At 2 years and 6 months, Kirsten was still unable to open the door by herself. Considering that her brother has been opening his own doors since he was 20 months old, she’s like way behind the in this particular physical development area.
This wouldn’t be so bad if not for her penchant for locking herself in rooms. She does it both at home and in other people’s houses. One time, we had to smash the lock with a hammer to get her out, which was a harrowing experience for everyone involved.
Recently, she did it again and this time, it had to be my bedroom, which happens to be the only room in the house without an access key (we had the doors replaced for the other 2 rooms). Naturally, I was reluctant to go through the whole door smashing debacle again, so we tried to talk her into opening the door on her own.
Me: Baby, open the door!
Kirsten: I’m too short, I cannot reach.
Me: Yes you can. That’s how you locked it in the first place. Now I need you to try your best to unlock it yourself.
Kirsten: I tried, I cannot open it.
Me: Go grab the mattress and stand on it, you’ll be able to reach.
Kirsten: The mattress is too heavy, I can’t…push…it…ARRGGHHH *grunting sounds while attempting to push the mattress*
Me: Ok, stand on your tippie toes and try, you can do it.
Kirsten: I’m too tired, I’m going to sleep.
Me: NO WAKE UP! Don’t sleep, you need to open the door first.
Me: Sweetie, listen to me. You need to get off the bed and come to the door to try again. Mommy’s right outside, we can do it together.
Me: Hey are you there? If you come out by yourself, I’ll give you ice-cream.
Kirsten: I get ice-cream? Ok.
Me: Yes, you’ll get a whole bowl of ice-cream. Promise.
Kirsten: I think I need to find a card to open.
Me: No, you don’t need a card. Just tiptoe and open the door. Come on!
Kirsten: *scraping sounds at the door*
Me: What are you doing? You can’t scrape your way out, you’re not a ferret. Just reach up and turn the knob with your fingers.
Kirsten: Mommy you do it, I cannot open.
Husband: Ok, this is futile. I’m getting the hammer.
Me: No wait, give her a chance. She’s tall enough, she can do it.
Me: Kirsten, mommy’s here. Just turn the knob, I’ll count to 3 and we do it together. 1, 2, 3! TURN NOW!!
Just like that, she did it. She opened the door and walked out looking mighty pleased with herself.
Kirsten: I opened the door by myself, you know. Now I get ice-cream.
Me: Why, yes you can. But after that, we’re practicing opening the door 20 times so this doesn’t happen again.