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AIBU to pull husband up on his attitude to our toddler's safety?

(98 Posts)
stretto Thu 27-Jun-13 16:15:59

I have to keep asking him to keep the kitchen and bathroom doors shut to prevent our daughter (just turned 2) from being in there unattended and endangering herself.

He gets very cross when I mention it and says that he always watches her, but he doesn't. Often when I'm having a break and he is supposedly in charge I discover him being lax about safety. Here are some examples:

1) several times he has left the kitchen door open when there are scissors and knives on the worktop.

2) He often forgets to close the safety catch on the cupboard under the sink where all the cleaning products, bleach etc are stored.

3) He went out of the room and left her to sit unattended at the table which had a candle burning inside a hurricane lamp. At least the candle was covered, but our little girl could have burnt her fingers on the glass. At the time I was running a bath for myself and he had said he would look after her, then I came back into the room and saw him leaving her unattended.

I just think it's so simple to agree to keep the kitchen and bathroom doors closed so that if someone forgets to put away knives, cleaning fluid, whatever, at least our little girl can't get in. But you'd think I was asking for some enormous and unreasonable favour, judging by the reaction I got.

edam Sat 29-Jun-13 19:59:00

YY, it was! Afterwards, I was quite taken aback that apparently you can feed a toddler an anti-coagulant without it being a 999 straight to A&E emergency*. The poisons unit said not to worry and not to go to hospital as I wasn't sure he'd actually swallowed any (he was sticking his lip out making a face of disgust and clearly trying to get rid when I turned round).

I think their point was having investigations would be distressing and upsetting for him unless it was absolutely necessary.

* REALLY do not try this at home. Ever.

CuriosityCola Sat 29-Jun-13 18:38:00

Glad he was ok Edam. That's terrifying.

stretto Sat 29-Jun-13 12:53:44

shock Glad he was OK!

edam Sat 29-Jun-13 10:41:38

I'm glad he's now paying attention.

My dh did something very frightening once. Thankfully ds was OK or I wouldn't be posting this, I'd be in prison having murdered dh.

We moved to this house when ds was seven months old. I immediately toddler proofed it as clearly ds was going to be a toddler in the not-so-distant future - six stairgates (three storey house), childproof catches on cupboards with cleaning stuff in etc.

What I didn't know was that dh had discovered some rat poison under the fridge. So the chump picked it up and put it at the back of a base unit. WHY he didn't tell me 'uh-oh, previous owners had a mouse/rat problem' or 'where shall I put this' or 'glad I've found this and chucked it away' would have been sensible.

We've never had mice or rats but we've always had cats.

Anyway, scroll forward a year or so and ds is a toddler busy investigating everything. He's in the kitchen with me, I'm washing up (so my back is to him) while he's pulling stuff out of the cupboard. Which I think is fine as it keeps him entertained and I'll just tidy up when I've finished.

Turn round to check he's OK and he's got blue grains on his lips. shock

THANKFULLY he was OK - seems from the docs/local poisons unit I may have grabbed him before he swallowed any. (And they reckon if he had had a grain or two of warfarin - which makes rats haemorrhage) he would still have been OK - but don't try this at home.)

I was terrified and dh got the bollocking of his life. All the colour drained from his face when I told him (when he got home). Twattiest thing he's every done (and I do have a list grin).

stretto Sat 29-Jun-13 10:30:35

Thanks for all your comments. I was away all day yesterday hence radio silence.

Anyway, my husband came back with a huge apology and and a box of chocolates to say sorry, which was very sweet. He said he doesn't know why he gets argumentative, and that he actually agrees with me.

I emailed him a link with the safety leaflet so hopefully he will take it all on board. Thank you for the many good suggestions and the solidarity from mums with similar partners!

ShadowStorm Fri 28-Jun-13 20:57:36

My DS is 22 months old and he can reach things that are within an inch or so of the kitchen worktop edge. He wouldn't be able to reach a sharp knife that was in the middle or at the back of the worktop, but if there was one left right at the edge, he could grab it - although he probably wouldn't be able to see what he was grabbing at until he'd got it.

Based on what I've seen of friends & families kitchens, our kitchen worktops are a normal sort of height, and while we've not had DS's height measured for a few months, he's always tracked along the 50th (length) centile for his age, so I can easily believe that most 2 yr olds could reach knives / scissors if they were left at the edge of a kitchen worktop.

girliefriend Fri 28-Jun-13 20:25:41

I'm not sure how my dd survived as I never really worried about any of that stuff confused

She can't reach work tops now though and she is 7yo so really wouldn't have crossed my mind that she would have aged two. Cleaning products are in a cupboard and out of reach.

You sound a bit overly anxious tbh, you can't wrap them in bubble wrap unfort.

valiumredhead Fri 28-Jun-13 20:13:47

YANBU OP, toddlers are as quick as lightening and you have to minimise risks. Would a stair gate across the kitchen door help? That's what we did when ds was little.

cathpip Fri 28-Jun-13 20:05:40

Knives and scissors should always be out of reach! I can see were you are coming from and also your dh, you need to relax a bit more, your dd has more chance of shutting her fingers in a door than drinking what's in the cleaning cupboard. (My ds did take a swig of the rinse aid whilst dh was watching him, dh got the blocking of his life, ds was fine)...

Chromolithograph Fri 28-Jun-13 19:47:30

Just to add to above post before anyone screams 'pfb' we're talking about toolboxes left open, paint stripper cans on the floor, electric drills left on the sofa, pan handles hanging over the front of the cooker (solved that one by buying a set of casserole short handle ones) with a 3 &1 year old.

A play-pen was my friend.

Chromolithograph Fri 28-Jun-13 19:42:08

I to have a DH with a phD and 'shit won't happen' attitude.

I tried:
discussing it sensibly - evidently not leaving knife handles hanging over worktops would effect his civil rights.
discussing it again
and again
hiding stuff so he had to ask for it.
having a tantrum and throwing a chipped Denby cup against a wall
telling him if the girls were hurt on his watch I would not accept that accidents happen I would leave him and tell friends and family that he was negligent.

None of it sunk in, I took on the full responsibility of watching the kids and eventually was hospitalised with stress.

I will never forgive him for that period. We are still together, the kids are older,well drilled by me and great. DH is a great father now they're older, he just was n't during the toddler years.

If he cannot change or be trusted you will have to pay for childcare in order to get a break.

DIYapprentice Fri 28-Jun-13 19:32:35

Hmmm, I think I would start locking away the scissors and knives so that DH doesn't have access to them. Tell him 'if he behaves like a careless child then you will treat him like a careless child'.

Either that or leave them on his side of the bed, UNDER the duvet.... grin

Viviennemary Fri 28-Jun-13 18:35:48

I think wherever possible it is better to make sure the rooms are safe for children rather than trying to remember to shut doors which is quite difficult to always do. And then it won't be long till they can open doors and then what. And no candles at all with such young children would be best I think.

Viviennemary Fri 28-Jun-13 18:35:41

I think wherever possible it is better to make sure the rooms are safe for children rather than trying to remember to shut doors which is quite difficult to always do. And then it won't be long till they can open doors and then what. And no candles at all with such young children would be best I think.

Phineyj Fri 28-Jun-13 18:34:01

Just wanted to sympathise about the buggies and trains. I find them quite hard to get off safely, especially as the rolling stock & platforms all vary to the extent that the technique that works with one often fails with another. Doesn't help that sometimes you feel people are glaring at you too! People have always come and helped me but I wonder if they don't help men so much -- I will now if I see a bloke struggling.

longjane Fri 28-Jun-13 18:25:45

well the thing about knowing about aspergers now is we know how to treat people with it
and someone said we all have some traits and some more that others
but if you just assume he had has it and has no idea about safely they it is up to you do what needs doing to keep every one safe.

it stops a lot of arguing if you just accept he wont understand

stretto Fri 28-Jun-13 12:03:26

I have wondered about Aspergers....

Mine has a First and a PhD too, hmmm.

We've all got Asperger's traits, DS is diagnosed, I am sure neither DH or I have it, but I guess DS gets bits of it from both of us.

But, in DS's case it means he is probably less inquisitive and adventurous than other children, also much more likely to abide by rules. So he has always been fairly easy to keep safe.

Hemlet Fri 28-Jun-13 10:17:19

I have a 15 week old and can completely relate even though he's not toddling into other areas. My husband doesn't seem to get that he's not a tiny baby that is happy just laying in his arms anymore and needs more simulation. He gets pissed off when I try to tell him what to try when he cries.

But - if I tried telling him time after time, nicely, about the boy's safety and he got pissy or didn't listen, then the next time I saw a knife out or anything of the sort I would SCREAM at him that I've told him time and time again that it's too keep our baby safe I'm not doing it for my health and I'd tried to tell him nicely but it's obviously not getting through and I would go proper mental on him.

Maybe that would get through.

Hasitfallendownagain Fri 28-Jun-13 10:12:19

Babybythesea what a horrible story. You have just made me move all our cleaning stuff from (locked) cupboard under the sink up to a high shelf where I can only just reach them myself.

Triumphoveradversity Fri 28-Jun-13 10:10:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

longjane Fri 28-Jun-13 09:54:28

This thread is about what I should do to make him realise that they have to be kept out of our toddler's reach.

You wont

Well he's very intelligent (graduated with an Oxbridge first) but not very practical, so it's hard!

i would treat him like he has Asperger

you can not change only yourself
so no candles
move up high cleaning stuff
only have a few bunt knifes
and just have kid scissors the one with round ends

your husband wont ever see danger dont ever think that he will

nooka Fri 28-Jun-13 05:50:56

Maybe you need to have a neutral conversation with your dh about what are sensible safety precautions and then think about how you can (both) set things up so that his absent mindedness is less of an issue. So move the cleaning products to a higher shelf where it doesn't matter if the door is ajar (not sure why the cleaning cupboard particularly needs opening on a frequent basis anyway though!).

We didn't have a door on our kitchen, so had a gate on it instead. As dh and I stepped over it it wasn't an issue. Can your just turned two year old really reach the top of the worksurface? I must admit I would not have worried about that until my children were quite a lot taller. I also don't know why you need to have your bathroom door shut as you said yourself that your flat is small and you can see into the bathroom from every room.

I've misjudged things like getting out of trains with a buggy. I wouldn't ask for help if I didn't think I needed it, and a man might feel uncomfortable doing so. I don't consider that to be careless, just unfortunate.

So watch that you are not being OTT with your safety worries, because it might be that is the reason why your dh may switch off a bit about them. Luckily dh and I were both equally relaxed (and having a small flat were able to keep an ear out for the children very easily) we did the minimum I think, but it never seemed to be a concern to HVs etc, so I think it was probably fine.

McGeeDiNozzo Fri 28-Jun-13 04:40:19

Any occupational therapists here? We've got to think of a workable system to get this sort of thing right. I am just as bad as your hubby, and worry that when DD reaches toddling age my terminal forgetfulness and disorganisation will mean she ends up face down beside a railway track, buggy wheels spinning in the wind while I sob uncontrollably into my cagoule.

Anyway, I reckon there has to be a pre-agreed system in place with a physical reminder that that system is in place - like, a checklist taped to the fridge door or something. Otherwise it becomes this reactive game of 'Put that away!' 'Don't leave that there!' 'That shouldn't be there!', which is deeply annoying for both you and your husband.

Triumphoveradversity Thu 27-Jun-13 23:19:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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