My wife and I thought we were fully prepared when we had our first child, but it took only about ten months to realize how wrong we had been. We survived the first few months on little sleep, but that was in our game plan. Both of us knew there would be little rest until the baby slept through most of the night, so we thought this was the worst that could happen.

After the baby began sleeping longer, we thought we’d mastered raising her. Our life settled into a routine for the next few months, and everything was fine until she began walking much earlier than we had planned. Before she could crawl, life was fairly simple and crawling had been easy to control. We told our family and friends that parenting was easy, and we wondered why they all laughed. We’ve discovered that walking is a new parental nightmare.

Our daughter is less than a year old, and she has learned to pull herself up on furniture and walk. She can now get into things we never thought about removing. The coffee table seems to be her favorite target lately, and we are learning to keep it clear of objects. I came home yesterday, and my wife was in tears over her latest escapade.

It seems that clearing the table took away its charm, so our daughter decided to venture further afield. While my wife was putting in a load of wash, she walked over to the kitchen door and got out into the back yard through the dog’s door. Immediately realizing our daughter was missing, she mobilized the entire neighborhood to search. It took nearly an hour before one of the neighbors heard her outside, so tonight we’re busy taking necessary steps to completely baby-proof our home.