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We have taken a new step trying to end Elijah’s fascination with all things kitchen related. Our newest attempt to save our sanity as well as our dishes. We have purchased a gate. It is the latest technology in accident prevention where little ones are concerned. Top of the line model. Will it work? Let me explain the mind of Elijah first and you can be the judge.

Elijah is imaginative, mischievous and far too intelligent for a 3-year-old. His penchant for getting in to trouble is as inventive as his acts of defiance. If something is forbidden by Momma or YaYa, you can bet that he will be sneaking it to his room or hiding it in the trash can. No company has invented a safety lock or device that can stump our boy. Those plastic things you put on doorknobs? Didn’t phase him. He was halfway down the block before we realized he was gone. The little clippee things you put in drawers? His nimble little fingers make those a waste of time as well. He can pry off those electrical outlet protectors like a thief picks a lock on a door.

Which brings me to the kitchen. The refrigerator problem, which came first, has been solved by some creative inspiration. Two (yes, two) childproof locks, one held on by superglue (because he peeled off the sticky thing that came with it), added to one of the zipper, claw-looking things holding the doors together. I have trouble getting it open on occasion. We have a ghetto rendition of rope & lock on the cabinets under the kitchen sink. He’s still analyzing that. You know those rubber bracelets that people wear proclaiming support for one cause or another? Yep, one of those hold our other cabinets shut. We can’t open them but neither can he.

His climbing is the thing that is making us pulling our hair out. He insists that the counter is the coolest spot to be. And the gadgets that sit on the counter, things he isn’t allowed to touch, are like beacons that call to him day or night. I have found him on the counter via the oven at 2:00 a.m. We have since used packing tape to hold the oven door closed since the “child proof” device took very little imagination to open. Didn’t really matter what we used. He couldn’t figure out how to get the tape off but he climbed up anyway. Don’t know how but the next morning I found him sitting there eating jelly beans in leftover coffee out of his Easter bucket.

I have made coffee in the morning that has tasted suspiciously like soap. Turns out our boy had turned off the dishwasher prior to its completion and nothing rinsed. No, nothing we put on, over or around the dishwasher has deterred him.

I awoke one morning to the sound of running water. Upon entering the kitchen, I found him “washing dishes” while “taking a bath”. To the tune of a brand new bottle of dishwashing liquid, which was now empty. Bubbles were everywhere. But he and the dishes that were left on the counter overnight were sparkling.

The only concern I really have was when he found the “wives”. Knives in a butcher block holder that USED to sit on the counter have been relegated behind the above-mentioned ghetto rope/lock cabinet under the sink. Not very handy when you are trying to find a pair of scissors or a knife. We have also learned not to put the knives in the dishwasher. He likes them too much to leave them in there.

Back to the gate that we recently purchased. Top of the line? It took him ten (yes, ten) minutes to figure it out. No, he wasn’t able to open it. We couldn’t either but that’s neither here nor there. He climbed over it. Five foot high, tightly wedged and attached in the doorway. Shiny, slippery metal poles from top to bottom. He. Climbed. Over. It. He must have those suction cup things on the bottom of his feet like a tree frog (I haven’t found them but I know they are there). The gate has since been uninstalled, repackaged and will be returned to the store. And we are back to square one. Have we given up? Never! Just waiting for a new idea to pop into our heads. By the time we figure it out, he will be graduating high school. Any advice?

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