You see, J.J.'s crawling has advanced beyond the "better keep an eye on him" stage, as he has not only learned that all of the rooms in our house are connected, but has determined the best way to get from one place to another, and his increasing speed has made all of this a dangerous combination.
After joking that we needed to go get a giant hamster ball and let J.J. have the run of the house, we went and got a few gates.
They have taken some getting used to, to say the least. One of the gates is between the kitchen and dining room (rendering the pocket door useless for now). This is a critical gateway, as it takes a split second from the time J.J. enters the kitchen until the cat's water bowl is overturned. It's also the most direct path for me to get dinner from the kitchen to the table. While taking the indirect route of the side hallway/nursery/ back hallway/living room worked on Saturday, the second gate was installed between the living room and back hallway on Sunday. It's now necessary to carry only what I can manage in one hand, leaving the other hand free to unlatch the gate.
While Joe and I are certainly trainable and flipping the latch one-handedly is becoming second nature, Lillie and Zitty don't have the benefit of opposable thumbs and have found themselves on the wrong side of the gate on more than one occasion. Without access to the (now cloistered) dining room/living room area, Zitty can't lie in the sun on his window seat. And Lillie can't scavenge for abandoned Cheerios and "clean" the highchair tray (Joe has started calling her "Nu Nu"*).
Our solution has been to prop the gates open whenever J.J. is not roaming about the area. It's been fairly successful, as so far the Bear and I have each stubbed our toes only once and Lillie has wrestled the door stop (AKA her dog toy) free just once, causing the door to slam shut, trapping herself in the dining room, and waking me up in the process.
The next step is to install the final gate at the top of the stairs that lead to the basement. And to Zitty's litter box. And to Lillie's outdoor access.
I'm starting to think the hamster ball isn't such a bad idea after all...
*For those of you