Monday, April 2, 2012

When God closes a door...

Hadley opens it.

A few months back I did a little extra child proofing by putting the door knob covers on all the doors we didn't want the girls opening.  It turned out to be a bit premature, so Mama took them off while I was at work one day. 

They ended up being more of a hassle to us than a preventative measure for the girls as they had yet to figure out the mechanics of the door knob.

That all changed the other day. 

It was just about bedtime and the girls were winding down.  After their bath, we put a hair band on each of them to keep the hair out of their eyes.  Hadley decided she was done with hers, and Brynne agreed shortly thereafter. 

I saw Hadley walking toward our bedroom.  She paused at the door, holding the two hairbands in her hand.  Brynne began dancing around so I turned to watch her.

A minute later I heard the bathroom door shut.  The master bathroom door, which is obviously off the master "suite", which can only be accessed by going through our bedroom.  I assumed the wind from an open window had closed it, but as I walked toward our room I noticed our door was open - wind doesn't open doors.

Hadley (while her sister created a diversion) had opened our door, opened the bathroom door, opened Mama's drawer in the bathroom, and returned the hairbands to their proper storage location in anticipation of using them again after the next bath.  She walked out as if nothing had happened, informing me that she was "all done".

The closing of the door, I believe, served three purposes.  First, we've taught them to pick up after themselves and always leave things/places nicer than they found them, which includes putting stuff away in the proper location.  Second, they have learned to always close doors.  Third, she was covering her tracks.

I guess it's about time to put the door covers back, but I have a dilemma.

If I reinstall them, Brynne won't have the opportunity to figure out how to open a door yet.  If I don't reinstall them, the odds are very high the girls will now have free reign to rooms that are not supposed to be accessible to them.

As I see it, I have three options: 

1 - Cover all door knobs to keep them in their quarantined area. 

2 - Cover no door knobs and give them unlimited access.

3 - Cover only those doors that lead to unsafe places so Brynne can work on opening the other one - which leads to the hall closet.

If I knew anything about blogger technology I would include a vote button here, but since I don't, all I can do is ask for your comments.  What do you think I should do?

PS - for those of you that are new to reading my writing rambling, the embedded links are three of my personal favorites from last summer and fall, which just happen to fit in here, I think.  Hope you hop over to them and read a bit of my "old" stuff.


championm2000 said...

I vote for option 3. However, I do feel a bit sorry for Brynne. The hall closet? Where's the adventure there??

jen@ living a full life said...

We always installed a tiny hook and eye up high on the door so the kids couldn't enter; they didn't have all the fancy child proof options back in the day.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Oh, I feel the pain of this dilemma!!! ;)

Our girls learned to open doors without having free reign of the house. Our bedrooms are upstairs, and they - suddenly, it seemed! - learned to open their door as I was getting them dressed, in order to race to the top of the steps (gasp!).

Once we regrouped and I got the girls downstairs, into their quarantine, no more doors were tampered with until we were on the move upstairs again. Then they'd rush into the bathroom ahead of me.

(This all makes me sound slow, doesn't it??? HA! You know the girls don't always move at the same pace, though, so I promise it wasn't just [always] Mama dragging her feet!)

You may know we've done almost no baby-proofing...since we kept the girl in quarantine so long.

Still, for the time they were "out and about", we just instituted the rule, you do not open cabinets, drawers, or doors. I'd say it was between 27 and 30 months or so that we had to put that rule in place, and they've actually done really well.

What I actually love about this story...what I'm trying to embrace that the girls know so much more than we often give them credit for. I nearly fell over today when B told me she had a string on her pants, which she knew I'd cut with the scissors. She ran to the drawer, opened it, and was a milisecond away from grabbing the scissors for me! ACK!!!

We had to talk about how much I appreciated her help and initiative...but you still don't open drawers unless Mommy asks you to.

My guess is that your girls will learn to open use scale the cover their way or the other. My vote is to baby-proof in the way that is most comfortable / manageable for you guys...and unless that involves keeping your girls tied to their high chairs all day (which sometimes sounds like a plan to me!), they'll be just fine.

Deep breaths...good luck!!!

Lauren said...

My son started opening all our doors at 12 months old. We have lever doorknobs, so it was easier than the round knobs (although he can open those too). The covers for the level knobs are harder to find, so we just never did. The doors that HAD to stay closed because there were very restricted things behind them got hook and eyes high up that we lock. The other doors got left alone. Noah has full reign in our house. I did have to "baby proof" a little more in the bedrooms once that happened, but after awhile I stopped having to be so careful, because he started being more obedient and not getting into things he wasn't supposed to get into.