There are two doors by which to get out of our apartment. One door is in our living room and leads into the foyer of the Resident's Hall, and the other door is in our kitchen and leads out to the front lawn.
Unfortunately, the handle on the door leading outside is perfectly suited for toddler hands. It's just the right height, and it also happens not to be a knob, but an actual handle, a nice skinny slip of silver easy for little hands to grasp.
"That handle worries me," mom told me after visiting us in the dorm for the first time. "I'm scared Noelle will get out and get lost."
Well, it was a legitimate concern. Noelle has managed to open the kitchen door and toddle out to the front sidewalk. We're trying to train her to wait for us at doors, but also as an extra safety measure, we started flipping the dead bolt - just in case.
The problem with industrial doors and handles, though, is that they're all too easy. The dead bolt swivels smoothly on it's little axis. I knew it was simply a matter of time before Noelle got tall enough to reach that too.
Which she did -- this weekend.
On Sunday before church, I heard Dwayne chasing after Noelle out the door.
"Did you lock the door?" I asked him as he was bringing her back in.
"Yes, but watch this." He locked the door and set Noelle down on the floor.
She turned around and on tip toes reached up. Dwayne and I watched in horror as her little cupped hand stretched up, swatted at the dead bolt and flipped it.
"It's like that scene from Jurassic Park," I said "Where the little terror-raptor learns how to open the door with its claw."
"Yeah," said Dwayne, "And nothing is ever the same again."
*For the sake of my husband - I know that there is no such thing as a "terror-raptor." It's a pun: a little dinosaur that causes terror. ;-)