I’ve always loved gadgets.
When I was young it was things like the cassette Walkman and the Sega Mega Drive.
I’d get the 21 bus from Copnor down to Commercial Road in Portsmouth to visit Woolworths to buy cassettes for my personal stereo.
I’d also buy a pencil whilst I was there to help wind the tape back in when the machine would chew it up.
When I wasn’t bopping around to some ’90s pop music on the go, I’d be playing games like Sonic the Hedgehog on the Mega Drive.
I’d also have the odd novelty gadget, like the keyring that would buzz when you clapped so you could never lose your keys.
Obviously things have moved on now and the gadgets I used to play with as a child and teenager seem pre-historic. These days my favourite gadgets include my iPod and my sat-nav. But since becoming a father, I’ve been introduced to a whole new world of gadgets that I never knew existed.
In one shop I saw a pushchair that had its very own dashboard with lights, clock, temperature gauge and a strollometer.
I didn’t buy one, but I have to admit if it didn’t have such a ridiculously high price tag, I might have considered it.
Most of the gadgets I’ve discovered are of the child safety kind and our house is now fully child-proofed.
Anything that could pose a danger to my two daughters has a gadget or clever invention of some kind in place to stop curious minds in their tracks.
For example, we have safety gates sitting at the top and bottom of the stairs.
We have little hooks on the kitchen cupboards that stop them opening so that Caitlin and Alyssa can’t help themselves to the contents.
We have plugs to go into the electrical wall sockets to keep little fingers away.
But what happens when your children get a bit clever and start to work out ways around the child-proofing that has been put in place?
The other day I wondered how a packet of crisps got from the secure kitchen cupboard into Caitlin’s hands.
Then I heard the clicking sound of the stair gate being unhooked off the wall and realised it was Caitlin doing the unhooking. So now eyes and ears are even more important than ever.
But surely in this day and age, stair gates should be impossible to open for even the cleverest child, and cupboards should have more than a little hook to keep them away?
I’m thinking stair gates and kitchen cupboards with fingerprint recognition so they only open for mum and dad.
I won’t say too much though. I may have to take my idea to the Dragons’ Den, as I’ve just spent all my money on two new stair gates.