And that explains why Mitchell spent the day inside Nadya Suleman's new place in La Habra, Calif., installing dozens of safety devices throughout the four-bedroom home – as scores of TV crews and onlookers waited outside for the arrival from the hospital of the first of Suleman's octuplets.
"We've done a few triplets before," says Mitchell, who has babyproofed homes for Britney Spears and other celebrities. "But this was definitely the biggest job we've ever worked on! Fourteen children works out to twenty-eight little hands."
43 Safety LatchesIn Mitchell's profession, each of those inquisitive pairs of hands represents a potential mishap waiting to happen. So, over the course of the day, she installed 43 safety latches on drawers and cabinets, a dozen door locks, three toilet lid locks and, at Suleman's request, safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairwell near the nursery.
Exactly when Suleman and her children – eight babies, plus six older kids – will move into the new place isn't clear, but there's a good chance it could happen Tuesday. An inspector from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center visited the residence early Monday morning. The only reported concern was that gas lines around the furnace, stove and water heater needed to be checked for leaks. A technician from the gas company was due Tuesday morning.
If no leaks are detected, it's believed that hospital officials will release two of the octuplets to their mother.