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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why do they even have that lever?

Erin and I went to the park today. She played on the grass; I played on the grass. She crawled around in woodchips; I crawled around in woodchips. She swung on a swing; I swung on a swing.

It was fun, but a little tiring. When we came home I put her down to crawl around in the living room. She crawled a little, and then started to practice her tantrums.

Well, they look like mini-tantrums (face bouncing off the floor, legs kicking the ground, fists pounding the carpet), but she's actually laughing the entire time. She'll throw a mini-fit, then look up at me to smile and laugh. It's very cute. For now.

She eventually made her way over to the patio door. I had opened the sliding glass door to air out the apartment while we were gone (and to cool it down; it gets very hot in here in the afternoon), and she crawled over to play with the vertical blinds (7 down, 20 to go on her "tear all the blinds off" mission) and to bounce off the screen. Soon she was on the floor again, throwing a mini-fit and laughing while she stretched out against the screen door facing the end of the sliding glass door.

And then she started to sound upset. I kept looking at her to see if she was ok, and she just seemed to be lying there, perhaps annoyed that the vertical blinds kept getting between me and her in her line of sight. But I got up and went over to her, and I moved the blinds out of the way and bent over to pick her up. And as I was pulling her up off the floor I finally figured out what was pissing her off.

Her finger was stuck. In this:

This hole in the end of the sliding glass door is just big enough for my daughter's index finger to fit into, and just small enough that it will close tightly around her skin when she tries to pull it out. I was already lifting her off the ground when I saw this, but thankfully I hadn't grabbed her to hurl her up into the air from the floor! I...I feel a little ill thinking about that.

We've done some child-proofing around the apartment. But honestly, it never even occured to me that there was anything potentially dangerous on the inside edge of the sliding glass door. And I can't really understand what that hole is doing there anyway. There is nothing on the frame that uses the hole for anything:

So, I sit here now while my daughter naps, horrifying visions flashing through my head, and all I can think to do is rail against the patio door manufacturer. Because I can't permit myself to think that I've done something wrong. Of course not. I'm a good parent. I don't neglect my daughter.

I could have...what?...I could could...and it would have been my fault and I can't stare directly into that darkness.

So. Damn you, patio door company. Today I'm a shitty parent, but, come on; what is that hole for?


JonMcP said...

I'm with you- WTF- what would they put a hole right there for??

Carmen said...

Oh,yuck. I'm ill thinking about it.

for a different kind of girl said...

I got a little blood drain feeling as I read this. I'd shudder about this a few times a day for awhile, and definitely curse that door. Glad things didn't turn out differently.

Anonymous said...

Maybe at one time there was a second screw in there? It is a horrifying thought about what could have happened. Glad it didn't!

And I would definitely say that the fake tantrums don`t stay cute. But they are a thousand times better than the real thing! Which I have the pleasure of experiencing almost every day between a hormonal teenager and a moody toddler. Not so fun.


SciFi Dad said...


I had 2 thoughts for why that hole is there:
1. To prevent it from overfilling with rain (admittedly it seems high for that, but in the image the hole itself looks simply MASSIVE and I highly doubt your beautiful girl has "man hands".
2. It's part of the adjustment or manufacturing process, and has no long-term functional use.

Regardless, the good news is she's OK, and so will you after a shot or two of bourbon.

mamatulip said...

Good question -- what IS that hole for?


Backpacking Dad said...

I think Sci-Fi dad is right; it's a last-stage adjustment window for aligning the glass inside the door frame.

Thanks for all of your sympathetic shivers.

Erin has a small cut toward the base of her finger, but she's had worse smacking her face against the wall.

Lesli said...

I recently had a somewhat similar experience of the ill feeling "what if"?...I had the back door open while talking to my older kids, and when I went to shut it I felt a slight, slight!, resistance, the doormat, right?, it happens all the time, just push it quick and hard and the door slides over it and shuts. But something stopped me...and it turns out it was my 2 year old's finger in the hinge, I knew he was standing there, didn't know he stuck his finger in there...ugh. It didn't even bruise...but if I wouldn't have stopped and looked...ugh again. Sick feeling.

As far as the hole...maybe for a stick to "lock" the door shut?

Backpacking Dad said...

Oh, god, Lesli. That is going to keep me awake now.

L-Town Rollers said...

There is a screw in there that adjusts the rollers.

All of those old aluminum doors have it. Get some of that spray foam insulator, you'll have to dig it out if you ever have to adjust the door but it's better than a 9 fingered daughter.

that chick said...

i have those 'almost' moments far too often. i think it's part of having little kids. but most of them survive, with most of their extremities. the use of 'most' is what makes that last statement un-comforting

Shannon said...

That story gave me the same feeling I had when Jenny fell off my balcony porch, falling 25-feet to the ground. Luckily, she fell through a big pine tree that cushioned her fall the entire way down and she ran back up the stairs to me unharmed before I could even stop gasping in mortification. BUT what gives me the ill feeling everyone is talking about here is that when Jenny fell, (by the way people who might be reading this, Jenny is my dog) is that we had come out of the apartment on to the porch balcony soI could tie her up to her long cord leash thing that reaches from the ground all the way up to the door. I put her on this when I'm just sending her out to pee. The reason she fell was because I spooked her for some reason into thinking I was going to make her come back inside, so she did her normal "You can't get me" brace. She misjudged and fell off through a gap in the railings. But anyway! The ill feeling comes from the fact that if it had happened ten seconds later, I would have already attached the latch from the cord to her collar.