Friday, July 13, 2007

Latch The Fridge?

As we all know, fridges can be dangerous. Kids who get inside a fridge can be stuck there. It's dark in there, and they may not be able to kick the door open when they want to get out. Bagel, in particular, was constantly getting into the fridge and leaving it open, so we thought it prudent and responsible to get a fridge latch to prevent him opening it. I shopped around and found a very nice one that had the option to disable the latch if, say, you were doing a lot of cooking and needed to open the fridge without operating the latch every time. It was sturdy and durable and was easily operable by an adult, but not by a child. It latched automatically when you closed the fridge, so that we could always be confident the fridge was secure and wouldn't have to rely on my notorious memory to remember to latch the fridge. We taught the older kids, who were more responsible, how to open it.

So yesterday we caught Sonshine (yes, 7 year old Sonshine) trying to climb up inside the fridge and shut the door. He's never done anything like this before yesterday. And like I said, he already knew how to open the fridge with the latch on it, and has known for over a year.

So when I confide in people (including relatives and the doctor) that we caught Sonshine trying to climb into the fridge and it scared the crap out of us, why is the near-universal reaction to this "what the hell were you thinking, having a latch on your fridge? He would have been stuck inside!" Because, you know, I'm supposed to be clairvoyant and be able to predict that Sonshine might, after seven years of not trying to climb onto the top shelf of the fridge, suddenly try it. And I'm supposed to have a magical fridge latch that appears only when kids are on the outside. This isn't just some yahoo off the street saying this. These are people who know me, who know that I'm trying my best to keep my kids safe. One person self-righteously said, "We have a fridge latch that doesn't lock automatically," as if a fridge latch that locks without having to constantly remember to lock it was self-evidently a death trap.

So, safety police, which is it? Should I latch my fridge to keep my kids out of it, or unlatch my fridge so my kids can get out of it once they're in?

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