it often, so Zachariah thought it was something fun. I had brought along some of the new toys he'd gotten for Easter and hadn't played with yet, so they were fun and exciting. This bought me a little time to sit and talk to my friend with my son happily playing beside us. We got him out to walk around the house a few times. Then I put him back in the pack-n-play and gave him a snack. Finally after being there for over 2 hours, I had to pack things up, because he needed to get home for a nap.

But, how do you take your children anywhere that they can get into things like that? I'm just looking for advice for next time this happens. My son is very active, and he'd much rather explore the house than play with toys. That's the way he is at home too.

8 comments:

Mommy Brain said...

I have this problem when I go to my _parents_ house. If you don't mind spending the $65 (at Babies R Us or possibly cheaper on craigslist.org or eBay), I highly recommend the Superyard XT. It has six panels that unfold to block off an area of the floor and keep baby contained. Unlike the pack n play, it's big enough that you can climb in there too. It folds flat but does take up more space than the pack n play. It's permanently in the back of my van these days so that we can visit non-child proof places.

The other strategies I use include meeting up with non-parents at places like the mall (stroller friendly) or parks. Or I invite them to my house. And, someday the weather will get warmer and you can just sit outside.

Kelli in the Mirror said...

We don't go to people's houses anymore if they aren't family and don't have kids. I find it's far easier to invite them to my house and just explain that we'd love to visit again when my kid is old enough to not tear up their stuff.

Swistle said...

It's not their fault, but childless people are totally clueless about how much children can get into and how much damage they can do. I always invite childless people over to my house, because it's the only way to control the environment. Your pack-n-play idea is a great alternative if you have to go to someone else's house.

Shauna said...

Same as Swistle, if I don't think a childless friend will be able to understand my kids, I invite them to my place.

Devan said...

I agree with Swistle too. I was completely clueless before I had kids, and that wasn't *that* long ago, so I still remember. lol
If it's somewhere I can't avoid, I tell them up front that if they don't want it broken, it should probably be put up. The pack and play never worked well for us, but it would have a been a great alternative if it had.

Mommy Daisy said...

Maybe I took for advantage that before we had kids, I had LOTS of experience with kids. My friend didn't seem concerned that he was exploring, but she was surprised by the things he found interesting (which was basically everything within reach).

Also, I did invite her to my house (I know that would have been much easier). She didn't have a car available then. I did e-mail her and tell her we had fun. I also mentioned that next time we'd love to have her here, because we could visit longer since I could put Zachariah down for a nap.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

Ashley said...

Well you inspired me to throw the pack-n-play in the car! I have no clue why I hadn't thought of that. Sometimes you can't help being in a situation where there are knick-knacks (like my mom's house) and the pack-n-play is perfect. As for a toddler the only thing that works for me is a shock collar.
You know I'm kidding, right?ht

Mommy Daisy said...

Ashley - Glad I could help you out. You never know when it might help. ;)