Friday, July 01, 2016

Child Proof

IKEA is recalling twenty-nine million dressers. Not just because they have silly names with unnecessary umlauts, but because they have crushed six children. The news item I read felt moved to include the phrase "to death" at the end of that crushing part, as if there should be some distinction between crushing that is fun and healthy and that which is not. I will not at this point discuss the adults who may have succumbed to an aneurysm while trying to construct these pieces of furniture via the "easy-to-follow" instructions with bags full of indiscriminate fistfuls of pegs and screws, but that will wait for another day.
Here's what I have to say about the Malm dresser:  We have two of them in our house, and knock particle board, no one has been crushed. Part of the reason we have gone this many days without a furniture-related incident is that we followed the manufacturer's directive to attach the potentially top-heavy hunk of wood to the wall. This was expressly important to us back in the days that we had a child who might have felt the need to use the furniture as some sort of playground apparatus. Perhaps because our son is prone to more sedentary pursuits, we passed through that period of time when the potential for crushing was at its highest. These days, the circumstances that would lead to a chest of drawers toppling over on him would be mediated by the fact that he is big enough to shove that not inconsequential weight back against the wall where it belongs if such a physics event became a reality.
The same could be said for all the cabinet doors and latched doors that we installed once upon a time when every loose object was a potential choking hazard and the morning couldn't come quickly enough so we had the light to see what we might have missed in our endeavor to make every step and breath our little boy took free from possible danger.
Now he drives his own car, and though I confess that I still have horrible flashes when I imagine the lug nuts on all four wheels failing while he is driving down the road, I have mostly surrendered to the inevitable when it comes to his  safety. Meanwhile, his mother and I continue to open the drawers to our Malms with only a hint of caution. If we were to be confronted by our own build-it-yourself furniture, we would only have ourselves to blame. And those sketchy directions.

No comments: