When we tell Jack he can’t touch something, he listens, about that thing, most of the time. Take the oven, for instance. Unless he’s in a really ornery mood, he won’t touch the oven. He might point at it and shout, “NO!” (to which we reply, “That is exactly right, Jack, good listening” because if we say, “YES, that’s right!” we’re afraid he’ll think that’s “YES, you can touch it”), but he’s not touching it. Most of the time, he’s good about not touching the TV. He’s even pretty good about leaving the fridge alone, but I think that’s mostly because we put a lock on it.
The appliance he can’t resist is the dishwasher. When we latch it closed (which we always do now), he can’t open it, but that doesn’t stop him from pushing the buttons. He starts the dishwasher over and over, every day. All our stern nos and we-don’t-do-thats haven’t even slowed him down.
I finally posted to my moms’ group on WhatsApp: “Does anyone know how to keep a toddler from starting the dishwasher 15 times a day?”
- Supportive laughter. Nice, but not helpful.
- Tape cardboard over the panel. Could be effective, but ugly and has to be removed before WE can start the dishwasher. Willing to try it.
- Unplug the dishwasher. Not really possible since it’s in the middle of the counter. Maybe the plug is under the sink? Still, this one would probably make me think the dishwasher was broken before I remembered it was unplugged.
- See if there’s some way to rig the door so it’s unlatched, but stuck so Jack can’t slam it open and get in the dishwasher. Um…no.
Then. THEN. One brilliant mom asked me if my dishwasher has a way to lock the controls. She said one of the buttons on her dishwasher has a lock icon on it, and if she presses it for several seconds, the controls are locked until she does that again.
Whoa. Dishwashers do that? I’d like to remind my readers that we spent several years without a dishwasher in the places we were renting, so I’m not exactly up on the latest dishwasher technology. (If dishwashers have done this for 20 years or something, I don’t want to hear it.)
MY DISHWASHER DOES THAT. I tried it, it worked, and then I showed John, whose mind was also blown.
Problem solved. Moms to the rescue! Also, technology.
Also, also, it’s been 36 hours since I locked the controls, and Jack hasn’t tried to start the dishwasher even once. How does he know?