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Husband-Proofing Your House

Photograph by Getty Images

On a recent Saturday morning, I heard a cry coming from the bottom of my stairs. "Help! I'm stuck. I can't open the babygate! Somebody…" It was my husband. Stuck. Like a prisoner locked behind a 4-foot-tall fence. So, my 2-year-old came down to open it for him.

We've had our baby-proofing in the house for about a year. I'm not sure why, since the only person it seems to work on is my husband. The kids have long since removed the plate covers, re-rigged the cabinet locks and have figured out how to open, go under, go over and around the few remaining baby gates they haven't already completely taken down.

So while baby-proofing seems to be an ineffective way of keeping your children out of unsafe parts of your home, it works wonders on husbands. This got me thinking: What is the best way to keep your home safe from your husband?

Toilet seat with motion detector. It rises when he gets nearby!

For the little one, you want to lock that toilet lid so your kiddo doesn't take a very dangerous swim. But for your big one, you just want him to actually lift the seat. A toilet with motion detector means the lid goes up whenever anyone gets close. That puts an end to that inevitable moment where you step in pee moments after the hubs has dropped it there.

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Voice response key chain. When he calls, it answers!

Little kids love to play with keys, a dangerous toy that moms and dads want to keep out of hand's way. But dads seem to have a gift for losing theirs. So wouldn't it be great if when he screams from across the house, "Honeeeeeey, where are my keys?" the keychain answered? Thus saving you the trouble of screaming, "How the 'eff should I know?"

Oven with automatic shutoff. It knows when he's going to burn dinner.

Parents do their best to keep their kids away from all hot appliances, especially the stove and oven. But most husbands also do their best to keep away from appliances, especially the stove and the oven. But in the event dad has his once a year, "I should really cook more" epiphany, he's going to need to get into the oven or stove. And about a second after he puts dinner in the oven, he'll forget he put dinner in the oven—making a burnt meal highly probable. So with an automatic shutoff, the oven knows when to turn dad's meal off (right after he presses "on").

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Robotic laundry hamper. It picks up what you don't want to.

Most parents try to keep their floors clear of obstacles that the little ones might trip over. But most fathers try to keep their floor as filled with possible with shoes and boxer shorts. That way, if they need to pack a lot of dirty clothes fast, nothing will be too far away. But the robotic laundry hamper keeps the floor safe from being covered in underwear, and mom safe from wanting to kill dad when she trips on his shoes in the dark.

Car seat auto lock. It never forgets to strap the kids in.

You've had those car seats professionally installed. Those bad boys aren't moving. But they're kind of useless if the kids aren't buckled in properly. And sure, the hubs didn't mean to, he just kind of forgot to buckle the kid's straps BEFORE he started driving. But a car seat auto lock does it for him, or the car doesn't move. And if that doesn't work, he can just ask the kids how those car seats work. Lord knows they figured out how to get out of them long ago.

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