Friday, August 05, 2011

Locked Out

By the title of this post you may think I'm referring to that fateful Sunday morning, not so long ago, when my husband was in the ATL for the weekend and I got the girls ready and in the car to go to church only to realize that I had just locked the front door and didn't have the house key to get back in after church. At least I didn't lock one of them inside, too! Oh, horrors.

Oh. No? Probably cuz I vowed never to tell anyone about it. But there you have it.

No, today's lock-out addresses a year of frustration in this rental house. Frustration and annoyance. All because of a few small plastic pieces. And when I say few, I mean a hundred. Of something like this:

Our well-meaning landlords installed these on almost every. single. cabinet. in the kitchen and both bathrooms. Really, there's nothing quite like jerking a door open only to have it jerk your arm out of its socket when it only opens one child-proof inch. Or when I finally got the hang of pushing the latch down, first, all the top-of-the-hand scratches were really awesome.

Lord forgive me, I used to be a little judgmental and eye-rolling about child-proofing. And now I'm worse. On the receiving end, it feels more like parent-training! My hubby and I were the only ones in the house being stopped by these little critters.

Our SweetP was so easy in this respect. I never baby-proofed one thing when she was learning to get around. Well, we did plug some of the more accessible outlets with the plastic covers. (Equally as annoying.) We just taught her that some things were no-no-touches and she was pretty great! I gave her one drawer in the kitchen that was okay to play with - full of plastic lids and such - and she was happy as a clam.

At her grandparents' house, we taught her to climb up and down the stairs and practiced with her and she never fell! So far they have 5 grandchildren and we've never needed a baby gate. Yes, it does take extra time and attention. But that's not hard to come by at Grandpa & Nana's.

Maybe LittleGirl will prove to be more of a challenge. She already can't seem to stay away from cords and cables. (This girl grabs the charger for the dirt devil, sticks the business end in her mouth, and gets a little shock that makes her fuss. Then she does it again! Yeah, she may be more challenging in this area.)

Back to the point of this post. A couple weeks ago, I got fed up with jerking my arm out of its socket and getting cabinet scratches on my hand. (It took a year. I obviously have the patience of Job. Ha. More like procrastination.) Anyway, when we came to the decision that we were going to rent here at least another year, sorry landlords, but those child-proof locks had to go.

So armed with a Phillips screwdriver and 5 or 10 minutes, I removed all of the little hooks and arms from every low cabinet door in the kitchen. Each one had 4 screws! Apparently they were there to stay.

Oh, the freedom! I proudly waited for my hubby to notice the huge improvement. But I don't really have the patience of Job, so I had to tell him. "GuesswhatIdid!Tryandopenacupboardinthekitchen!No,thatone!See?It'sbetterright?" Something like that.

It was SO.MUCH.BETTER! I still subconsciously brace myself for the shock of being stopped short whenever I reach for the dish detergent or a fresh kitchen towel. But I'm pleasantly surprised every time. The doors just open for me!

Now to the bathroom cupboards. I nearly kill myself every time I try to open the drawer for my toothpaste.

Please tell me I'm not the only one to live with a frustration for at least a year before dealing with it!

P.S. Lest any of you readers think I'm a bad mom for unlocking hazardous cleaning supplies within reach of my children, please know that they NEVER (so far) even open those doors. SweetP is old enough to understand. And the other is never out of my sight long enough to get to a forbidden place. She can't open doors quite yet, either. I suppose soon I may be replacing those locks if LittleGirl turns into a wild thing when she starts walking... But until then I'll revel in the freedom of doors that open wide.


Rosanna said...

I hate those things too! We decided to "house-proof our baby" rather than a baby-proof our house. :) Sure, it takes a little extra time/training, but it's worth it for me to not have the frustration, y'know?

jayna said...

We had those horrible things in the last house we had in Georgia. I was sure I was going to bust a drawer or something trying to get them open. Awful!

We don't "baby-proof", but MJ did take a liking to opening and shutting the bathroom drawers in our last house. After one too many pinched fingers, I just turned the knobs around so she couldn't use them to pull. Simple, and we could still open them!

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