So Samuel's not mobile yet, but he's not far off. All of his desperate attempts to propel himself forward have so far proved futile, but there's nothing like the sight of a baby with its arse in the air and its nose on the carpet to make you realise that EVERYTHING in your flat is an accident waiting to happen.
As a result, James took a couple of days off last week so that we could start the baby-proofing. One by one we went through our list of hazards. Is it a safer place for Samuel as a result? We won't know that for a little while yet, but one thing we do know for sure is that baby-proofing creates its own set of problems.
DANGER: PLUG SOCKETS!
There's nothing that tempts little fingers more than a plug socket. That's why we've fitted all of our unused ones with those plug socket cover things. The day after we did it, I needed to take one out to plug my hairdryer in. I didn't realise that all you need to do to take a cover out is pop a plug in it and then pull, so I very sensibly started chiseling it out with a sharp metal kitchen knife. Safety first!
DANGER: SCENTED CANDLES!
Babies and fire – it's not really a match made in heaven. That's a sad thing because I really love my scented candles. This is partially because they lend a relaxing, Vogue Living kind of ambiance to our living space, and partially because wild fig and cassis does a cracking job in masking the whiffs emanating from the nappy bin and the cat litter tray. Nonetheless, I acknowledged that I needed to bid a teary farewell to my Jo Malones and my Laura Merciers and accepted that it was time they went to a higher place. No, not heaven. Just to the top of the bookshelf.
DANGER: SHARP EDGES!
Side tables, TV benches, bedside tables, toy boxes. Everywhere we looked we could see a sharp edge threatening to cause cuts, bumps and bruises. Luckily we discovered that Mothercare sells these little self-adhesive rubber things called Corner Cushions, so we got a load of them and stuck them on the corners of pretty much all of our possessions. They've made all of our possessions much safer. But, with their distinct 'Argos warehouse' aesthetic, they've also made all of our possessions look like they're in the process of being packaged up with bubblewrap and returned to the shop.
DANGER: PILES OF DVDS!
Throughout our pre-baby years, we have simply piled our box sets high and left them against a wall. No longer. I can't bear the thought of Samuel being injured in an accident involving all eight series of 24 toppling on him (plus the ridiculous and frankly unnecessary film featuring Robert Carlyle). We really should have dealt with this in the manner of Jack Bauer and speeded all of the DVDs to the middle of the Arizona desert by helicopter so that we could destroy them in a spectacular controlled explosion. What we actually did was put them on top of the bookshelf next to the scented candles. It's getting pretty crowded up there. I hope Samuel doesn't turn into a climber.
DANGER: INEXPERIENCED PARENTS BABY-PROOFING!
Other baby-proofing jobs that needed carrying out included attaching chests of draws to the walls and suchlike. They involved tools. And when I went to change Samuel's nappy in the midst of taking all of these safety measures, I discovered that we had left a big hammer on his changing mat.