March 19, 2014

Locking the Pantry

Leigh and her husband wondered why the house they bought 10 years ago had a lock on the pantry door. Now that they have a curious 4-year-old, as the previous owners did, they're starting to understand.

When Will and I first moved into our home 10 years ago, we thought it was odd that the previous owners put a lock on the pantry in the kitchen.

We scratched our heads on that one.  We never used it, but we didn’t bother to remove it, either.

Truthfully, we really didn’t understand why they would do such a thing until very recently. It may come as a surprise to you, but we really didn’t have a clue.

That is until now.

Once our daughter turned 4, it became impossible for us to keep her out of the pantry or any other place that holds food.

It’s an all-day job to keep her out of the pantry.

My son never did that, and to this day, I don’t think he looks in the pantry unless my daughter takes the lead and opens it for him.

He’s the type to be waited on hand and foot. Our daughter doesn’t mind serving herself.

Whenever she and I are home together and I’m writing at my desk, it’s not uncommon for me to hear the pantry door open.  It makes a noise because a food storage rack is hung on the inside door, and it clanks against the door upon opening, so I know when she opens the door immediately.

I yell, “What are you doing?”

I get a quick, “Nothing!” and then I have to get up to see what she’s getting because if she is not getting something out of the pantry then she’s going into the garage to get something out of the outdoor fridge. She would eat nonstop all day if I let her.

I buy these Special K protein bars, and only six are in a box. My kids love them, and if I’m not careful, the entire box would be eaten several hours after bringing it home from the grocery store.

On Saturday, I was taking a leisurely morning shower and Will was also upstairs doing something in our closet.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a red carton with a black-and-white cow printed on it go by me in her hand.

It was my organic creamer, and she was carrying it around in the bathroom.  I heard her say, “What’s this?”

I yell from the shower, “Will. Will. Stop her!”

Coffee and creamer are precious commodities in my house.

He hurried out of the closet and ended up having to chase her down the stairs to get the creamer.

Once again, we reminded her to stay out of the refrigerator.

We know now why the previous owners who had a 4-year-old put a lock on the pantry 10 years ago.

I even put it to use one day myself, but I hated it.

I’m 45, live in chaos, and I forget what I’m doing next.  I would forget every time I went in to the kitchen that the door was locked.

BANNNNNNNNNNNNNNG was the noise I heard every time I tried to open the door.

And if things are too high for her to reach, then she grabs a stool out of the bathroom to use to get what she needs.

I take it I’m not alone in this situation. Why else would the previous owners need a lock on the pantry door unless they had eating disorders?

Do any of you have a pantry-raiding problem in your house? 

And just so there is no confusion, I’m not talking about you with the Nilla Wafers or dark chocolate after the kids go to bed. That’s a whole other column.

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