When Your 19 Month Tries to Sneak Out of the House

Have you ever witnessed your child do something, and thought,

“Damn. If she/he is doing this now, what will she/he be like as a 6, 11, or 16 year old?”

My Lil Diva protested today when my son and husband left. She also stunk.

As I gathered up supplies for the obvious diaper change I walked back into the room and saw this:She’s 19 months old. Closer to 20 months, but still.

To reach the lock, she must first climb into the window frame..

If she’s attempting to sneak out of the house now, what chance do I have when she’s older?

Time for a chain lock….

Have you had a moment like this with your child(ren)?

About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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36 Responses to When Your 19 Month Tries to Sneak Out of the House

  1. John says:

    My boy is 18 months old. Last night, we went to toddler swimming . . . and because it’s a whole lot easier, we did bath time in the shower before leaving. Somewhere, between trying to get him dressed and trying to get myself dressed in the “boys” locker room, I decided that I probably should have clothes on. I put the toddler down.

    In the time it took me to step into my boxers, the 18 month old ran around the corner, to the door, pushed it open, and ran his naked ass halfway down the hallway.

    Fortunately, I did at least have boxers on when I went to gather him up.

    • I related to this all too well. Though I am not a boxer wearer, my children are insanely fast, and they wait until you have dared to change/put on clothing in a locker room and they’re off like a shot.

      Luckily, when we do pool time we usually use the family locker room (as I cannot take son into the women’s), and the private shower areas have a door that shuts. Of course, I must use the stroller to block the handle because it’s the lever kind and if Lil Diva pulls it down the door automatically unlocks… while you’re naked in the shower of the very co-ed locker room…

      I bet you moved really, really fast. 🙂

  2. marinasleeps says:

    Ha ha too funny. My kids are the exact opposite so that means I will be trying to kick them out at 30!

    • I do not foresee “kicking them out” as one of my future problems. Both are independent.

      I’m likely to enforce chores and rules and all that “mean” stuff too, which will hopefully push them to independence. I know it did for me.

      I much prefer being a guest in my parent’s home over living there.

  3. Yup – I awoke one morning long ago to my almost 2 year old standing on my front porch in only his diaper. It was cold, snowy and white as you would expect of a Minnesota winter but there he was. When I opened the door he smiled broadly and said, “Hi Mommy”. It was as if nothing was out of sorts.

    My husband was out of town and luckily I am a very light sleeper, but yikes! Grandpa came over later in the day to put a brass lock way up high on the door.

    He is having a birthday on the 8th. He will be 16! Now the worries of sneaking out may reappear and not so sure that little brass lock will do.

    • I can picture this perfectly. In fact, I can see my own children doing this (naked), only minus the snow. My children are Texas-born – they would notice the cold (and it doesn’t really snow here).

      I love the nonchalant “Hi Mommy”…

      These stories are making me think we need a high latch. Of course, that only means my son would pull a chair over to it.. They are so industrious if they want something.

      Thank you for sharing! Congrats on the almost-16 year old. Are you having teenager driving palpitations yet?

      • Kim Woehl says:

        Driving – that’s a whole different thing to think about. We actually have an 18 year old too. Both boys! With the cost of insurance we can only afford one driver in the young world. We will allow the younger one a permit until he gets a job to help support the costs of driving.

  4. Annie says:

    Oh my gosh! That is SO familiar. My daughter was that age when she started doing the same thing. We eventually had to put a lock at the TOP of the door.

    Our little neighbor girl was 2 when she got outside one morning in her PJs and was running thru another neighbors automatic sprinklers. It was barely daylight and I spied her from my side window. Her mom didn’t even know she was out of bed.

    My cousin was 2 when he went outside naked, in the snow, wearing only snow boots. Children! LOL

    • So what I’m hearing is, beware of the 2 year old escape artists. I think we had an issue with my son once, but I’ve already blocked it from my memory. Now he’s old enough, the “Do not ever every do that!” is stamped into his head. At age two, not so much.

      My Lil Diva certainly considers the word “no” a personal challenge.

      I have an alarm system, I might have to turn on the “beep when doors open” feature…

      The image in my head of your cousin in only his snow boots… so priceless.

      I’m loving these stories! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Galit Breen says:

    *Love* She is so very cute and so darn smart! I remember regretting the day Brody figured out how to use a step-stool! *Nothing* was sacred anymore!

    • Yes, the days my children learned “Hey, if I just push this over here, climb onto it, I can reach anything!” were also one’s I regretted.

      I’m so proud of them for using their little brains to problem solve, but it certainly made motherhood more difficult.

      I swear, she picks up the “street smarts” way faster than her brother, as he is an excellent example of what “big kids” can do. She pays attention.

  6. Leigh Ann says:

    Seeing that, my first thought would be, “She’s going to lock me out if I ever have to run outside to get something from the car, etc. My girls can reach the lock on the sliding door, so if I ever have to run out back, I either live in fear or take the keys with me.

    I have a friend whose kids did that when she stepped out front for a second. her hubs was out of the country and NO ONE had a spare key. The had to change their turn lock to an interior key lock!

    • I have occasionally had this fear as well. I grab the spare keys “just in case” sometimes.

      Luckily, my son is now old enough he can unlock what has been locked if instructed, so I only have to worry about it if she’s home alone.

      I also have a few people with spare keys for just this reason.

  7. Roxanne says:

    My almost-two-year-old (he’s 4 now) succeeded in leaving the house.

    In the middle of the night.

    My then-husband & I heard him crying and I searched the apartment quickly and slightly panicked. Why isn’t he in his bed? Where is the crying coming from?

    Then I realized it was coming from OUTSIDE THE FRONT DOOR.

    He had climbed on a chair, unlocked the door and walked out the front door. Then he realized he didn’t have his Buddy (stuffed dog) and started crying for Buddy.

    I still sit here & wonder, what would have happened if he’d had Buddy with him? Would he have walked away? Would a neighbor have seen him? Oh the what ifs. Terrifying.

    Yes. We got a chain lock the next day. He never escaped again. Or even tried to.

    And I made him sleep with me the next few nights, holding him close and always wanting to cry.

  8. Okay. This post leads me to assume you are 50% proud and 75% terrified.

    Which I know adds up to 125%, but really.

    Isn’t that what parenting is all about?

    I vaguely recall toddler-escape being an issue for us a decade ago. But I’m too busy buying my daughter bras, razors, and emergency “supplies” for the onset of womanhood to remember it in detail.


    I am 125% freaked out. I assure you.

    In other words, we’re both doomed. So I’ll wish you luck if you do the same.

    Fingers crossed.

    • I foresee the same 125% freak out in the future when my daughter is that age.

      It’s making me teary eyed.

      I love your math. You are correct, I am about 50% proud and 75% terrified. How can you not be proud when your child shows ingenuity, even if it is something you’d rather they not learn? And yes.. terrified.

      Much luck to you, my dear. Always.

  9. Mean Mom says:

    A cheap fix is a “thumb lock” up at the top of the door. I have a 22 month old grandson who can now unlock the doors w/o a stepstool, so it’s time for the thumblocks to go back up. I also had a 1 year old foster daughter who moved a box of diapers across the room to climp up on so she could reach the dvd player – way too smart for a 1 year old and a little scary!

  10. Stasha says:

    We all had our kids brought back by the neighbor across the road. Then bought chain lock. Then installed an alarm that chimes every time the door is opened “Front door opening”, “Garage door opening”…
    Now we have proofed our house, my 3 year old found new entertainment. Locking the doors…So if you see parents and children sitting on the front porch, chances are the kid moved on from escaping to locking out. Good luck 🙂

    • Oh my, quite the escape artists.

      You have to love how our children can twist all of your measure back at you. I recommend giving the same neighbor a spare key, or hiding one high outside somewhere… Or just never leave your house without your keys, though so difficult to recall if tossing something in the trash really quick…

      Thanks for sharing!

  11. Anastasia says:

    I totally see the attitude my four year old gives me and I flashfoward to her at 13. Ahh!

    • My Lil Diva is called such for a reason. She loves her adoring audience and is capable of charming all she meets, but if she doesn’t get her way it isn’t pretty.

      It presents a rather terrifying glimpse into the teen years.

  12. Oh man. I’m conflicted – I want to say Yay for her as obviously, she’s smart and advanced 🙂 And scared, cos golly, what if she does get out? Eeeek.

    Stopping by from TRDC.

  13. My kid has unlocked the front door, gone outside, and ran down the street.

    He just turned 2. Good times ahead.

  14. Lindsay says:

    seriously funny – looks like you have a serious ‘problem-solver’ on your hands.
    visiting from TRDC.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • She has such determination. She often decides “I want this” or “I will do this action in ONLY this way” and it doesn’t matter if an easier way exists, she will keep attempting to complete the action until she succeeds or screams with frustration.

      She did this with learning to stand unaided.

      She did this with climbing steps.

      It’s going to be a fun ride.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Just put GPS tracking on her phone and you’ll be fine. 🙂

    That is a great picture!

    • Right now she’d eat the phone.. or kill it with drool.

      I’m waiting for cell companies to come out with a toddler proof version – of course, it’s unlikely. Their app using little fingers are probably why people have to upgrade more often..

      I’m so glad my camera is back!

  16. melissa says:

    oh, i totally remember those days. childproofing everything, including the childproofing.
    i need to teen-proof my house now.

  17. Paige Morgan says:

    Imagine stepping into the shower and hearing the click of your front door…

    I grabbed a robe and ran for the front door – while trying to put on said robe.

    I stopped my son and barracaded the door with a heavy piece of furniture.

    I started to step in the shower and heard click again…

    He moved the heavy furniture.

    I gave up, called a neighbor to come sit with him while I showered. I had a friend install a metal swingy-thing (technical term) high enough that at 6 he still can’t reach it.

    Save yourself the trouble, get metal swingy-thing now. 😉

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