Back when the Infantile Delinquent was stealing cars my mother said that rather than calling him Irish 1, which was what I called him at the time, I should call him Houdini. I thought about it but then I came up with Infantile Delinquent and I thought that was pretty clever (and then bythelbs came up with InfaDel and that was even cleverer and a lot of fun) so I went with Infantile Delinquent instead.
And now I know I made a good choice. Sure the Infadel steals cars but only those that are left unlocked. Or those to which he has access to the keys, which is pretty precocious for a two-year-old but not quite as impressive as his sister who opens this from the other side of the door. (That’s not a stain on the door jamb, it’s just unpainted wood from where the hinges used to be before I turned the door around. Long story.)
Sean and I sleep in the basement in our house. All the kids sleep upstairs. Most of the time. But the kids are horrible sleepers and all of them with the exception of the Pea would prefer to sleep in our bed. The Princess and the InfaDel feel so strongly about this that they will sneak down stairs in the middle of the night to do so. The Baby probably would too but he can’t get out of his crib. Yet. (He’s only barely one after all) So he doesn’t.
In an effort to not have four people in our bed every night we started locking the basement door. That was effective for all of maybe one night. Then the Princess realized that by inserting a screwdriver along the striker plate (the plate that lets the door close without your having to turn the knob. Yes, I had to look that up.) she could pop that sucker right open.
So after waking up to find the Princess in our bed 2 or 3 (or 20 or 30) times we installed the very fancy hook and eye latch.
Before we proceed let me point out a few features of the hook and eye.
It’s placed high on the door. I’m 5’7″ and I took this picture standing, notice how you’re looking up at the latch?
There’s a backstop (looked that one up too) between the edge of the door and the latch so anything that’s going to open that latch has to turn a corner. (You can’t really see it in this picture but in the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that the backstop on this particular door is backwards because when I turned the door around I was too lazy to pull off the backstop and turn it around too.)
This particular latch has a spring loaded lock on it. You drop the latch into place and then pull the lock thingy back and it’s supposed to secure the latch into place. (This feature is not very effective, it’s easy to unlatch the thing without pulling back the lock. But it has to add some resistance right?)
The latch stopped the Princess for all of two nights.
SHE WAS STILL GETTING IN!!!!
At first we thought that we were forgetting to latch it. Nope.
Maybe she was just jimmying the door and the latch was coming off? No.
I wondered if she was somehow getting a screwdriver in there so I tried it. That didn’t work either.
So finally we asked her.
She carries a chair down the stairs and stands on it. Then she takes a paperback book and slides the cover between the door and the frame. The cover of the book easily turns the corner (Made slightly easier by the backward backstop but still…) and with the book cover lifts the latch. She then inserts a screwdriver between the door and the striker plate, because we often engage both the latch and the lock (why, I have no idea because obviously neither are doing any good) and unlocks the door. She then carries the chair back upstairs, puts the book and the screwdriver away (the only time she ever cleans up after herself) and them comes back downstairs and climbs into bed with us.
It really is too bad she’s an evil genius.