Baby Gates

Puppy training is going well. Kyrill bops his potty bells when he needs to go outside. He sleeps soundly with us for five hours at a time before he needs to go out. He even stayed close by us, unleashed, in the front yard for more than an hour on Sunday as we gardened. (That is highly unusual for most breeds of terriers, but typical for Ceskys. )

We have lots to work on in terms of thievery and his refusal to drop objects he isn’t supposed to have. He has yet to learn that our wine glasses and coffee cups are off limits on the lamp tables. He also has a love of cat food, and that requires a baby gate.

Our baby gates are somewhat decrepit, and hale from when we were training our second Welsh Terrier about 20 years ago. It was surprisingly hard to find new ones in town, and I had to order one from Target. We feed our cat in the basement. She, poor thing, has been sorely neglected since Kyrill’s arrival. We need to restrict his access to the cat food but allow her access to the upstairs. We have a strategically placed gate that allows her to jump over but keeps him out of the cat food and litter box. We also have a gate on the backyard deck so he can be outside when we work in the yard and be safe. He howls in frustration when he spies us and can’t get to us. It is hard to meet every creature’s needs these days.

When I was about 3, my parents had an enclosure in the back yard that they put me in so I could be outside but they didn’t need to watch me continuously. My mother said I got so upset when I saw the other neighborhood children running around that the let me run with them all over the block. No disaster ensued, but that was brave of my parents. Of course, this was in the early 1960’s, and things were different then.

What were your boundaries for roaming when you were a child? Did you have curfews? What are your experiences with baby gates?

26 thoughts on “Baby Gates”

    1. And our dog and several cats were as free as I was. They wintered in the barn and in summer roamed as they wished. The barn had a screen door. We put a wooden handle on the bottom so Boots could get out as he wished. To get in he just pushed it open. The cats would often come and go with him.
      When you have no neighbors within half a mile all sorts of things are possible. My father used to say he wanted to live where he could push off the back porch if he wanted to.

      Liked by 5 people

  1. When I was very little (3-5), I had to stay on the block because there were busy streets on two sides. Then we moved to St. Louis Park and the boundary was about two blocks east and two blocks south and don’t play in the “swamp” (north of our house) until we were a bit older. Starting around 9 or 10, it was pretty much carte blanche in the town proper. After that, we were free to ride our bikes to the City Lakes (Cedar was our fave for swimming), or out to Minnetonka/Hopkins if we wanted a “rural” setting.

    In jr. high, we were allowed to take the bus downtown to watch movies at the old Hennepin Ave. theaters. (One day we watched “Billy Jack” three times on the same ticket.

    At night, curfew was “when the street lights come on.” (Summer or winter. We didn’t usually play outside for hours on winter nights.

    I don’t recall having a strict curfew in high school. I wasn’t a party person and didn’t like getting into any sort of trouble, so I was usually home by ten or eleven on weekends. Senior year of HS, after I met Sandra (my wife-to-be), my “harem”–four friends who were girls, including Sandra–and I would harmlessly stay out until midnight or later “bombing around.”

    So, like Renee, I didn’t have many restrictions regarding curfews. I think we were expected to behave and get home at a proper time, and if we didn’t, then we’d have consequences.

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Universal curfew was midnight on Friday and Saturday nights for all my firends. Seldom went out on school nights and then only until 9 or so not because of a curfew.
    I gather that dating is rarer these days. My 17 and 19 year old grandkids have/had not had any dates except prom while in high school. Not a lot of options for a date where they live. But firends tell me the same about their grandchildren.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    The baby gates I remember from childhood were rickety and pretty dangerous. Most often a collapsed card table was leaned against the door as a barrier. In the kitchen toddlers often interacted with the adults under dangerous conditions such as boiling water. My mother never forgot carrying a pot of boiling water across the kitchen when a careening toddler came heedlessly racing into Grandma’s kitchen, ran into mom who dropped the pot, and burned the child. She always felt so guilty about this, but it did not seem that there was anyone tending to this child.

    As a four year old I had the run of the tiny town where we lived. I used to independently walk to dad’s extension office with my hands in my pockets singing Perry Como’s hit, “Catch a little star and put it in my pocket. Burn my pants right off.” Everyone knew me and I don’t remember ever encountering any danger.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My small town had a movie theater all through our high school years. And it had a teenage center which held dances on Tuesday nights until 9:30 and Friday nights until 11:30. It was in the same building as the skating rink which was open every night until 9. The teen center worked very well because the same older couple ran it for 20 years. I believe such things were rare.
    The first town I taught in closed the skating rink at night because the teenagers were using it. Like to skate, you know. They should be home studying.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kyrill has learned that if he hurls his body at it hard enough he can knock our old plastic baby gate over. He also learned to scale a wooden one if the cross bar was on his side of the gate.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Curfew midnight.
    Bill “Baby” Gates has been falsely charged with being responsible for the baby formula shortage.
    Conspiracy theories have no boundaries.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t remember any set neighborhood boundaries, but then I didn’t push the boundaries much. I remember being out in summer till dark playing Kick the Can, etc. I probably had a curfew of some kind in high school, but don’t recall what it was.

    I’m sure we had a baby gate for Joel across an upper or lower staircase, depending on the house. And the first Winona house (early 80s) had a yard fenced with wrought iron; indoors we upended a wooden playpen, which became the “fence” around our wood burning stove.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In my tiny (pop. ~500) town the fire whistle blew three times during the day. Noon, 5:30P (store closing except on Fridays when the bank and a few other places stayed open until 8), and 9P (curfew). We kids were always told to come home when the whistle blew.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. My 19 year old daughter lived her first 8 months in Rhame ND, which had a whistle. At about age 6 months her parents noticed when it went off she looked at the clock because somehome that is what people do.
        Two Harbors once had whistles for shift changes but they srtopped that early in my life there. 7 a.m. 3 p.m. amd 11 p.m.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. I had no where to go besides the farm… and normally I was where ever Dad was. I remember playing in the pasture or near the house in some trees. Yeah, you’d think there are enough dangers mom would have been more worried about what I’d get into. Maybe I just don’t remember that part. Or maybe because I was the youngest of 5 she’d given up worrying?

    as I got older, mom and dad just expected me by midnight or so. Then one night, working on some theater stuff, we stayed all night. It wasn’t until about 4AM I realized how late it was. No cell phones of course. We went to Perkins at 6AM and I called home. Dad had gone driving around looking for me. They were mad, but not terrible. Shortly after that I started spending the nights with Kelly.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. We had no boundaries but we did have strict curfews, especially as teenagers. I had to be home right after the football games on Friday nights, no later than 11. No cruising Main after the game or going to parties. I remember staying out until 10 when we were younger and playing hide and seek, one of our favorite games. During the summer days, we either rode bikes and explored almost everywhere within a few miles of our home or we swam for hours. We were all good swimmers and there was a raft that was anchored in front of a neighbor’s home but out far enough that the water was deep. We spent entire days swimming and playing on and around that raft. Those are some of my favorite memories.

    I have used baby gates to keep Pippin in my small galley kitchen since moving here in 2016. It worked well for several years until this year. He has become so incredibly anxious about me leaving for work, or leaving for any reason, that he jumps and jumps on them until they collapse. I’ve tried to brace them with other objects but he knocks it all over. He chews on the plastic and has put deep gouges in it from clawing at it. He even scratched up one wall near the baby gate before he finally knocked it over. So it doesn’t work well anymore and I need to know that he’s safe. I did try to let him have the run of the house but that was when my neighbor mentioned that she could hear him barking. He must have been running around the house looking for me and barking. It only increased his anxiety. So he is in his crate now when I have to go somewhere. I’d rather let him have more room but not if he’s going to be destructive. He started on Prozac last week and it already seems to be helping. It seems wrong to use chemicals that way and I hesitated but the vet said that it has almost no side effects in dogs and I’m seeing good results, so I’m staying the course for now.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. fun to do the flashback to remembering riding my bike all over Bloomington down to the river I had six or seven spots where you park and go in and enjoy different faces of the river and the surrounding area left at the crack of dawn and got home as the sun was going down all summer riding bikes for friends wife was good in Bloomington in the late 50s early 60s for again I sure enjoyed it

    Liked by 2 people

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