Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Of locks and doors

This morning was the first morning of school for Big Girl and Two. I got up early to allow plenty of time for breakfast, bathing, and dressing. But then I walked into Big Girl's room and grabbed the knob to open her closet door. Wouldn't turn. Locked. And in my mind, a conversation Hubs and I had a couple of weeks ago flashed though my mind...

Hubs: Did you realize that knob on her closet locks on the inside? That's kind of silly. She could lock herself inside!
Me: Yeah, I wonder why they put the locking knob on a closet?
Hubs: It's strange. I need to change out that knob for one that doesn't lock.

Meanwhile, back in the present, I found something to extend my reach so I could get down the little pokey thing from its perch atop the doorframe to Two's room. The pokey thing is a long-stemmed metal question mark; the stem can be inserted in the tiny hole in the center of the doorknob, and theoretically if you poke in the right spot, you can unlock the door. I don't know its real name - I just call it the pokey thing.

I got the pokey thing and began working on the closet doorknob. I fiddled. I tinkered. I wheedled. I poked. No luck. Still locked. I jiggled and wiggled the knob. Tight. I messed around with the knob for several frustrating minutes while Big Girl sat on her bed, looking contrite, and Two bounced on the bed while I was too busy to stop him. Eventually, I wiggled and bounced the thing too much, and the knob fell off in my hand. I poked at the mechanism in the gaping hole before me, to see if I could hit the spot to trigger the lock's release, and the knob on the inside of the closet fell off. Greaaaaat.

So I fished out Hubs' toolbox from its spot in the bottom of the linen closet (not my idea of a good home for a toolbox, but I was overruled). I got out a hammer and a flat screwdriver and began removing the pins. With much sweating, prying, pulling, and cursing beneath my breath, I got the door down. It took a long time - the hinge at the top didn't want to give and may be a bit warped. But I finally got the door down. Two had been banned to his room during the process for chanting "Mommy! Mommy!" and driving me a bit batty. Big Girl continued to look contrite and she repeated her mantra, "I wanna be a good girl." I finally got inside the closet, got her some clothes, and we got out the door. All on the first day of school. I hope tomorrow is easier. Hubs has volunteered to put the door back on its hinges and put in a non-locking door knob this evening.

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