Today I'm going to give you our top 5 house rules. These rules have become second nature to me. In fact, it was hard for me to think of 5 rules because I just do these automatically without thinking about it. We do have to make many adjustments in our life to keep Jaycee safe. Here are the top ones:
1. Jaycee can never be outside alone.
Even at age 6 1/2 years old, Jaycee can't be trusted to be left outside alone. Maybe if we owned a fenced in yard, this would be a different story but we don't. Most of the time, Jaycee is fine outside. However, you never know when Jaycee will decide to take a walk down the road or step into the road to check the mailbox. Plus, we have a swimming pool outside which she thinks she can get into without supervision. The bottom line is that Jaycee doesn't understand dangers that exist.
When I'm at my brother's house, I enviously watch his kids run in and out of the house without supervision. His kids know not to go near water or the road. They stay close to the house where there is safety. His house feels like another world to me. I dream of the day that I can be in that world too.
2. Always keep the doors shut and/or locked.
This rule goes with the first rule. If Jaycee can get outside, she will go. The problem is, she doesn't tell me when she goes outside. Our front door is heavy so Jaycee can't open it. But if I decide to leave the front door open so the screen door can let air in, then I can expect Jaycee to make a run for it. It doesn't matter if it's hot or cold or if she has shoes on or not, she'll go.
To minimize the risk, we have furniture in front of one of our doors. Another door has a knob cover on it making it impossible for Jaycee to open. These are changes we have made to keep Jaycee safe. The doors are always shut or locked. I don't notice this being odd anymore unless someone comes over. If someone forgets to shut a door, I check to see where Jaycee is and then decide if I need to panic or not. That's when I realize that other people don't live like me.
3. The windows are generally always shut.
This rule isn't about Jaycee trying to escape. She's never tried to jump out a window. Ha ha! This rule is for Jaycee's asthma. There are a few times a year when we feel it's safe to open the windows. But during the mowing season and farm seasons, the windows are shut. We try to minimize the allergens in our house.
4. Certain things must be kept out of reach.
There are certain things that have to be placed strategically to keep Jaycee from losing them or messing with them. If I leave my Bible out, she will surely rip those thin pages! But if I keep it in a drawer, she'll leave it alone. Car keys and cell phones are kept on the counter where she can't reach them. Otherwise the panic button will start sounding the alarms. She just likes the red button!
5. The kitchen must remain "baby proofed."
I thought by now we'd be done with all the baby locks on the cabinets. But, they are still there. Some of it has to do with keeping her safe. Some of it has to do with keeping her from making a huge mess. Of course knives are something that must be kept out of reach. I cannot set the table before dinner and include the knives. Those wait until we are all seated at the table. Even if I get up to get more food, I have to move my knife out of her reach. A kitchen free of locks and safety latches is another foreign world to me that I hope to reenter one day!