Friday, February 17, 2017

The Dreaded Door Knob Technology

The other day the North Koreans had another successful missile test. This, of course, worries the rest of the world. There are some technologies that certain people just should not have.

I feel the same way about my two year-old daughter and door knobs.

Wait: In this analogy am I comparing my lovely, wonderful two year-old daughter with the dangerous regime currently in power in North Korea? Yes. (While my daughter has a much better human rights record, North Korea has never dropped a book on my foot because I refused to read it despite being asked to do so 37 times in a two-minute span.)

And am I comparing the possibility of nuclear missiles with the ability to operate a door knob? Yes. Sometimes I just want ten seconds of privacy. 

Does this make me a bad father? Yes. But I still don't want her to learn how to open a door.

I know that eventually she will learn how to operate them, but for now I think it is best to keep my daughter's hands off of the door knob technology. Literally. There are two main reasons for this:

1. Door knobs help keep her out. As long as she doesn't know how to use a door knob, I can keep her out of places simply by shutting a door. I can keep her out of the closet, so she doesn't rummage through everything. I can keep her out of her brother and sister's room, so she doesn't steal/misplace/mangle/destroy their things. (And so when their things do get stolen/misplaced/mangled/destroyed, they can't blame their little sister.) And, most importantly, I can keep her out of the bathroom so I can actually have five minutes of peace to go poop! (And by "five minutes of peace" I mean five minutes of her pounding on the door while yelling "Daddy!")

And B. Door knobs help keep her in. Without mastery of the door knob technology, it's possible to keep her in a room simply by closing a door. And while shutting a child in a room or closet would not generally be considered "good" parenting, keeping them in the house is. I had some friends whose toddler conquered the door knob technology at a very young age, and in the middle of the night opened the door and ventured outside. The police found the child in the middle of the street. So, simply put, if she can't open the door she can't go wandering the streets at night.

One thing I could do is actively teach her to not use door knobs. I could say things like, "Don't touch that door knob, it's poisonous!" or "If you touch that door knob you'll have bad dreams!" Or I could rig it so she gets an electric shock every time she touches the door knob. Will I actually do any of those things? Probably not. (But that's not to say I'm not tempted.)

I think MC Hammer put it best when he said, "Don't touch that!"

Yes, I know that one day she will eventually figure out the door knob technology. But until she does, I certainly won't be encouraging it.

It's like they used to say on SportsCenter, "You can't stop her, you can only hope to contain her."

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