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……