No, this is not a sequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
And did I say “The Situation?” Fist pump!
All joking aside, for the last several months, we’ve had a bit of a situation. Here’s the easiest way I can break it down:
Upon entering our home, we have a lovely, spacious foyer. To the left, the powder room; to the right, the door to the garage. Simply walk up three steps, and you’ll enter our great room.
Those f#%ing three steps.
And for the record, they weren’t in the blueprints when we bought the home (shakes fist at “builder’s right to make changes due to grading permits”).
So here’s the problem.
1. Our little dude likes to tumble. In fact, not only is he the most uncoordinated toddler I’ve ever seen, but he’s also a daredevil – you know, the kind who’ll fling himself willingly down the stairs just because. A very unfortunate combination.
2. Our older dude is ridiculously hospitable. If the doorbell rings, he’s only too happy to catapult down those three steps and open the door to strangers. In fact, when someone comes a knockin’, it’s generally the Gong Show over here as I try to contain Reid from falling down the stairs, and stop Ryder from answering the door. I usually win the war, but I’ve been known to lose a battle or two.
3. Remember that aforementioned “spacious foyer”? That means a wide staircase. 55″ wide to be exact. Three wide, incredibly inconvenient steps that have been the bane of my existence ever since toddlers roamed my home.
We needed a solution – but solutions weren’t easy to come by. After all, most baby gates only fit openings to about 40″, and many were deemed unsuitable for the top of the stairs. The few extension gates we did encounter were either too expensive or too unsightly.
Enter Summer Infant. While browsing online, the Sure & Secure 6 Foot Metal Expansion Gate easily caught my eye. The hardware mounted – not pressure mounted – gate meant that it could safely be used at the top of the stairs. I loved the fact that it was able to expand wide enough to fit the doorway, and the gorgeous walk-through gate made it convenient and aesthetically acceptable for the front of a home.
The good folks at Summer Infant were happy to send one my way to review, and let me just come out and say it: this gate has been a lifesaver. We love, love, LOVE it.
Here’s the scoop:
“For parents looking for a secure metal gate that will fit in those larger openings between 3.5 and 6 feet wide, there’s the Summer Infant Sure & Secure 6 Foot Metal Expansion Gate. The hardware mounts securely in place and has a convenient walk-thru door for easy access between rooms.”
As the instructions were labelled as “easy to follow”, we decided to give it the ol’ college try and assemble the gate ourselves. We pulled all the pieces out of the packaging and spread out the instructions.
And then we called Kenn Macfie from Oh Baby! Child Safety Services.
Now don’t get me wrong; the average person could very easily install this baby gate with minimal effort and exertion. In fact, several online reviews commended Summer Infant for making it quite easy to put together. But when it comes to being handy around the home, we at Chez Lena are well below average. To tell the truth, we’re rather atrocious. Therefore, since Kenn had previously installed baby gates on our main stairs – and we were thrilled to pieces with his workmanship – it was a no-brainer to place another call this time ’round.
(If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, call him! He’ll make sure your children are safe.)
So… according to Kenn… the Summer Infant Sure & Secure 6 Foot Metal Expansion Gate is a breeze to install!
And, the quality and styling of the gate exceeded my expectations. The walk-through gate is so easy to use, and I love that it swings both ways so it can be opened/closed to suit the user. The lock engages securely and without fuss, but is still complicated enough to stump a curious 3-year old. Finally, the warm, neutral colour blends in well with our decor. Instead of being a baby gate, it’s actually part of the ambiance :)
There’s only one element which prevents this gate from being just short of perfection: the metal bar which runs along the bottom. Folks will have to watch their step for fear of tripping over it, which is slightly inconvenient considering the placement at the top of the stairs. However, we’re quite used to the bar and it has never been an issue; we simply step over it. Furthermore, the entire gate removes VERY easily for entertaining, so there’s no need to worry about disrupting the flow of guests.
But how has it been a lifesaver? Well, simply put, we have peace of mind now. I don’t constantly worry that Reid will tumble down the stairs if I take my eyes off him. I don’t stress about Ryder sauntering out our front door or answering the doorbell before I can get there. And I definitely don’t believe I’m trading safety for style; we love the gate and keep it up even while entertaining. Hey, it prevents a few tipsy friends from taking tumbles too!
The Summer Infant Sure & Secure 6 Foot Metal Expansion Gate retails for $89.99 and can be purchased at Babies R Us, Sears.ca and Dear-Born Baby in Canada.