Last week, we had a bit of a situation in our house. Our daughter Marie locked herself in the bathroom. Usually, when kids lock themselves in the bathroom, you unlock the door from the outside and move on with your life. This is not what happened.
Turns out, the handle of the bathroom door cannot be unlocked from the outside. There was a hole in which to do it, but it would not unlock.
What happened was this:
Both Jack and Eva are able to lock and unlock the bathroom door, and even though we have asked them not to play with the lock, sometimes they do anyway. We are pretty sure that one of the kids were playing with the lock and left it in the lock position so that when Marie went into the bathroom and closed the door, she was locked in.
No problem! We’ll just unlock the door from the outside!
The lock won’t open because it is so old.
Plan Two: Teach a toddler how to turn a lock.
We probably spent about ten minutes trying to teach Marie how to unlock the door from the hallway before we realized the situation was a little more dire than we thought. It is also more difficult to teach a child to turn a lock from the opposite side of the door.
Plan Three: Destroy the handle
Jarrett ended up having to take bolt cutters, a hand saw, and a hammer to the handle in order to get it off the door so that we could safely remove our child from the bathroom.
I’m happy to say that our daughter left the bathroom unscathed. She is not traumatized by the bathroom experience at all, which is also a bonus.
When you move into a new house, or even in your current home, be sure to check the doors that lock. Be sure you can open them from the outside. We were lucky that there was nothing unsafe that Marie could have gotten into in the bathroom while we spent the 30 minutes trying to get her out. I can tell you we will be doing a double check on all our locks to make sure that we will not be repeating the locked in a bathroom situation again.