Using ANY SURFACE.
If it is inflatable, soft, rounded, or capable of cushioning a fall in anyway, she's not interested. Whereas if you can find her the corner of a table cloth, a toy on wheels, a towel hanging over a red hot radiator or an anvil balanced precariously over the edge of a ravine, she will race (quite literally) to get to it before you do in order to grasp it to pull herself up. In the bath she even uses small floating bath toys as an aid to achieving the ever desirable upright position, and as an opportunity to engineer my fourth heart attack of the day.
So we're playing on the floor in the lounge. I only want to put my mug in the sink. She does seem quite happy playing here. She'll be fine. You're fussing I tell myself. You'll only be two seconds. Go and put the pigging cup in the sink you wimp. I dart into the kitchen, deposit my mug, and race back to where we were playing; just in time so see her smiling as she stands, having moved six feet across the room, to where she is now gripping precariously onto the cast iron fire grate. I hurtle across the room, with every stride praying that she is not about to fall forward and knock out the first and only tooth she's ever had. She watches my anguished face with great interest and excitement and giggles as I grab her in my quivering arms.
Then she gets annoyed because I've spoiled her fun.
And so it goes on through the day.
I pull the drawer from under her cot, help myself to a handful of nappies, and upon closing the drawer, clock her using her wheelie truck to wobblingly elevate herself.
I reach up to open a window, look down at where she was sat, then sense that overwhelming yet all too familiar wave of dread and panic as I realise she's moved. I scan the room just in time to witness her begin to pull, with her whole body weight, at the corner of the telly.
I dash from her bedroom into the bathroom for a wee and, mid-stream, must leap, directly from the loo seat, pants round ankles, out of the bathroom doorway as she quickly makes her way onto the landing with the clear intention of tackling the stairs.
Consequently, we (that's both of us) are currently touting a few bruises and scratches, which is a minor miracle considering some of the stunts she's pulled of late.
And we are in the market for baby gates. But where do you position the things? Stereotypically, I think they go at the top and bottom of the stairs? Or maybe one on the kitchen too? Are there hard and fast rules?
If not I have plans of my own.
If possible, we'll invest in four, attach them together, slip them over her head, then...Bob's your Uncle. She'll be safe - if completely unable to explore, learn from, understand or interact with her environment, thus rendering her unable to grasp simple physical concepts such as cause and effect, ultimately hindering the adult development of her knowledge of basic scientific concepts and reasoning.
Still, that's the flat screen protected.