As Little Dude continues to grow more curious about the world around him, our house becomes an obstacle course. I’m forced to make (occasionally arbitrary) decisions about what’s ok for him to play with and what is not. Needless to say, my darling child’s judgement doesn’t always mirror my own.

It isn’t only physical danger that I’m worried about – sometimes he gets himself into situations that are just plain gross. It’s not uncommon for my wife to hear scolding coming out of the bathroom along the lines of  “dude, get away from there, that’s totally disgusting.”I live in constant fear of him slamming his hand in a door or dipping it in a cup of hot coffee. But honestly, it’s the toilet that’s the worst. (Especially when it is in use.)

All parents will agree that there is a fundamental law of child rearing that dictates that the less you want your child to play with something, the more determined he will be to do so. There are the obvious items: electrical wiring, ant hills, the occasional power outlet that we’ve neglected to plug up after use. But more disturbing still are the ones that most people don’t talk about in polite company, such as, well, shit (cloth diapers here…) or – ahem – certain parts of mommy and daddy.

When we childproofed our new home a couple of months back, it was obvious how important it was to close up the oven and the kitchen cabinets. But these days, the locks we installed on the toilets are the most valuable things in the house.

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