Children can be trained to do many things. I have successfully taught my children to use the toilet. To bring their dishes to the sink. Even to carry up and put away their own laundry (although this is an admittedly new routine, so it is too soon to cry victory here).
But no matter how hard I try, I cannot teach them to close the door behind them when they enter or leave the house. Why is this? They hate flies as much as I do, and they have no problem repeating back to me the reason they enter the house. They also beg me to turn on the air conditioning before I am ready to do so because they are so hot. But they don't seem to mind the hot air pouring in through the gaping door hole they left!
I stationed myself near the sliding glass door for several hours today while the kids played intermittently inside and outside the house. Out of thirty or so entries and exits, the door was successfully closed without prompting three or four times only. I reminded them, nicely at first, each time they came in. By the end of the day I was a little less patient: "OK, WHO left the door open?!" Why doesn't this one stick?
If we had French doors I would put a spring on them, but with a slider I can't figure out what to do. Is there an electric shock collar that would administer a strong reminder anytime they passed through the area without shutting the door? (For those of you who don't know me, I am kidding...but barely.)
I remember my mother asking me repeatedly when I was a child if I was born in a barn, so this must be something common to many children. But this does not make me feel better when I am correcting this for the 100th time, literally, in a day! Kids, why can't you shut the door?!
But, as I told Lindsey as I tucked her in tonight, I always love my kids, even when they act like they've been possessed by aliens, even when they splash so much water out of my bathtub that it drips on my head in the kitchen, even when they don't shut the door after being asked a gazillion times. And that's a fact.