Mind if I Gripe?

Posted By on October 1, 2007

I’m at my wits’ end, and I wish I had some idea what to do. At this rate, there is reason to doubt that our three youngest will live to age 6. This is because three-year-old Hypertot, who is labeled as cognitively delayed, happens, also, to be a genius. Not your ordinary sort of genius, but the mad-scientist-mechanical-engineer sort. And a hyperactive one.

We’ve already given up on every safety device sold at Wal-Mart. He has outsmarted each and every one. He can open latches, unclasp straps, and open doors with doorknob covers effortlessly. He unhooks 6-foot-high eye hooks, removes tiny pins from hasps, and breaks right through locking cabinets, removing the doors from the hinges if necessary. He’s twice removed his bedroom door from the hinges. Childproof lids on medicines and bleach are a joke. The only two things that have ever worked were a backwards doorknob lock, and heavy duty magnetic cabinet locks. The backwards doorknob lock is simple: a regular lockable bedroom doorknob with a lock, the sort you can pick with your fingernail if you know how. He hasn’t yet figured out what we’re doing, but it’s just a matter of time. The magnetic lock is invisible from the outside, and requires a powerful magnet to be applied at the exact right spot to open.

My Charming and Patient Husband must, by now, be losing his patience. Saturday we spent the morning buying safety items at Home Depot. (Magnetic locks for the cabinets and a locking doorknob for the laundry room. The magnetic locks, by the way, are quite costy.) He spent the afternoon installing them, with no small effort. The doorknob was the first simple doorknob installation in this house, because all the doorknobs in the front of the house were a smaller size (older house) and he had to redrill the holes. But the magnetic locks are a bear. They’re worth both the cost and the effort, because everyone says the same thing about them: children who can break through every other safety can’t break through these.

But they don’t have a Hypertot. This afternoon, we discovered a puddle of bleach where he’d poured it out on the kitchen floor, and one-year-old Monkeytot locked under the sink.

Yes, he’s figured out how to open the cupboards with the UNBREAKABLE locks, without using a magnet.

Well, at least it’s been two days since he’s put her in the dryer.


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