Tag Archives: Locks

Changing of the knobs

I mentioned before that there used to be a lock on Colin’s bedroom door.  I was the one that pushed to have it removed.

I’m now the one that’s reinstalled it.

He’s never been one to sleep through the night.  I’ve known for a while now that he’s been sleeping on the couch most nights. I’ve begged, pleaded, bargained and threatened him to stop. 

Lately, he’s been doing more than just sleeping on the couch.  In fact, I’m not sure he’s sleeping much at all, despite our medication alterations and attempts at setting the mood before bedtime, etc.  He’s been scaling our entertainment center (a roughly 6’6″ shelving unit) and rearranging games and DVDs. He’s messed with my sewing machine (thankfully he hasn’t figured out how to turn it on yet – it’s an antique). He’s climbed around in the kitchen and played with the toaster (not sure what else, but I know he’s played with the toaster because the toast settings are almost always changed when I go to make the boys breakfast). 

I’m worried for his safety.  I’m worried for the safety of all of us.  He’s a big fan of electricity – what if he burnt himself?  What if that bookshelf came toppling over one day while he’s doing his Spiderman routine?  Even if we mount it to the wall, what if that big screen TV comes crashing down on him?

What if he starts a fire?  What if he gets it in his head to let the dogs out – or leave himself? 

I could go on for an hour with all the worst-case-scenarios I’ve dreamed up.  And these are all based on the few things I know are happening.  He’s getting quieter and sneakier.  He’s doing these things between 1-4am.  I can’t stay up all night.  He’s going to get hurt.  I don’t want him to get hurt.

After his most recent bookshelf-climbing adventure (Monday night), Rick and I decided enough was enough.  I re-installed the locking doorknob.

I told Colin I will only lock it when I go to bed and I will unlock it as soon as I wake up.  We’re talking roughly 7 hours.

I don’t know what else to do.  We’re talking about a boy who can literally climb a door jamb.  He’s 8 years old.  He’s strong and can be amazingly quiet when he’s doing something he knows he shouldn’t be doing. 

After I finished installing the knob, I sat down with Robbie and Ryan to explain what was happening.  I didn’t want them to think I’d lock them up if they tried to do something like use the bathroom at night.  I didn’t want them to think I was just doing this because I’m mean or that I don’t like Colin, etc.

I explained to them that it was for his own safety.  I told them about all the shenanigans that were being pulled during the night.  Robbie’s eyes went wide – these were things that had never occurred to either of them to try.  I told them that most of the not-so-fun things I do are to keep my boys safe.  I make them hold my hand in the street/parking lot, I make Colin and Robbie wear life jackets at the pool because they don’t know how to swim.  And now…now I’ve had to lock Colin’s door.

I hate this.  I hate the idea of locking a child up.  It goes against everything in my heart and my head, but I don’t know what else to do.  I can’t rubberize our house. I can’t put everything on the floor or lock everything up in the office.  I can’t stay awake all night long.

I just don’t know what else to do.

Locked doors

I mentioned before that there used to be a lock on Colin’s door. There isn’t anymore – hasn’t been for over a year now. He’s no longer what schools call a “runner”. We don’t use the house alarm as a way to know he’s making a break for it and no longer worry that he’s going to run off in public. He stays with us for the most part and listens to us when we ask him to play closer to us, etc. – although sometimes he does so grudgingly.

However, there is still a lock on our bedroom door – installed to keep Colin out if our room when we’re not in there – a safe haven for things we don’t want him to break or dismantle.  We currently have two desks in there along with a bookshelf and two dressers, in addition to our queen sized bed and nightstands.

It’s not that big of a bedroom! We can hardly walk in there.

Recently, our two youngest boys let on that they’d like to share a room and really wanted some bunk beds.

Realizing this might be the only time in their lives that they WANT to share a room, we figured we had better jump at the chance!

We found a great deal on a great set and sold Robbie’s car bed. We’ve actually got everyone’s clothes in their own rooms now! (Long story, but we’ve had to ease Colin into having things in his own room – both because of our trust issues/his behavior and because, well, Colin got so used to having an empty room that it really bothered him to have things in his room. More on that later.)

This has led us to feel we needed another locked door in the house. If we’re planning to put hundreds of dollars worth of electronics (and possibly some invaluable memorabilia as well) into a room that’s out of our line of vision, we need to protect it. Colin LOVES electronics. If he finds a charger or a plug/cord of some kind, he will find something to plug it into. I’m scared to death he’s going to electrocute himself someday.

And so we’ve replaced the doorknob on the spare room with a doorknob that has a key lock.


I did it all by myself! Aren't I handy?

I’m pretty excited about getting more space in our room. It will also be nice to have a place – outside of our room – where we can let the kiddos have some supervised computer time. I’m hoping to get a futon in there, too, at some point so we can have the room double as a guest room.

And now…I leave you with a glimpse inside what I’ve deemed as “The Boy Cave” (Robbie & Ryan’s room).