What was surprisingly easy/hard about having a kid?
September 4, 2012 10:18 AM   Subscribe

A 2-parter for parents (from a soon-to-be): 1) What did you think was going to be easy, but turned out to be hard? 2) What did you think was going to be hard, but turned out to be easy?

I'm interested in the answer at all levels: tactical, emotional, immediate, long-term. Basically, I'd love to get an early warning about where I'm likely wrong about how things are going to go, for better and worse.
posted by davebug to Human Relations (41 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Hard: thinking that something's not going to have to give to be a parent, employee, spouse, household owner/caretaker, friend, family member and all the other roles you have. It just isn't possible to be as good at all these things as you once were and the earlier you acknowledge that, the easier it will be.
posted by k8t at 10:26 AM on September 4, 2012

For my first, I thought the birth and breastfeeding would be easy.

They weren't.

For my second, I thought the birth and breastfeeding would incredibly hard.

They weren't.

For my first, I knew I would be tired and exhausted, but I thought for sure I'd get back to normal sleep around a year.

I did not.

For my second, I thought I would never get to sleep.

She came out practically sleeping through the night.

With my first, I was incredibly lonely and sad all the time. I had expected to be happy and bonded and all those mushy rainbow feelings. Didn't happen. I expected the same with my second. It didn't happen.

Point: There is no reasonable expectation you can have of any of this. There are so many factors that until your baby is here, there's just no point in planning on much of well, anything.

The only expectation that makes sense is to, well, have none.
posted by zizzle at 10:26 AM on September 4, 2012 [15 favorites]

Got easier: traveling with little one seemed like it would be hard and while it isn't fun, with good systems and good humor, it is doable. And as child ages, gets infinitely easier.
posted by k8t at 10:27 AM on September 4, 2012

My mom said that she has no idea why everyone makes such a big fuss about running errands with a baby. She said she used to just take me everywhere and it was fine (save for a rare occasion where baby me was cranky-sick crying, then she just had to leave).
posted by WeekendJen at 10:31 AM on September 4, 2012

Easier than I thought: potty training; sleeping; eating; relating to in general and loving specifically the little creature; the actualy physical birth.

Harder than I thought: breast feeding; stopping breast feeding (on me not the baby); returning to work (on me not the baby); recovering from the birth; communicating with my partner after the birth.

But, I agree with zizzle. No way to tell what's going to be what until you find out what kind of kid you have, and what kind of parent you'll be. And really probably more the later.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:38 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

zizzle makes a great point.

Babies are very very different and present different challenges. Some don't sleep, some don't eat, some get horrible rashes, some take a long time to walk, some walk upsettingly early.

My baby has been healthier, bigger, less delicate and much faster than I imagined. I was scared of food things (feeding, solid food allergies etc) which haven't been an issue at all.

I think I underestimated the amount of time she would take. That sounds silly, and I planned on my wife stopping working and me greatly reducing my work hours, and even moving 600 miles to accommodate that schedule. But there is just never enough time.
posted by French Fry at 10:46 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm only a month in, but I can tell you that dealing with my kid's diapers turned out a lot easier than I thought. Not just the mechanics of "how do I get this done quickly and correctly?", but the psychological squickiness of dealing with another person's piss and shit went away immediately for me because it was my baby.
posted by mkultra at 10:49 AM on September 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

I did not expect to miss my husband's companionship so much at first. We were doing a lot of tag-teaming (one sleeping while the other tended to the baby) and I felt like we barely saw each other! It was just a bit of a shock to go from spending most of our free time together to just seeing each other in passing. (this phase didn't last too long, but it was really difficult for me, emotionally!)
posted by saucy at 11:01 AM on September 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

It doesn't really matter what you think now or what your expectations are. Much of it will be wrong, but *it won't matter* and you'll figure it out, adapt and be fine. Yeah, a lot of it is hard, and some of the things that seemed like they'd be the worst (like changing diapers) ended up no big deal. It doesn't really matter though, because you'll end up surprised but totally able to handle it in any case.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:02 AM on September 4, 2012

One thing that's hard to wrap your head around is that sometimes thing will be easy/hard for you and hard/easy for somebody else and there's no clear reason why. You'll give birth in 3 hours, your friend will need an emergency c-section. You'll be completely unable to breastfeed, your friend's cups will overflow. Your baby will sleep through the night from week 1, your friend's baby will be up 4 times a night every night. You have to be good at two things: grieving your lost expectations and dealing with the card you've been dealt and not the one you wanted.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:03 AM on September 4, 2012 [9 favorites]

Get yourself a BIG chart on child development. This chart lists age and the skill that your child should have/achieve. This chart is available upto age of 5. Anything that your child does not achieve, seek medical attention right away. Majority of the times, it will be nothing to worry about but sometimes it can be a HUGE red flag.

DS got diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2. If we would have had that chart, he would have got diagnosed at 13 months. By the time, he started receiving services, he was almost 3. Lucky us, that he responded to some therapies pretty well but not speech. He is 4 now and can not generate speech, can not interact with his peers freely and it breaks my heart. Did not see this coming, incredibly hard to cope up with it.

If you have a TheraCare office nearby, buy this chart from them or ask them where to buy it. Majority of the therapist have this chart. (Actually, they have this chart in ABA binder used for Early Intervention) If you do not find it or get it, drop me a PM with link to this post and I will scan it for you.

Although he is autistic, he got potty trained, pretty quickly. (Thought would take ages, took only a month.)
posted by zaxour at 11:05 AM on September 4, 2012

With one kid, throwing him in the car seat and heading out to dinner, or to hang at a friend's house, or whatever, was much less of an issue that I thought it would be. Our first child did not change our life as drastically I though it would.

That happened after the 2nd kid. The 2nd child does not double the workload. It quadruples it.
posted by COD at 11:06 AM on September 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Agreeing with rizzle and taking a long-term view: relax. The most difficult thing for me was letting go of the thought that I had a lot of control over "how things would go." I have three kids in high school, they are all awesome, but none of them turned out to be multi-lingual artistic polymath physicists as was The Plan.

This will sound twee, but if you are present, playful, and calm then all of the day to day stuff will seem remarkably easy once you are on the other side. So to answer your question:

Easier than I thought: ignoring other parents, their values, and their comments.

Harder: the nights in the ER with a child who was dehydrated, breathing with difficulty, or needed stitches. Pediatricians, nurses, and urgent care doctors have seen everything a million times before, you should be prepared to become That Parent when it comes to the attention paid your child.
posted by cgk at 11:06 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

1) What did you think was going to be easy, but turned out to be hard? 2) What did you think was going to be hard, but turned out to be easy?

YMWV, but:

Infancy and the immediately aftermath of the birth turned out to be much easier than I'd anticipated*, and there was much less sleep deprivation and overall stress than I'd prepared myself for. It was a comparatively short race, and we successfully coasted, in retrospect, on adrenaline / endorphins.

What has been harder is toddler-hood, and the slowly gelling, non-abstract realizations that:

1) Our pre-kid approach to life is hopelessly ill-suited to keeping our lives running efficiently now.

2) Most of my free time has to be sacrificed to make up the difference.

People told me this - but it didn't sink in powerfully until I was up in the middle of the night with a messy house, an unhappy kid, a stressed partner, unfinished projects looming over my head, and another day at work just a few hours away - multiple times.

If you aren't well-organized by nature, I strongly recommend doing a "business process analysis" of your home life - shopping, chores, childcare, planning both partners' work / social lives - and figuring out ways to make it simpler / more efficient, and effective ways to keep everyone up to speed about who's doing what when. Being on top of the practical aspects will make the kid-related things you can't anticipate (illness, unexplained truculence / intractability) easier to deal with, and give you more mental space to appreciate all the great things about having a toddler in the house - the inexplicable humor, the joy of watching somebody explore their environment and learn to communicate for the first time, etc.

* Breastfeeding, as others have pointed out, can be much harder than anyone anticipates - it's definitely worth having a lactation consultant lined up if you need one.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:17 AM on September 4, 2012

Taking care of my baby, in general, was much, much easier than I thought it would be. Taking care of her as a toddler was much, much harder. Taking care of her as four year old is more delightful than I thought, because she is way more articulate than I anticipated, and after getting through the two and threes maybe anything is easier.
posted by waving at 11:18 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Easier than expected:
The various bodily excretions that children generate. I'm not a big fan of "ick" so I was surprised at how easily I accepted a half-chewed cracker being dumped in my hand, or wiped a nose with the back of my finger when a tissue wasn't easily at hand, etc and that's not even counting diapers.

Harder than expected:
Finding stimulating activities. It comes to some people naturally, I guess, but playing peek-a-boo with a baby gets really boring after the 30th repetition. Coming up with new and entertaining ways to make the baby laugh or giggle, or even now that she's older, ways she can play by herself is tough.
posted by madajb at 11:18 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

You never know what is going to be hard and easy. Three parents will give you five different stories because what was easy today is going to be hard tomorrow.

But, to answer your question anyway: I thought that cleaning up splattered, poopy diapers was going to be gross, but it wasn't. There was nothing gross about splattered and dripping poop at all.

On the other hand, trying to watch my frustrated and extremely self-conscious wife trying breastfeed in public was the most excruciating, difficult thing for me because no matter how supportive I was, there wasn't a whole lot I could do (except glare back at the old ladies who looked at her with disgust, and that didn't make either of us feel better in the end).
posted by TinWhistle at 11:24 AM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Though not entirely responsive to the question, one of the things I've noticed is that before the First is born, everyone is full of: 1) Birth horror stories; 2) Horror stories about how your life will change (eg, no nights out, fatigue, no sex, etc)

I have no explanation for the first item other than the random perversity of human nature, because even though horror stories about births may have some basis in fact, they are fairly rare in modern 1st world countries.

As far as the second item goes, some or all of what you are told may be true (individual experience may vary) but almost no one ever tells you how much fun it will be!
posted by BillW at 11:29 AM on September 4, 2012

As a dad of a 6-month-old boy, here are my thoughts:

1. Continue to grow as an adult, and not just grow as a parent. Keep listening to music, reading books, exercising, cultivating friendships, etc. Being a parent is important, obviously, but don't lose yourself in the process. And don't let your child be an excuse for not doing things.

2. Make sure your partner follows #1 as well. Discuss it before the baby arrives so you're on the same page.

3. Laugh a lot. At your baby, at your partner.

4. Diaper-changing isn't awful.

5. Do not do not do not attempt to rationalize the reasons for what does or doesn't happen with the baby. (Unless there's a noticeable long-term pattern.) Didn't sleep through the night, then did the next two nights, then woke up again the next night? It just happens. You'll go crazy trying to figure out why. My wife has been claiming teething for the last 10 weeks for all varieties of behavior. In the last 10 weeks, he has developed 0 teeth. I can't convince her she needs to stop.

6. Don't measure yourself against other parents. And don't judge.

Last. Have fun! I'll remember forever, in a good way, the way my son giggles when I twist him in the air or raspberry him in the tummy. I wish that sound on everyone in the world.
posted by st starseed at 11:31 AM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'll agree with everyone else ...
easier than I thought - the infant stuff. It goes fast, and you develop a system.

harder than I thought - the grind. You just keep going every single day with this stuff. There will be a point where you get really frustrated with the unending part of it, and will need some time for yourself. That can be tough to figure out.

Unexpected but hard: since our son was born I have a really hard time watching any sort of TV show or movie where children are harmed - this stuff never used to bother me at all.
posted by chbrooks at 11:35 AM on September 4, 2012 [6 favorites]

Thought I had a sense of Who Would Be in Charge, but that first 3 months of sleep deprivation and survival parenting actually prepare you pretty well for the fact that nothing will go as you imagined, that you have to make all kinds of compromises every day (with self, with kid, with standards), and that many days Just Getting Through is ok -- this is as true at 5 years (and, I imagine, at 15) as at 5 months. There will be days with smiles and pangs of wonder, but in between there is lots and lots of repetition and drudgery, whether it's changing diapers or answering the same (type of) question over and over long past your patience point. If you're showing up every day and getting through, things will work themselves out.
posted by acm at 11:48 AM on September 4, 2012

Also, the learning never stops. As soon as you master a newborn, they get to the next stage, and the next. Then they're bossy preschoolers, then they're into the swirl of the next stage of physical/mental/social development. Expect to be relearning your strategies and rechecking your attitude at least every few months. (for the duration)
posted by acm at 11:50 AM on September 4, 2012

Really it is impossible to convey how much fun you'll have with your kid and how much joy there is in the day-to-day. Often, we don't see other kids at their best. We see them at restaurants or maybe when we go to a friends' house and everyone is trying to have adult conversation and the kids want attention. So, you don't get to see the big morning hugs, or the goofy smiles and the made-up playtime that you get when you are with your kid around the clock.

For some reason, I was terrified of having to feed a child. Coming up with meals? For a small person? Three or more times per day? It's been pretty easy actually. Our little one is just under 2 and is pretty picky but we found things she likes and so we work our meals around that. And we keep offering her other things. But, it ramps up pretty slowly. You start with breast milk or formula and you start adding things one at a time.

No lie. The sleep shit is fraught. But, everyone finds a way to work it out. You don't know what kind of kid you'll have and what kind of sleep needs you'll have. It works out....eventually. Ours reliably sleeps through the night every other night. Needs some kind of attention on the other nights but usually just once. It works out.

Hardest of all is being a good, supportive team as a mother and father. That has to be priority #1 and it seems like it gets shoved to the bottom of the list pretty easily. The hardest days with the kid is not what the kid is doing, it's what her Dad and I are doing. If we are together and working well, we can handle anything. If we are having problems, everything is crap. Take it in stride and don't let that part falter.
posted by amanda at 11:59 AM on September 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

Easier than I thought: recovering from an unanticipated C-section, getting to where he slept through the night, spending all day every day with him, potty training

Harder than I thought: colic, the loss of libido
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:30 PM on September 4, 2012

Easier than I thought:

Keeping my kids from getting hurt. Or, at least, keeping them from getting life-alteringly hurt. There are plenty of banged heads, scraped knees, and other occasions for tears, but so far, they've proven as resilient as everybody says kids are.

Dealing with the complexities of an older kid. I knew I could handle a baby, but I wasn't sure I would know what to do with, say, a three-year-old. It turns out that there's a reason nobody is born three-years-old. They start off as pretty simple machines, and you gradually learn to deal with their complexities as they develop them.

Harder than I thought:

The sleep deprivation.

Keeping my patience-- I'm a very patient person, and very good at biting my tongue. Some of my closest friends have commented that they've never seen me express anger. But it turns out kids will push buttons you never knew you had...

(Actually, those two things are strongly linked. One thing I've learned about myself is that I am MUCH less patient when I am sleep deprived.)
posted by yankeefog at 12:37 PM on September 4, 2012

Easier than I thought: sleep. I was NOT looking forward to sleep deprivation, but it hasn't been that bad.

Harder than I thought: the sheer relentlessness of it. You're never not a parent, ever again. This is why I laugh whenever people advise babysitting as a test of whether you're ready to be a parent. NOT THE SAME AT ALL.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:46 PM on September 4, 2012 [6 favorites]

I have an 18th month old daughter.

Connecting with my wife after the birth as something other than a parent. Date night goes a long way towards fixing that.

How difficult it was for me when my wife had to go back to work and she had to go to daycare. I didn't expect that I would care, but I certainly did.

Letting her struggle with things before I jump in to help. I have to really watch myself.

Being a parent is hard work, but I was surprised at how much I want to do the work.
posted by Silvertree at 1:28 PM on September 4, 2012

I want to agree 90% with the spirit of zizzle's comment, which is that it doesn't matter what you are expecting, so much of it is going to be wrong that you won't even notice the things you guessed correctly.

For the 10% though:

Travelling with an infant under six months (if the bairn is being breastfed) is a piece of cake. So much simpler than travelling with them later on. If there's somewhere you are dying to visit, but thinking you should wait a couple years, think again.

For me what was harder was the unceasing nature of it. Being a parent NEVER stops. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. I never, ever tell new parents "Oh, you'll see, the first three months are the hardest" because that was not my experience at all. I'm convinced that's just something people tell new parents so they don't leave the kid in a cardboard box on the doorstep of a nunnery. I was shocked at the extent to which it just kept getting harder, (a) as the sleep deficit just grew and grew over several years and (b) as the solutions to the kid's problems grew more complicated than sleep, food or a diaper change. My daughter is 9 and there's been a noticeable easing in the last year. Just a reprieve to allow me to survive puberty, I'm sure.
posted by looli at 1:56 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Harder than I thought: Letting go of 'control' (as if there is such a thing, HA!) and letting my husband develop his own relationship with the kids. He is a great dad and relates to them/interacts with them in different ways than I do. It took a lot for me to let them do things their own way (not my way!!) but was totally worth it. They have a parent they wouldn't have otherwise, and a calmer mother, too.
posted by SLC Mom at 2:07 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

After my first kid, I thought for sure I could never love another human as much as I loved my wife and baby. Kids 2-5 proved otherwise. We have an unlimited capacity for love, apparently.

Having multiple kids makes everything exponentially harder, and sometimes in unexpected ways. Here's an example:

The other day my 9-year-old son asked me where we were going for lunch while he was getting in the van. I hadn't decided yet, and I told him to just be patient and wait until we got to where we were going. He balked at that, so I explained to him the many, many things I was concentrating on at that exact moment: making sure the baby was in her car seat correctly, making sure the toddler was getting into her seat so I could buckle her, making sure I had shoes for the toddler, making sure the stroller was in the back of the van, making sure I had size 4 AND size 5 diapers, making sure I had baby wipes with me, dealing with two kids fighting over who got to sit in the middle seat, trying to find my shirt and put it on, etc.

Multiple kids force you to multitask and it can be difficult.
posted by tacodave at 3:28 PM on September 4, 2012

I thought I'd remember everything - first words, first steps, all the milestones. I don't. WRITE IT DOWN if it's important to you.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:10 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Easier than I thought: The first month or so. You've still got energy; everyone's on maternity leave or taking time off work; you have the novelty of the baby; you may have frozen meals in the freezer etc.

Harder than I thought: The six months. I (father) was back at work by this stage, sleep was a deadly precious commodity, the freezer had run out of my pre-prepared meals, you're trying to keep exercising but so tired etc etc.

I guess the hard part is when normal "life" patterns tried to reassert themselves and we found ourselves really struggling. We had thought it would be something like "life + baby", but it was more like "babylife" - everything changes. It doesn't mean you stop doing the stuff you used to necessarily, but you have to rethink how you do it, and some of what you do, for sure.
posted by smoke at 4:44 PM on September 4, 2012

Harder than I thought

- toddlers and imaginative play
- other people and their unceasing advice, offers to 'help' and irritating beyond belief queries about my sex life, my breasts, my vagina, my sleep habits and reproductive choices
- deciding not to have any more children
- physical recovery after pregnancy and birth (not my vagina, but core strength and my joints and just everything about my body)

Easier than I thought

- breastfeeding (was expecting it to be impossible but cracked and bleeding nipples and supply issues resolved at about 6 weeks and from then on it worked easily)
- toilet training
- using cloth nappies
- baby led weaning
- weaning entirely (we just petered out, slowly)
- day to day stuff with a baby/toddler in tow (shopping, errands etc.)
posted by geek anachronism at 5:06 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think the tough thing is so much of this is subjective. For me, the hardest thing I thought would be easy was my child sleeping through the night. She honestly didn't start to sleep for more than a handful of hours at a stretch until she was nearly 2 years old. My wife and I were heavily sleep deprived for two full years and lots of things suffered as a result.

The top easy thing I thought would be harder is travel. I guess we travel a lot with my daughter and have since she was only a couple months old, but flying with her is super easy, and as she got older, becomes even easier since iPads are now a thing she can look at. We've probably flown once every six months since she was born so it's no big thing to her, but even from the start it went better than I expected.
posted by mathowie at 5:32 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think about this a lot. It will totally depend on the child you get. You really just don't know what you are dealing with until your child is out of the womb and lets you know if s/he is calm or cranky, independent or clingy, etc. So many issues with childcare come down to temperament.

Overall lesson: I thought having kids wasn't difficult to afford. I have always managed my money well, saved a lot, etc. With two kids, even with decent 2-income salaries, we spend more than we make (about 110% with two kids in daycare). Thank god we have saving to spend down.

Child #1:
I thought potty training would be easy. It was (still, at age 4, is) HARD.
I thought ending the pacifier, sleep training, and moving into a real bed would be hard. It was all super easy.

Child #2:
I thought potty training would be hard (learned my lesson with #1). It was so easy--he trained himself at 18 months.
I thought sleep training would be easy. It was IMPOSSIBLE.
posted by tk at 7:20 PM on September 4, 2012

I thought would be hard: baby fluids. The goop rally doesn't bother me most of the time and I often find it hilarious. I have also found adjusting to my new, less social life not as bad as I anticipated. The drudgery of it - I am just so enchanted with her that I'm happy to do a lot of the chores and constant parenting. The recovery from labor/birth.

Harder: getting her to sleep has been a nightmare since she was three months old (she's seven months old now); achieving naps each day; breastfeeding (first 2 weeks); bottles (she was on bottle strike most of the first 6 months); parting from her at daycare; the guilt and pain of sleep training; accepting that we don't have an "easy" baby; diminished romantic relationship with my husband; meals out with her (she's not an easy dinner companion); the strategizing involved in many excursions; that she insisted on being held most of the first six months; the relentless nature of parenting especially now that I'm back at work; getting her to eat solids; pumping enough milk to get her through daycare.

So lots of things have been hard. And yet I adore her and love being her mom and am fantasizing about another baby some day (we were planning to stop at 1.)
posted by semacd at 7:42 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Easier: everything. I thought it would be a total nightmare. Instead, it was (still is) a total joy. Every single age is The Best Age Yet. We're up to nine years old right now, and it's incredible how much fun parenting is, even when it's hard.
posted by Capri at 10:49 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Harder than I expected to maintain a healthy diet for my daughter because there is junk food EVERYWHERE. So many stores that don't sell food still have all kinds of crap snack items at the checkout counter. It's hard to avoid...at least in the junk food capital of the world a.k.a. the USA.
posted by Dansaman at 11:27 PM on September 4, 2012

At 3 1/2 weeks postpartum:
Easier - sleep deprivation (turns out I can survive on less sleep than I thought), nappies (newborn excretions aren't that unpleasant), getting baby to sleep (they vary a lot, turns out we have an easy one)
Harder - breastfeeding (advice beforehand failed to mention that it can hurt a lot at first, even if you're doing it right), physical recovery from labour, getting out of the house.
posted by gnimmel at 7:53 AM on September 5, 2012

Also, overall it has been easier (thus far) than I expected. Maybe it's the delight in having the actual little person that makes up for the other challenges.

Also easier: laundry. I big PITA, but still easier than I expected. (I am not doing cloth diapering sadly.) And not squishing her fontanel. For some reason I was paranoid about that. Also breastfeeding, once we got over the first two weeks of getting to know each other. And breastfeeding in public. And travel, though I understand it gets harder as they get older. But so far we've been on 5 or 6 trips involving planes, and we've been fortunate. We are just ruthlessly organized (and breastfeed during ascent and descent).

Also harder than I grasped before: running errands with the baby (i.e. running into CVS for one quick minute is never one quick minute anymore). And bathing her solo - I find it to be quite a logistical juggling session what with rinsing and towelling her off. And having friends come to visit for a weekend - I couldn't see them nearly as much as I anticipated, because I was spending 2-4 hours a night putting my daughter to sleep at that point. And rising at 6 AM every day with her.
posted by semacd at 9:14 AM on September 5, 2012

Harder than I though: Lifting the baby. Baby #2 was born large, grew fast, and started walking late. Hoisting that guy into the car seat (backwards facing), when he was 24 lbs., and I had a 2 door car, was murder on the back. I got a new car.

Harder than I thought: Child proofing. With adventure child (#1), the best scheme was to watch his eyes. Figure out where he was going, get there first, and secure the threat.

Easier than I though: Child proofing for #2. While child #1 was the one to try to defeat the child locks, #2 was the one who tried to relock them, if he found them open.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 10:30 AM on September 5, 2012

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