Thursday, September 18, 2008

She loves that tomato plant a little too much

Last night was awful, sleep-wise. After the fifth time we had to go into her room (all after 3am), we gave up and brought her into our bed. Since her usual mode of sleeping in our bed involves snuggling with me while kicking Jason in the crotch, he elected to sleep in the guest room. I still ended up several hours short of "enough," and Jason has apparently been sleepwalking around work all day.

This morning I was apparently dead to the world, since I didn't even notice when Liza got up. Usually she's all about dragging me out of bed, too, but for some reason today she didn't bother. And while her room has a kid-proof lock on the inside**, ours doesn't. Liza had the run of the house for a while until I finally awoke from my stupor.

Eventually she woke me up, though, and things proceeded as usual for a weekday morning. While I was downstairs getting her breakfast ready, Liza was sitting at the table looking out the back door.

"I forgot to close the screen door all the way when I checked the tomatoes this morning."
"That was last night that you checked the tomatoes, sweetie, and it was probably me who left the screen door like that."
"No, I checked them this morning."
"Are you sure? You unlocked the door and went outside this morning?"
"Uh-huh. There aren't any more ripe tomatoes."
"Wait, show me how you got the door open."

And she hops up from the table, flips open the lock on the sliding glass door, and heaves the door open. Which she's never managed to do on her own - the screen door, yes, but she's never had the muscle to get the glass door open.

Son of a bitch.

Guess we're going to be using the extra lock at the top of the doorjam from now on, although if she sees me use it she could reach it if she climbed up on one of the dining room chairs. And we're going to have to investigate getting a new lock for the front door, too, since there's no reason she can't open that one if she feels like it.

And we're going to have to get a spare child-proof lock for our bedroom door, I guess, because this whole "hanging out by herself for god-knows-how-long in the morning" thing is not acceptable.

** Apparently, this makes us both evil and negligent parents, at least in the view of quite a lot of moms over on . Their thought is that the kid couldn't get out of the room if there was a problem like a fire or something. Apparently, keeping my child safely contained in her room makes me one step above somebody who chains their dog to the back step in the middle of winter. My thought is that there's more chance of something catching on fire if she's wandering around the house on her own. And if there's a fire or something, she's not going to have the presence of mind to try to get out of the house anyway, and since it's only on the inside of her room it doesn't slow us down getting in there. Plus, it prevents this whole morning wandering thing from happening every morning, since she wakes up at erratic times and I would literally have to wake up at 4:30 to be sure I was always awake before her. And if I had to do that, dying in a fire would be the least of her worries, trust me.


mlf said...

Allow me to be devil's advocate for a moment (not that I'm implying that Liza is the devil or that the devil couldn't be its own advocate, but indulge me nonetheless):
It sounds as if Liza did a great job taking care of herself in the morning. She had the run of the house and all she wanted to do was to check on the plants. She sounds like she was behaving very responsibly.

With my kids (who are, by definition, perfect), we have Cheerios on a shelf that they can reach and plastic (not pyrex) bowls in a cabinet that they can open. If they awaken before us, then they feed themselves.

Ground rules, like ask permission before you go outside, may be helpful (understatement intended as humor). The problem with my kids (who are, by definition, perfect) is getting them to go outside at all rather than just playing in their room.

My thought is this: If the child is old enough to really get in trouble, then the child is probably mature enough to understand the rules.

I'm not certain if you want comments like this. Goodness knows I wouldn't want someone telling me how to raise my kids (who are, by definition, perfect). Please consider this is more a comment on the blog than a comment on anything else.

Anonymous said...

Rather than Cheerios all over the floor, perhaps an audio book that she could play?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how a lock on the INSIDE of her door lets you get in at will from the outside???
It's not important that I understand this, though, I'm just curious.
Mary Ellyn

Gretchen said...

M-E - The "lock" is a cover that fits over the doorknob. The cover is loose enough that people with small hands have a hard time squeezing it in the right place to get the actual doorknob to turn, but adult hands have no problem with it. It doesn't change the way the doorknob works from the outside, just the side where it's attached.

Good to hear from you - how are the knees?