Monday, September 20, 2010

To Lock or Not To Lock

Lately, Mitchell has developed a new fear - one of locked doors.  A few weeks ago, he and Ben were goofing off in the dark in their room after bedtime, when suddenly, they both started screaming and crying as if something had gone terribly wrong.  I imagined a severed leg or at least a puncture wound, but when I got to their door and tried to open it, it was locked.  Mitchell had locked the door and couldn't figure out how to unlock it, thus causing the screaming and beginning his fear of locked doors.

My first reaction was to tell them they were silly for being so afraid of the door being locked, but I remember as a child, my best friend and I once locked ourselves in the bathroom and couldn't figure out how to unlock it and we were afraid also.  Anyways, we escaped in the end without any long term fears established.

I am fairly confident it will be a similar situation for Mitchell - that he will be scared for a little while, then forget about it.

But for now, he is afraid of the door being locked.  Every time we close a door, whether it be a bedroom door, a bathroom door, a car door, garage door, grocery store door, school door... you get the idea, he has to turn around and ask me if it is locked.  He is especially concerned when we are going in a door more than out a door.  He really just does not want to be stuck inside, behind that locked door.

With his fear of locked doors, you'd think he'd be very strict in keeping doors open and especially unlocked, but that is not the case with him.  He tends to have his own style with most things in life, so why not this locked door obsession?  It seems he is a bit bipolar on this issue.  One half of him is afraid of the door being locked on him, but the other half has developed a need to actually lock all doors he can!  I can't tell you how many times I have run to the bathroom, only to find the door locked and no one in there!  Yesterday, I heard Jack waking up from a nap but couldn't get into him, because someone had locked his door!  I'm pretty sure Jack didn't do it...  He has also locked us out of the house numerous times, necessitating some gate climbing/jumping skills on my part, and teaching me to bring my keys with me everwhere, no matter how few steps we take out the door.

So I have to leave his door open at night and promise two or three times not to lock him in while he goes around the house locking me out of the rest of the rooms.   


  1. I remember Mary got stuck in the bathroom (the one at the end of the pool)at the NB pool, and I found her screaming. She was afraid for a while of doors, also. Actually, I think the door was just too heavy of a metal door for her little frame to open.

  2. oh no! how sad! :(

    little Ben locked himself into our bathroom in Saudi and it was a small bathroom with no windows and for some reason, he had turned the light off as well! So it was completely dark and he was stuck in there! we had no key for that bathroom either, so had to call and then wait for locksmith to come. when they finally got there (we had been talking to him and singing to him the whole time), he was all huddled up on the floor, squished between the toilet and the wall. it was soooo sad.

    didn't seem to ever come back to haunt him at all though!



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