I sat at work all day on Friday, anxious to go home. I guess I am always anxious to go home from work, but this time I had a special reason. My brand new, shiny brass "privacy latch" had been installed on the pocket door that leads to the basement and I couldn't wait to get home and show it to David.
I wasn't trying to be cruel. I was not planning to remind David of all of the marvelous things that the basement holds and then turn the latch, locking him out. I did have visions, however, of being able to enforce the rules without having to go chasing after him. No indiscriminately dumping all of the baskets of toys and no pushing the button on Andrew's video game just to see his reaction.
Well, (deep breath here), the short story is that $120.15 later, it took David approximately seven seconds to use his little fingers to turn the wheel on the outside of the door. I guess there is a reason that they call it a "privacy latch" and not a "lock." Evidently, David didn't really feel like respecting anyone's "privacy." DING. Round one goes to David.
It took me a full day of strategizing to develop my plan B. Fortunately, the locksmith had left the old hardware and I discovered that the old door pull was exactly the same size and shape as the new one. So, Michael was able to screw the old hardware on the outside of the door over the new, concealing the wheel from David's grasp. The door could still be locked, but David would not be able to use his little fingers to turn the wheel, releasing the latch. By the way, are you sure this is the same child who sometimes has difficulty with the fine motor skills involved in things like writing, but can somehow grasp and turn a tiny, low profile brass wheel to gain entry to our basement? Wait. Don't answer that.
Well, this time it took David about two hours and seven seconds to discover that if he just rattled the door endlessly, the latch would open without even having to exercise that pincer grasp. And, in all fairness to David, he probably would have figured it out much sooner, but he was involved in playing something else and did not even try the door for the first two hours. DING. Round two—David.
Round three involved the addition of a door stop wedged on the basement side to stop the door from rattling so much. David quickly perfected the door-jiggle-shoulder-shove combination that, predictably, worked like a charm. Round three--I was down for the count.
I am honestly not sure what the next step will be. Sometimes it is exhausting trying to stay one step ahead of David. I guess it is sometimes exhausting trying to keep up with any child. I just wish that this mental sparring counted as a form of exercise.