Keys? What Keys?

05 Jan
Photo by FreeRangeLife

Have you ever locked yourself out of your house?  Or, how about this: has your toddler ever locked you out of your house??  I saw a message on Twitter where another mom said that her toddler had locked her out.  Yikes!  That hasn’t happened to me, but we HAVE had some key “issues.”  Two times last summer, PsychDaddy went for a walk with Jenna, and I later left to run errands.  I (of course) locked the door behind me, not realizing that PsychDaddy did NOT take his keys with him.  Ugh.  Both incidents resulted in me having to return home to let them back in.  Throughout all our home renovations, multiple keys were given out to contractors, and NOT all of them came back.  Ugh again.  Then……the final straw:

I was having a lovely night out with friends from college in a city 45 minutes from home, and PsychDaddy was in charge of Jenna.  He decided to take a quick trip to Office Max.  At Jenna’s bedtime.  And he didn’t put her in a cart.  Never mind how much those two things bothered me.  He SWEARS that he only let her wander so far and always had her in his peripheral vision.  He finished shopping and went out to the car, only to realize he had no keys.  He looked around the car in the parking lot.  No keys.  Checked the ignition.  No keys.  Retraced his steps in the store.  No keys.  Asked the store clerks if any had been turned in.  Do you sense where this story is going?? He spent 45 minutes looking in the store with clerks helping him.

Finally, he calls me to ask if I had an extra key hidden on the car somewhere.  I hear Jenna screaming in the background.  By now it is WELL past her bedtime.  After two phone calls back and forth and Jenna screaming the whole time, I decide to leave my dinner out to go pick them up.  To his credit, PsychDaddy stoically argues that I don’t need to come and that he’ll figure out a way to get home with her.  Another 45 minutes later, I arrive at the store and remind him that we had an emergency thumb drive on the key ring that contained all of Jenna’s medical information, and pictures of her along with our address and phone number.  On the ring with the key to our house. It seemed like a good idea when we did it.  (It WAS password protected, but I have no idea how easy those things are to hack.)  We are both stressed to the max but Jenna has somewhat settled down.  She thinks it’s a fun game at this point.  We decide to look a little more and try to question Jenna.

Me:  Jenna, sweetie, do you know where Daddy’s keys are?

Jenna: (Cheerfully) Yes!  Daddy drop keys and Jenna pick them up!

Me: (Hopeful)  Good!  Can you show Mommy where you put them?

Jenna:  (Dramatically taps lips with index finger) Hmm…….over here???  (She runs to a shelf with a printer box)

We follow her excitedly to the spot and look all around.  Nothing.  While we look, she runs to another aisle and shouts, “Here??  NOPE!” and runs away giggling.  We try to explain the gravity of the situation to her and that we REALLY need the keys.  In spite of our best efforts, the above scenario repeats about 17 times before we finally admit defeat.  Do you know how much toddlers love pushing and dropping small items (like keys) into holes and openings?  Do you know that there are approximately 13 million holes and openings to push and drop keys into at Office Max?  Consider all the slits in computer, fax and printer boxes that are used for hand-holds.  Or the spaces between every box on every shelf.  Or the spaces between and under the shelves themselves.  The list goes on.  Our best guess is that either they’re hidden somewhere under or between shelves at Office Max, only to be discovered when inventory is low enough or the store is rearranged, OR, someday, someone will open up the box for the printer they just purchased and find a set of keys in the bottom.  If you are that person and you are full of evil intent, you should know that THIS was the straw that led to all our locks being changed and to this new purchase:

This electronic deadbolt keypad from Schlage eliminated the need for keys!!  Hallelujah!  No keys to hide, lose, carry, or forget.  PsychDaddy was not so “on board” with the cost factor for this, but I think that he would now (grudgingly) admit that he’s glad we did it.  The company states that it’s “ready to install right out of the box; one tool. One person. Under 30 minutes.”  but we had a locksmith come to re-key the rest of the house and install this at the same time.  The locksmith had it installed within 15 minutes and the whole house re-keyed in 30 minutes.  Yay!

We love it!  It’s super-easy to use and SO great to not have to worry about taking a key when I go for a walk with Jenna.  It holds up to 19 different four-digit codes for entry, so if we give our a code to someone who needs in for some reason when we’re gone, we can delete the code later and not have to worry about whether or not we get a key back.  It’s incredibly easy to enter and delete codes.  It DOES accept a key, so if, for some reason, the electronic keypad would malfunction, we could still enter with a key (our locksmith assured me that he has never heard of a malfunction requiring this, however).  Our locksmith also pointed out that the keyway is free-spinning to prevent wrench attacks and break-ins, and yet it’s easy to “engage” and turn when the correct code is entered.  I love that the keypad is lighted for easy night entry!  It includes a 9-volt battery, with a three-year battery life and a low battery visual & audible warning.  Brilliant!

I would highly recommend this product to anyone,  and I love the peace of mind that it has added to our forgetful lives.

Now, where did I put my glasses……


Posted by on January 5, 2009 in Product Reviews


11 responses to “Keys? What Keys?

  1. Maura

    January 5, 2009 at 1:37 am

    I LOVE this idea! As you know, I haven’t ever had a toddler to stick things in places they shouldn’t go, but I can totally imagine it happening. I adore how she so helpfully picked them up and put them somewhere instead of giving them back to him! (I hope he realized that, if he’d put her in the cart, this never would have happened….!)

    I’m pretty sure we can’t have this kind of lock where I currently live, but when I have my own place this is an absolute purchase for me.

  2. jen

    January 5, 2009 at 11:02 am

    what a terrifically awesome idea.
    love it.
    need, no … want it.

  3. Insta-Mom

    January 5, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    That lock would be fabulous. If for no other reason than to make me think I live in some cool, high tech, super secure house of the future. Now if only they had one that did a retinal scan….

  4. anymommy

    January 5, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Brilliant. I went for a walk with all three kids in the triple stroller last year and locked us all out of the house. It was pretty cold. A locksmith could not break in! But, he was able to cut a new key for our van. We spent a very very long afternoon at McDonalds.

  5. Brandy Tanner

    January 5, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    That is so awesome!! I saw your post on twitter and HAD to read this as I am the MOM who ALWAYS loses her keys, with three young ones I am surprised that is all I lose! I am SO looking into this! Thanks!

  6. iMommy

    January 5, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    If I had a house I would be all over that.

  7. Shannanb aka Mommy Bits

    January 5, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    That is a great idea. More than once I’ve locked the husband out of the house. (on accident of course….)

  8. Kirsten/Mama Ginger Tree

    January 6, 2009 at 12:35 am

    That is fantastic! I have locked myself out several times. My neighbor has a key, but knowing my luck she won’t be home the next time it happens.

    What a great product.

  9. Issa

    January 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    I need to get one of those before Harrison is old enough to flush my keys, which was Bailey’s game of choice.

  10. psychmamma

    January 7, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Mo – Ha! I did point out that if she was in a cart it wouldn’t have happened. He wasn’t amused.

    Jen – “needs/wants”…………who am I to quibble??

    Insta-Mom – A retinal scan would ROCK, b/c you could do it even with hands full of bags and babies!! I’m sure it will be here someday.

    AnyMommy – a very long day at McDonalds does NOT sound fun. Maybe this can be a new addition to the house when you come home.

    Brandy – as long as you’re not losing the kids, I think you’re OK. {smiles}

    iMommy – LOL! The house should definitely be first on the list.

    Shannan – Riiiiiight. “On accident” {wink, wink}

    Kirsten – This is definitely more reliable than counting on a neighbor. Maybe it should go on your growing wishlist for house renovations.

    Issa – Ha! I flushed my dad’s watch when I was a toddler. Jenna hasn’t gotten into flushing things (yet). Hopefully we stay away from that “game.”

  11. Rachel

    January 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    I am too embarrassed to admit how many times I have locked one or more of my babies in my van. It’s amazing how fast the police respond, actually, and cheaper than a AAA membership! 🙂


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