And That's Why Kids Shouldn't Set Booby Traps

March 18, 2018

For some unknown reason the six-year-old Zoologist and the four-year-old Ballerina have decided lately that the thing to do is to set booby traps in their room. It may have something to do with them using the bug catcher that the Zoologist got for Christmas, or who knows. It is also not entirely clear who they hope to catch with most of these traps. At least one of them specifically targets their little sister, we’ll get to that one in a moment, but most of them seem to target random intruders of extremely low intelligence.


At the entrance to their doorway is a slap bracelet laid out flat. From what they described to me I think they envision this trap playing out like in a cartoon when a character steps on a rake.

 One of my favorites is a small bucket at the base of the ladder to the top bunk. In their minds how this is going to work is that a person who comes into their room is going to step in the bucket and fall forward. They even went so far as to put a small wash cloth on the floor so that when this unfortunate intruder falls prey to their invention he or she will not hurt their head because the wash cloth will cushion their fall.


I have to admit that there is a very small chance of this trap working. What is far more likely is that at some point during the night the Zoologist will come down his ladder to go to the bathroom, and will be caught unawares by his own trap. In this much more likely scenario I will be making a 3 a.m. trip to the emergency room and explaining to an ER doc that if he would have just fallen the other way my son’s head would have been cushioned by a wash cloth and we wouldn’t need his services.


Even better than the bucket at the base of the ladder is the trap at the top of the ladder. This one is specifically designed with the two-year-old Demolitions Expert in mind. A little background is probably in order before I continue.


The Demolitions Expert has been known to climb the bunk bed ladder. She can climb the ladder just fine, but she can’t get down the ladder, so she has also been told many times to stay off the ladder. I let her try to climb down onetime while I spotted her and I ended up catching her after the second step down. Everyone in our house knows that the Demo Expert is not to be on the ladder. The nine-month-old Jedi probably even knows, but he isn’t going to tell you that. To prevent her from falling off the ladder and hurting herself she is not supposed to be on the ladder under any circumstances.


The trap at the top of the ladder is a Sheriff Callie stuffed toy with a string tied to its leg. The other end of the string is tied to yet another bucket. The idea, as the Zoologist explained it to me, is that the Demolitions Expert will see the Sheriff Callie toy and climb to the top of the ladder to grab it. When she pulls the toy down from the top bunk the bucket will hit her in the head and knock her down off the ladder, thus teaching her a valuable lesson about not climbing on the ladder.


To recap: The two-year-old isn’t supposed to climb the ladder because there is a good chance that she will fall off and hurt herself. The six-year-old and the four-year-old have decided to induce her to climb the ladder anyway so that a trap they set will cause her to fall off the ladder. In their minds this will lead to two-year-old being enlightened about the error of her ways and swearing off ladder climbing from then on. By falling off the ladder and hurting herself they hope to prevent her from falling off the ladder and hurting herself.


After I tucked them in tonight I pointed out a couple of errors in their logic, and then banned this particular trap. I sure hope they listened, I don’t want to have brave all the slap bracelets to go in there again in the dark.

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