When you are two years old, your perspective can be a little bit off-balance at times. You’re still figuring things out and finding out where your limits are; the physical and metaphorical boundaries that you have to fit within.
Boundaries take a very literal form in houses with young children – often in the form of baby gates, stair gates, and other dividers which keep children safely within one area and away from another. When it comes to our home, one thing our girly is very sure of is which side of the baby gate boundary she wants to be on. She will literally sit, kicking and wailing, crocodile tears in full flow whilst reaching through the bars in desperation, trying to gain admittance. Thankfully she hasn’t yet masted the click-open mechanism, despite dedicated practice!
This shot shows the view from the kitchen, looking beyond the barrier of the baby gate, towards our girly’s playroom. We’re lucky to have a lot of space because houses here are built big, so she is able to have lots of fun in a space that is all her own and totally geared for play. You’d think she’d be delighted, and more than content to spend all her time there.
Of course, in true toddler fashion, she’d much rather be on the other side of the baby gate. In the kitchen. The room full of hot things, sharp things, things she shouldn’t touch. And the fridge. The fridge is the new all-time favourite place to be, now that she has enough strength to open it by herself with enough speed to get there before I can stop her.
Only this afternoon I was busy in another room with her little brother and took five minutes of silence from her to be a good thing. I really should know better. Foolishly I’d left the baby gate open by mistake, giving her the opportunity for a stealth mission to the kitchen for a covert fridge raiding operation. Mission accomplished; one punnet of blueberries lost in battle! Still, it could have been worse. She did at least come to find me to share her excitement about ‘finding’ and eating the blueberries (the adorable honesty of toddlers!), so at least her snacking stopped there. Good job she did really, because in the same fridge there was also a punnet of strawberries and a chocolate bar!
Perhaps leaving the gate open gave her the chance to step over that physical and metaphorical boundary. But then again, perhaps it gave her the opportunity to think about her actions and consequences, and do the right thing. Perhaps she is altogether too young for all of that and she was just excited to share tales of her good fortune in finding such an appetising snack (fresh blueberries are a very rare – stupidly expensive – treat here in Brunei). Whichever one is right, the gate is firmly shut now – boundaries very much re-established!