Thursday, February 2, 2012

Child Proof? Or Adult Proof?

An un-child-proofed kitchen: A toddler's dream, a parent's nightmare!
Living overseas, you sometimes experience events that are beyond-belief hilarious. The hilarity does not always translate well into the written word, as I fear may be the case this time, but I’ve found that it’s important to me to try. I love looking back and remembering these events, and having a written record helps. Back in December, one such event occurred. I chronicled it as it was happening on Facebook, and I intended to put it on the blog too, but I just didn’t get around to it.

I’m getting around to it now.

A little context: Alexa is a curious toddler who loves to get into everything. She especially enjoys exploring cabinets and drawers. This can be a problem, especially in the kitchen. So, like many parents, we wanted to put child locks on the lower cabinets and drawers. Some of the cabinets were convenient: they’re the mirror-image style, and you can just buy a simple U-lock to secure the pulls to each other. Voila, neither cabinet can open. But other cabinets are stand-alone, and the drawers of course would need something other than these easily installed and uninstalled U-locks. As I started looking into the other options, I quickly discovered from product reviews that the adhesive-mount ones were pulled off rather easily by toddlers determined to explore the nooks and crannies under the countertops. I wanted to use the screw-mounted version instead. The problem is that this is not our house. We asked GSO (not sure what the acronym stands for, but they’re the ones who handle everything to do with the house) for permission to install screw-mounted child safety locks. We were granted permission, but were told not to install them ourselves. In order to minimize the damage done to the cabinets, they wanted to send their own people to install them. No problem, I thought: I get my screw-mounted locks, and Jeff and I don’t even have to install them! What could be better? I ordered them off Amazon, and we dutifully put in the work order when they arrived. Some men from GSO showed up at my house the next day, 22 December 2011, around 9am. I showed them how the locks work and how they should be installed, then settled back to watch them work. (I’m required to have them escorted while they’re inside my house, and Alexa wanted to play with our housekeeper, so I sent the two of them off to the playroom while I supervised.) After almost an hour, I realized that one of those must-be-captured events was underway, so I pulled out my phone and posted a status on Facebook, then posted several updates as the hilarity continued. Here’s what I wrote (with edits for spelling and clarity):

Two Cambodian men currently are chuckling and having a fine old time trying to figure out how to install the child locks on our bottom kitchen cabinets. I'm kind of glad that GSO told us they had to do the install to avoid damaging the cabinets--now if there are problems, it's on them not us!Top of Form

So far we have one drawer completely emptied, and one cabinet that's had a partial install, then an uninstall when he realized he'd put it too low on the door and it wouldn’t catch the hook up top. I think this may take a while. We only have 20 drawers and 6 cabinets under the counters, after all!

Now we have both of them working on one drawer, which has been removed from its slot completely.

Now the drawer won't open AT ALL because they didn't leave room for it to slide out enough to disengage the lock. I'm trying hard not to laugh too much!

And hoping they can open it to rescue my stuff and fix it!

Success! One drawer seems to be done. Maybe now that they've gotten the hang of it, the rest will go more easily. [They ended up using a knife to open it—they slid it down into the tiny opening they’d left room for and used it to push the lock down enough to disengage it.]

A friend commented: You should be videoing this...sounds like a youtuber!!!!

I wanted to take pictures but decided that would be rude ... especially since I already was laughing at/with them at the time!

Now a third man has joined them. Until now he was doing something with the generator outside.

Two hours later, all done. I really am glad we had to let them do it instead of doing it ourselves
The men obviously did complete the work. For most of the time, there were just the two of them working. One did most of the drawers. He completely emptied each drawer, removed it from its place, installed the two pieces of the lock, and then reinserted the drawer. Unfortunately I don’t recall how he handled the ones in the corners, which cannot be pulled out completely because they catch on the pull of their neighbor-around-the-corner. The other focused on the cabinets, but spent several moments watching the first guy when he ran out of cabinets and had to figure out drawers.

I really wish I had video … then you’d be laughing with me.

 Bottom of Form

1 comment:

  1. Oh,that is hilarious! I have similar stories of watching movers and such try to remember how to assemble beds, theory, the guy who takes it apart is to be the guy to put it back together so as to avoid these delays. In reality, they can never remember w/o me telling them which bed parts go to which bed, so first I have to sort all the rails and headboards and footboards for them and then kind of show them what the bed is meant to look like and then they can usually get it from there. Usually.

    We are past drawer locks, but I imagine that would be hilarious to watch.


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