Sunday, June 28, 2009

Doorknobs and Spankings

We have a doorknob problem. Buster has grown just enough that he can reach the doorknob. In our old house, we had ordinary, run-of-the-mill round doorknobs, so by the time Q-ster was tall enough to reach them, he had enough sense to stay out of trouble. Or if he was getting into trouble, he was well aware of doing it on purpose.

In our new house, we have these pretty levers that are comfortable to use, simple to trigger with your elbow if both hands of holding things, and unfortunately, easily opened by a very small child who is just thrilled with his new skill.

We spent the entire day repeatedly extracting him from the front hall closet and downstairs bathroom, now that he has unfettered access. SwingDaddy is working on a door blocking scheme, perhaps temporarily replacing a few of the most important knobs, like the one for our office, which is filled with all the child-unsafe items that have been evacuated from the rest of the house. It’s just a year and a half, and we should be able to return to an un-gated staircase and unlatched cabinets too.

I had picked up Bedtime for Frances to read to Q-ster, because I remember Frances fondly (but incorrectly from The Please and Thank-you Book, which turns out to be a Richard Scarry tale, not Frances, but whatever). We settled down and followed her adventures through wanting one more glass of milk, getting up to ask one more question, brushing her teeth, crawling back into bed, and then waking her parents once more.

Finally, her father threatens her with a spanking.

“What’s a spanking?” asks Q-ster.

The child is four years old. Have we never actually let slip the “or else I’ll spank you!” phrase, not once in four years? Either we’re doing something very right or very wrong.

I had to pause a moment to think about how to explain a spanking. It was kind of hard to get the words out – hitting as punishment. Not to say that the little dude isn’t occasionally so whiny that he probably use a swat, but he’s sensitive to correction and a scolding is generally enough to make him pay attention. Let’s hope that we can continue with mere threats of withholding Legos.


mayberry said...

I definitely think you are doing something right!

(And of course, because they are virtual twins, Opie likes Frances too. She even has her own TV show on Sprout.)

Anonymous said...

Those doorknobs strike fear into my maternal heart. My mother-in-law has a terrifying story about my husband escaping as a very young toddler in the dead of an Alberta winter. It culminates with a stranger picking him up in a car and driving around looking for a frantic mother.

kittenpie said...

Pumpkinpie asked me the same thing.

And the front door scares the crap out of me because Pumpkinpie can now unlock and open it, and there is at least once per winter some story of a child walking out of the house into the night as their parents sleep. So far, we gate the stairs that go down to the first floor, and that is enough, but I keep wanting to put a latch on the front door.

Gunfighter said...

Hang in there... Soccer Girl is approaching eleven years old, and her older sister is nearing twenty, and I have never laid a hand on either of them.