Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Natural Consequences: My Turn

Ian is desperate to retrieve one of his dump trucks from the backyard. I allow him outdoors to accomplish this task. Laurel and I peer out the windows, amused by Ian's tactics in trying to find his truck. After a few minutes, he is frustrated in not locating it. I instruct Laurel to stay inside while I join Ian in his quest.

After thoroughly searching the yard together, Ian and I conclude the truck must still be inside, possibly in his room. Together, we walk to the patio door. Ian turns the door handle and pushes, but the door does not budge. He tries it again and again, but the door remains steadfast. Offering support, I comment, "Ian, remember the handle is tricky. You have to turn it all the way first and then push the door."

This time I try opening the door. As I push against it, I can hear the distinct sound of metal hitting metal from the deadbolt cylinder. My heart stops as I look down and see Laurel on the other side of the glass door reaching for the lock. I flashback to a day about two years ago, when Ian had locked me outside. Learning my lesson, I usually take the house keys with me in case of such an emergency. Today, well, I am feeling just a bit stupid.

I yell through the glass, "Laurel turn the knob all the way around."

She gets up on her tiptoes and reaches for the knob. She turns it, but it doesn't rotate enough to unlock. "Keep turning it!" I urge her.

Laurel turns it the wrong way. "No, Sweetie. Turn it the other way."

She tries again and again, but without any luck. Ian asks, "Why won't Laurel open the door?"

"I don't think she can turn the knob all the way around, Honey." Then the light bulb goes off in my head. Laurel doesn't have enough leverage to reach the knob.

"Laurel, go get the stepstool."

She continues reaching for the lock. "No sweetie, first go get the stepstool."

Finally, she stops messing with the lock and trots off hopefully to get the stepstool. I squint through the glass and watch her retrieve it. She places it next to the door and climbs up. A few more sets of instructions and then, click. Oh, what a beautiful, heart-revitalizing sound.

Quickly, I push open the door in the small gap between it and the stepstool so Laurel is unable to accidentally lock us out again. Whew, another close call. Mental note: Always take the house keys outside with me no matter how short the stint, now matter how quick the task.


Anonymous said...

I know you were so glad she was able to get it unlocked! At least she was old enough to be able to follow your instructions to let you back in!

Rachel said...

Whew! It's good that Laurel understood what you wanted her to do. Alyssa probably would have been so pissed about not being outside too, she would have walk away!

Bloggy Mama said...

Yikes! Good thing that you have raised uch an obedient little girl!

Damselfly said...

A good lesson for all parents, I imagine!

Anonymous said...

How scary. I can just imagine Jeffrey either laughing or screaming on the other side of the door. Neither way would I get back into the house.

Guinevere Meadow said...


Lance has just gotten tall enough where he can reach the deadbolt and unlock our front door. I worry about this because we live on the second floor of an apartment building. Time to go back to the hardware store to find some genius childproofing device!!

Anonymous said...

At least she was able to understand and do as instructed :) Maybe leave a key hidden outside in case you forget to bring the keys with you?

MaryP said...

My heart would have been in my throat. So glad your smart little girl understood your instructions! (And followed them, too. Phew.)