Boys will be boys and siblings know exactly which buttons to press to annoy each other. So it’s no surprise that our three-year-old delights in annoying his older brother. Aiden has taken to hiding in his room (which since the move he no longer shares with Liam) to try to get away from Liam but that only works until Liam goes looking for him. The next logical step for Aiden is to shut his door.
As a bit of background, when we moved, Aiden picked the one bedroom in the house that had a lock on the door. With all the other things we were dealing with at the time, we didn’t bother to change the doorknob. The one time I caught him purposely locking it before the baby was born (to keep his brother out, no less) he was threatened with losing the door entirely if I caught him doing it again. Both Ian and I (though mostly me) have found the door locked on a few other occasions since then but he swears he didn’t lock it on purpose and no matter how much Dr. House insists that all people lie, the law states that you’re innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, with a lack of proof of intent, we have left the door on for now. Why not change the knob now that things have calmed down a little? I consider it a way for him to earn our trust and show some responsibility.
Fast forward to mid-summer: the accidental door locking has increased. We’ve had as many locked-door incidents in the past couple weeks as we did in the seven or so months since we’ve moved in. The funny part is that in the apartment, Aiden broke the doorknob on our main door because he sucked at locking and unlocking a lock exactly like the one on his bedroom door yet he manages to do it with so little effort here that he doesn’t even notice (according to him). Each and every incident has been accompanied with wailing from Liam as he gets pushed out the door and has it shut in his face (yet another thing we’ve been trying to deal with for the past year). If it truly is an accident, I attribute it to forcefully shutting the door in anger and frustration as I can see twisting the knob and pushing on it as he shuts the door. Perhaps if he tried to be more social and actually play with Liam, the kiddo might not bug him quite as much but that’s a discussion for another time.
The other night, the boys outdid themselves in their door-locking escapades. I was upstairs with the baby, and heard the boys doing their usual thing followed by Aiden’s bedroom door shutting. This time, both voices were in the hall after the door shut. Then I heard them trying to get back in the room and finally asking their father to open the door for them. After a few different attempts (did I mention that the previous owners didn’t supply a key for that lock when we bought the house?) that fell just a little short of kicking the door in, Ian used a credit card to get the door open all the while giving the two boy an earful over being careless.
Even as I was upstairs laughing over the whole thing where no one would notice me, the last few weeks of locked doors were getting to me. I suggested taking the door off the hinges – something that was echoed by one of our friends when Ian mentioned the incident. In then end, we’ve compromised: if he ever locks himself out again, he’ll lose the doorknob. It’s too bad, really. I was beginning to look forward to buying a pink and purple bead curtain to go in his doorway…it’s not like he closes his door when he’s changing anyway.