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how can I keep a crawling baby and a 4yo happy & safe in a very old lady's house tomorrow?

(14 Posts)
Aranea Sat 15-Aug-09 19:55:59

We are visiting a very aged and fragile relative tomorrow whose house and garden are full of clutter which is either fragile or hazardous! I think the 4yo should be more or less OK really, but how on earth will I manage with crawling and into-everything dd2?

beesonmummyshead Sat 15-Aug-09 20:01:00

stickers and chocolate grin

ca't think of anything else though, unless you take a playpen and put it up in the least cluttered area with a few interesting things still around for your crawler to discover?

Aranea Sat 15-Aug-09 20:06:12

thanks bees.... Stickers are a good idea for the 4yo. I'll put together a pack of colouring stuff and stickers for her.

Unfortunately it won't help with the little one as she is still of an age to eat stickers!

We haven't got a playpen, either. And thinking about it, even if we did, I don't think there is actually space to put one down! Aargh, I'm getting a bit nervous thinking about it. It's going to be a nightmare, isn't it?

beesonmummyshead Sat 15-Aug-09 20:14:36

a door bouncer? a new toy - like a ring stacker, or something with balls, sounds flashy lights? (have you got any friends with a "new" baby toy yo can borrow? or make a treasure basket, pine cones etc in...

it could be a nightmare, but then i have a dd who used to say "home" the minute we arrived somewhere, in fact i think it was one of her first words, certainly used from around 12 months. I was always sooo embarrassed to take her anywhere!

Aranea Sat 15-Aug-09 20:23:20

Hmm, door bouncer could be worth a shot. Though I have a feeling aged relative will want us in the garden as she wants DH to do some gardening. That could be good, though. It'll just be a case of stopping dd2 eating bits of rusty rubbish rather than breaking treasures and eating vital bits of paper.

treasure basket also worth a go. Hm. I will put together some stuff she hasn't seen before and hope for the best.

God, I feel pretty pessimistic about it though. She is a baby with an unerring instinct for the things she's not allowed. If she spots a choking hazard at the other end of a cluttered room she will make a beeline for it. And she is very hard to distract as she gets very focused and cross. Oh god oh god oh god.... and she will scream and Very Aged Relative who is in poor health will have an exhausting nightmare. Oh god.

beesonmummyshead Sat 15-Aug-09 20:59:39

just be thankful she cant demand to go home and scream and cry until you leave. there, now your visit won't seem as bad. a crawling child? no worries. my sister used to crawl and eat everything in sight. sand, seaweed, poo, anything. she grew up fine. have a glass of wine and bribe your 4 year old with chocolate buttons to keep checking her hands and mouth grin

oh and leave as soon as possible.

have you got xmas deccies? just remembered that dd used to looove huge chains of beads and sparkly baubles, kept her entertained for hours at that age - could you drag them out of loft (assuming you celebrate xmas)? <clutching at straws now>

Aranea Sat 15-Aug-09 21:44:38


loving the idea of turning up at Aged Relative's house with a box of christmas decorations! She will think I've gone completely bonkers!

beesonmummyshead Sat 15-Aug-09 21:50:45

i think I have gone completely bonkers!

Aranea Sat 15-Aug-09 21:53:25

DH says 'how long does she think we are going to be there for?'

<visions of months passing in Aged Relative's garden.... seasons passing...>

beesonmummyshead Sat 15-Aug-09 22:02:57

laughing grin

Sidge Sat 15-Aug-09 22:11:17

You could try this??

wink grin

Aranea Sat 15-Aug-09 22:24:36

Am laughing so much I can hardly type.

Thanks for that Sidge. Very helpful.

Aranea checks list for tomorrow:
- cage
- christmas decoration box
- duct tape

It's beginning to look a bit sinister

Aranea Sun 16-Aug-09 20:05:37

Well, despite my best efforts (though I drew the line at duct tape when it came to it) it was a bit of a trial and dd2 started to complain very loudly about not being allowed to explore. So I ended up taking the kids out for a walk while DH helped out around the house, which I think actually worked out quite well for everybody.

beesonmummyshead Sun 16-Aug-09 20:33:34

glad it was better than expected!

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