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31 August 2012 / leggypeggy

Welcome to Fort Charlie

Katie and Charlie

Katie catches Charlie in mid-flight

I can’t leave the USA (we fly to South America tomorrow) without introducing my great-nephew, Charlie. I’m talking about the little Charlie, because there’s a big Charlie too, who is my nephew.

Little Charlie is the second son of my niece, Katie. He’s a live-wire to say the least and might as well be named Houdini. He’s into everything, impossible to contain, fast on his feet, an accomplished climber, a pretty good shot when he throws and a quick learner. Katie is doing a fantastic job as Superwoman—and comes close to corralling and keeping up with him.

At the moment, she is living with her mother, who happens to be my sister, Susan.

Katie’s husband, George, is with the US Army in Afghanistan until the end of the year. So Katie is doing an amazing job of managing two energetic sons. Her older boy, Georgie, is six now and quite grown up! He’s having lots of fun playing soccer and basketball, and is turning into a good cook too. He sure helped me a lot—and Charlie horned in too.

Little Charlie is about 16 months old now. Several months ago, when Charlie began to walk, Susan and Katie bought every baby gate sold in Oklahoma. The contents of the house are now surrounded by them.

baby barriers

A selection of baby gates and barriers

They are at the top and bottom of stairs, around the entertainment centre, around computers, blocking off rooms full of temptation and danger. At last count there are five gated areas (Susan calls them ‘safe zones’), six doorway gates and three portable ones to place as needed. The night we arrived, Katie was cutting out a new barrier from a sort of stiff foam. Charlie had figured out that he could climb up and slip through the railings on the stairs.

All that said, the kid has cute in trumps!

Susan posted this story on her Facebook page the other day. A young, childless married woman at Soccer City—during Georgie’s class—observed baby Charlie. ‘He is just adorable,’ she said. A few minutes later she added, ‘Don’t get me wrong, but he is great birth control.’

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Leave a Comment
  1. lmo58 / Aug 31 2012 5:28 pm

    Hi Peggy,
    Georgie and Charlie are gorgeous! I greatly admire people with toddlers. Although gorgeous they sure eat up your energy! But portable gates are such a wonderful invention! Thanks for sharing.

    Best wishes


    • leggypeggy / Aug 31 2012 10:28 pm

      My pleasure, Louise. We had such a wonderful time seeing them and all the family.



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