Smith Silliness

Just another weblog

Toddler Tips by Mandy

on July 29, 2010

Hello all!!  I thought I would take this moment to submit a toddler tip to you.  Never, ever, ever, put a locking doorknob on your two-year-old’s bedroom door.  James’ bedroom door has a locking doorknob that requires a key to open it – a key that we don’t have.  We thought we were being pretty clever when we turned the doorknob around – that way he could never lock himself in his room, or so we thought…  Yesterday I was getting the kids ready to meet Steph and the boys at the park.  I had put Katie down to play on the floor in her room and James and I headed to his room to pick out his clothes for the day.  When we crossed the threshold to his room he pushed the door shut behind him.  I didn’t think much of it until I went to open it.  It was locked.  He had twisted the lock before he pushed the door shut.  I was staring at a keyhole that I had no key to.  James and I were locked in his room and Katie was locked out.

To say that I panicked would be an understatement.  I totally freaked out.  I didn’t have my phone and my baby was locked out of the room I was in.  All the doors upstairs were open.  Our house is babyproofed, but was it babyproofed enough?  Had I remembered to close the gate to the stairs?  I thought so, but I couldn’t be sure.  I knew there were dominoes on the floor in my room – did those count as choking hazards?  Could she make it that far?  I was terrified.  I knew I needed to get out, but I didn’t know how.  I paced frantically.  I started to cry.  I apparently cannot keep calm under pressure – in case you were wondering.  I freaked out my son.  He started crying too.  He stood at the door saying, “Open door?  Go park?”  I opened the bedroom window and screamed hysterically for help.  I even stared into the video monitor camera and pleaded for someone to rescue us.  I knew that Steph would eventually investigate when I didn’t show up at the park, but how long would that take?  It would be one thing if Katie was in the room with us, I could wait to be rescued, but not knowing what she was doing made me decide I had to take action.

Once I decided to act, I calmed down a bit, my head cleared and I started coming up with options.  I made sure James was safe in his bed and I surveyed the tools I had in the room.  I had thought about taking the door off its hinges, but I didn’t have a screwdriver or a hammer (why was it Brandon had finally put his tools away just when I needed them most?!)  I started pulling things out of James’ closet trying to see what was on the top shelf.  Nothing helpful there.  So I made the fateful decision, I would…

Break down the door.  No, it swung the wrong way and even big police guys on tv shows couldn’t always break down the door.  But, I had been in enough creepy houses while house hunting to know that I could probably punch a hole in the door and unlock it from the outside.  So that’s what I did.  For whatever reason, I guess my head wasn’t totally clear, I decided to try to punch out the lower panel – not exactly ideal punching height.  I got a good start on it, but I really wished I had had a hammer.  I didn’t, so I used the next best thing – James’ old shoes.  Ok – those aren’t even remotely the next best thing, but my hand was really hurting, so it worked in a pinch.  When it stopped working, I started kicking.  When that got old, I beat my way through the second half of the door with a half full paint can.  Finally, I broke all the way through the door.  I picked up Katie, who was crying, but was otherwise unscathed.  Victory!!

As soon as we were out, James wanted to know if we were still going to the park.  After a quick teary call to Steph, who dropped by to see the damage and get us out the door, we were off to the park.  I don’t think there were any lasting adverse effects for James, although I have seen him kicking the doors lately…

I called Brandon at work to tell him we were going to have to get a new door.  He sounded relatively calm about the whole thing, so I was grateful for that.  I asked him that night why he seemed to calm and he admitted that he didn’t really believe I had punched a hole in the door.  For some reason he thought I was exaggerating.  In case you have read this and are thinking the same thing, I am including pictures.  I hope you enjoy them, and take my toddler tip to heart.

The view from outside James’ room

The view from inside James’ room

The tools of the “escape” – paint can, shoes, paint stick, the mattress I had to stand on to check for said tools.

James and the hole in his door

James reliving the drama – is he laughing or screaming?

Is he cute or what?! And maybe just a bit mischievous 🙂


4 responses to “Toddler Tips by Mandy

  1. Sarah Rymer says:

    OH MY GOSH!!!! You are my hero!!!! That is amazing. And I am sure also very scary!! Holy cow, Mandy. Holy cow.

  2. Steph says:

    Ha ha ha ha. I loved reading the story….much more humorous then when right after it happened. 🙂 Glad all ended well, but you know I would have come to find you…eventually. 🙂

  3. Sandy says:

    Mandy, This was a GREAT story to read, though I panicked right along with you. Oh my goodness . . . to only imagine you screaming out the bedroom window and then to ponder . . . uh, no one responded, what if the house was on fire . . . where are my neighbors??? I am thankful all ended well and Brandon has been able to experience putting in a door. You truly have the heart of GREAT MOM!!!! Love you daugher-in-law!

  4. Rebecca says:

    What a great story! Glad everyone was okay.

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