No match for Emma

Emma is a remarkably industrious little girl with a fierce independent streak right now.  She’s also a very fast learner, and quickly picks up on the tactics her older brother uses to do things himself.  For instance, Jonathan regularly pushes a chair from the kitchen table to the counter to see what we’re cooking or fetch food for himself.  Emma saw him pull off that trick and decided she could do it too.  While it was difficult at first for her to climb up on the chairs, she can now get to the top of most flat surfaces in our house with ease.

Emma loves water, so one of her first tricks was to turn on the kitchen sink and play with the dishes and wash rags nearby.  Then she thought it would be great fun to take some of her plastic play cups to the sink and fill them with water.  She would usually fill them to the brim and then place them on the counter.  However, it didn’t take long for those cups to get knocked over and spill their contents all over the place.  (She now enjoys doing the same thing at the bathroom sink.  She’ll climb on top of the toilet, lean over to turn on the faucet, and commence filling.)  At least she still grabs a towel and tries to clean up her mess!

Jonathan regularly gets his own water from the large Brita water pitcher in our fridge, so pretty soon Emma started doing that as well.  Except she doesn’t know how to turn off the water.  Or what to do with her cup when it’s full.  After several incidents involving flooded fridges and “lakes” on our linoleum floor, Cassia and I decided to take action and get a locking refrigerator clip.




We had previously used a similar model on our fridge in Provo when Jonathan was Emma’s age and wanting to get his own water too.  The latch works by pressing a button to release the buckle, which generally requires great two-handed coordination by a young child to defeat it.  (Actually, we discontinued using the latch because guests/babysitters in our home, oblivious to the fact that there was a lock on our fridge, simply thought the door was particularly stubborn to open and used the brute force technique to pull it open, thus ripping the adhesive off the fridge and rendering the lock less effective for future use.  More on this later.)  We purchased the lock a few weeks ago and immediately put it to use.  Ta-da!  Emma could no longer open the fridge, and was forced to come to us for a drink of water, which was the desired result.

Less than a week after the lock was installed, however, Cassia reported to me an event so astounding that I just had to see it for myself.  Watch this:



For the record, Emma is a little over one month shy of two years old.  Jonathan turns four on Thursday (06/19).  Isn’t it more than a little funny that even after watching her open the lock with ease, Jonathan tries the ol’ brute force method to open the door?  Good thing his little sister is around to help him sort through such cognitive dilemmas.

Yes, I’m poking fun at our son, who has no idea what kind of delight his father is getting from his foibles.  I excuse myself in this because Jonathan is also a very intelligent child, who with the exception of potty training (grr) is a wonderfully capable and talented little boy.  I’m sure he’ll forgive me when he’s older, after he gets out of therapy and everything.

As for the fridge lock: well, she still has to stand on a chair to disengage the thing.  But seriously, I think we could make some good money if the Safety 1st people wanted to hire her part-part-time as a lab tester or consultant or something.

Actually, the disclaimer on the back of the product says it all: “This product is only a deterrent.  It is not a substitute for proper adult supervision.  Discontinue use when child becomes old enough to defeat it.”

Oh yeah, I’m sure that’ll be a great help.  “Proper adult supervision,” eh?  Guess Cassia and I will have to get off our duffs and actually attempt to be good parents, ’cause we’re supremely lazy people who don’t care what kind of trouble our kids get into.  Darn it – and I thought they’d be good for working in a sweatshop in a few years!  Better come up with a new plan.

4 Responses to “No match for Emma”

  1. Wow. You go girl.

  2. Thats funny. Does Jonathan not know how to do it or was this just a show?

  3. He honestly hasn’t figured it out yet. I don’t think that will last for much longer, though, especially with Emma being so happy to demonstrate for him. :)

  4. I saw this video and couldnt stop laughing at how easy Emma made it seem. She is such a smart little girl!

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