I made a new rule a few weeks ago: if anyone leaves the door open when they go outside, it gets locked behind them. I instituted the rule during a cold spell, when the kids were often making a quick run to take out the trash and planning to run right back in. Coats are often left behind on these trips, and because they’re in such a hurry they also don’t make sure the door closes all the way behind them.
Understandably, they want back in fast. They don’t like finding the door locked. They don’t like being forced to knock and wait – oh the humiliation – until somebody hears and unlocks the door. Also, when you live in the country and doors rarely get locked, there’s something infuriating about finding the door locked. Because of this, the rule was surprisingly effective. It was so effective that we forgot about within a couple of days simply because nobody was leaving the door open any more.
This morning was cold. I went outside in short sleeves and socks to see Perry off to work and everything was sparkling with frost. I was cold because I had stood out there for several minutes helping him load odds and ends into his car, but then I had to run out once more to take his forgotten keys.
Can you see where this is going? Congratulations, because I didn’t see it.
As I ran into the house for the keys and out again, I left the door slightly ajar. When I turned back to the house, the door was shut and locked. Locked.
I knocked – oh the humiliation – and after a long 10 seconds, The Boy opened the door, smiling innocently as if he were pleased to see me. I scolded him, “You don’t lock the door when I’m outside!”
He looked a little surprised and truly puzzled. ”But Mom, you left the door open. You said we’re supposed to lock the door when somebody goes out and leaves it open.”
One of these days, Boy. One of these days.