Anyone who has had children knows there’s this phase they have when they’re two to five years old. When they’re big enough and savvy enough to get into stuff, but still don’t have the proper judgment to know when they shouldn’t touch said stuff. So they get into things, like your make up, or matches. You deal with the inconvenience of keeping your knives up high and mourn that bottle of perfume someone just had to spray all of (and it’s always an almost full bottle of perfume. Always.) But eventually, they grow out of this phase and you can have a few nice things again.
Life with Maura means having had to deal this phase since she about three. She’s eleven. It’s a really long phase, especially coupled with the blocks of time her siblings went through it. For years and years, we’ve lived with knife blocks on top of refrigerators, scissors hidden, upset siblings who have had their stuff swiped and broken by their sister. We have worked around this never-ending phase, balancing between giving her enough freedom to learn and mature and not enough that she’s a hazard to us all, all while creating a semblance of normalcy to our house.
There have been some precious items of mine that I’ve kept on the high shelves – the old “out of sight, out of mind” plan, which does work for Maura on most occasions. Of course, being short myself means I can’t always get to see these things, these precious little times, and then I forget about them as well.
So my new goal was to find the right cabinet for them. I kept stalking thrift shops, in hope to find a pretty little china cabinet with a lock, but that never happened. So I turned to my trusty friend, Ikea, who had a cabinet that was cute and lockable. I stalked it, brought it home, a boy set it up for me, and I placed some of my pretties in there. Then locked the door.
Maura eyed the cabinet. “Oooo…” she said, staring at the wine glasses Josh dragged home from Prague for me as a present. She reached for the door – because of course, Maura loves a pretty glass to drink from, even more if it’s a wine glass – and then realized she couldn’t get it opened.
“It’s locked Maura. We can just look at them.” I said.
So we looked.
And then she carried on with life and left my pretties alone. The little Bellek vases, the Waterford crystal from my grandmother, my colorful wine glasses from Prague, my Hummel Madonna and Child set. All safe. All visible. All able to be enjoyed by the right people who know where the key is hidden.
I know have this idea for that Dream Home of mine, where I have locking glass from shelves where I can keep my writing stuff – all those notebooks of ideas and pages of half-written stories. You know, Maura’s current favorite thing to get into, walk around with, stuff in her backpack, and write on?
Until then, they’re getting the “out of sight, out of mind” higher ground treatment.