#98 Flicking those coil doorstoppers for no reason

Babies are explorers.

Wombs expand to rooms which open into homes and unknowns. I always think tiny newborns swaddled in strollers on the sidewalk probably feel like astronauts on the furthest edges of the universe. Sky water, ear-shattering bangs, and blinding bright lights help baby realize she’s way, way out in the ether.

But back home is a safe place to start exploring. Mommy-Snugglers, Crib Country, and Playpen Worlds eventually open into distant lands beyond bedroom doors. Crawling leads to discoveries such as kitty litter deserts, toilet water swamps, and hidden forests of chair legs under kitchen tables. Eventually there’s freezing ceramic tile tundras, the forbidden stairs, and the strange discovery of silent twisted coil creatures behind doors.

Coil doorstops must first appear strange – lying still without camouflage, smooth and cool to the touch, with a finely twisted base leading to a smudged rubbery nub. Furrowed eyebrows, steely baby gaze, and some steady one-handed balancing eventually lead to the big moment…

Flicking a coil doorstop back and letting it twang forward fills babies with a brain-clicking sense of satisfaction. Way out here on Linoleum Ridge deep in Front Hallway Galaxy is a strange enemy that appears undefeatable. Pull it back for a threatening lion’s roar but then watch it snap to pre-attack mode – just waiting, waiting, waiting — like a quiet crocodile at the edge of the pond.

These days tripping over coil doorstops when you’re sneaking in after curfew, kicking one while taking out the trash, or just twanging it back for no reason at all fills us all — and fills the hall — with a primal sense of satisfaction.

Plus it’s a little mental mindwarp to your baby exploring days.


Thank you! The Book of (Holiday) Awesome is a bestseller for two straight weeks!


Photos from: here and here

41 thoughts on “#98 Flicking those coil doorstoppers for no reason

  1. Ha!
    Growing up I had a dog who used to flick the doorstop to let us know he needed to go out. As a kid I never thought that was weird, but I guess in retrospect it kinda was…
    Funny – I can still hear that noise… :o)

  2. I still do it!!! It is sooo fun! The best is when you can pull of the ol’ “carefully walking against the wall and flicking the doorstopper sneakily with your foot and blaming someone for cutting the proverbial cheese” Never gets old!!

    Btw, that video should get a Webby for ‘Best baby flicking doorstopper video’

  3. Yeeeouch I haven’t read the post yet because this just makes me think of little baby skin getting pinched between the coils!

    1. Baby does it until he catches his skin and will learn to never do it again. The same way we all learn to not do certain things again, millions of us grew up this way. Let’s stop making our kids big ass pussies!!

  4. Woohoo… The Book of Holiday Awesome on Bestseller List already for 2 consecutive weeks. Congratulations !! I am so happy.

  5. It’s like a toy fastened to the wall, right at baby-level! Awesome!

    I also remember getting in door-stopper wars with my brother. We’d compete to try to make the loudest BOING noise. Until the loudest noise was suddenly “WILL YOU STOP THAT INFERNAL RACKET!!??”

  6. Oh, there’s a reason alright… it is baby’s first musical instrument=)
    What’s also awesome is a dual with someone in another room- sounds like an old washboard and banjo!
    Only in Canada, eh? Bloomin’ pity!

      1. Well, well, well! If anyone’s going to make a magnanymous miracle manifest, it will be you, Magda!
        Have you entertained with your guitar? “Go the whole wide world”, is only 2 chords, yet SO romantic:)

              1. Wait a second here…I thought perhaps you’d found that special someone, *out there*, but now I’m wondering if this pining is for the extended version of 1000 Awesome Things.com!
                Not rethorical with merely a wink, ok!

                1. So beautiful. Thank you.
                  Something more has to be said here and any questioning of it at all breaks my heart. If you knew everything that my sweetest momma went through before I was a ‘twinkling’, and how that affected my family, you would understand my extreme sensitivity in this. My love IS pure.
                  I love your song choices Wendy. :)

  7. I love when my black lab discovered these. At first he wasn’t too sure what t make of it, but then he started enjoying the sound. Can’t wait for our little baby to discover it too!

  8. Our ten month old daughter just found out that we had one on the door to our bedroom and she loves to sneak away and flick it!

    Seriously makes my day!

  9. Baby’s thought process: “Hmm well looks like the only way I’m going to beat this thing is to eat it!”

  10. I have a coil doorstopper in the washroom, and sometimes on my way out I accidently kick it. The noise it makes is so loud it makes me cringe a bit!

  11. I used to do this all the time when i was a kid, for hours! Would drive my mom up the wall!!……..which is why i did it most of the time. Whats the fun if you can’t drive someone crazy?

  12. ADORABLE Baby sounds *alarm*…”I’m behind the door…behind the door…BEHIND THE DOOR EVERYBODY!!!”

  13. I love how you find/notice all of these simple, sentimental things to remind us of how cool and fun life really is. I have had so much bad news lately and your last few posts have been “awesome” for me. Thanks so much and please think about going for 2000 Awesome Things.

  14. I am an Awesome addict and I am sorry to sound all Grinch like (cause I love the old school stuff!) but I was told by a friend who worked in an ER that the coil door stops are really dangerous to children, children remove the little white tips which are a serious choking hazard – I was advised to replace my coils with one piece plastic units.

  15. Haha! My dog loves playing with the door stoppers! What makes it so much more enjoyable for the rest of the family is that he always seems to forget all about the door stopper and what kind of sound it makes. He will jump back in shock and amazement. Then he’ll paw at it to see if he can do it again, and he’ll jump around like a kangaroo and bark with excitement. His reaction always makes us crack up. It’s AWESOME.

  16. My cat discovered this the first day we had him would go flick them whenever he was hungry (even at 5 AM!). Needless to say, we removed all the door stops from our apartment. It was awesome for a while but 8 months later, i decided sleep was more awesome!

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