The Lockout Luck-Out

Because of my husband's insane work shift and schedule, and the time he spends sleeping as a result, I see him for a total of about 12 to 14 hours a week lately. That might sound like a decent amount, but considering there are actually 168 hours in a week, it's not so good. Plus when I say "see" my husband I mean just that: see him. See does not equal spend quality time with. See means, like, chatting with him briefly from the bathroom counter while he takes a dump (and simultaneously plays with his iPhone, which considerably lessens the quality of the interaction). So a lot of times, I feel like a single mother. With a sugar daddy. Who comes over to poop and sleep.

Seeing as I'm on my own with the kids most of the time, I have to figure out methods of improvising some of the household duties. Like taking the dog outside. It has to be done - there's no alternative - but I hate leaving the kids in the house, especially when Josie is taking her sweet time ... like she did the other day.

The baby was content in his bouncy seat and the older two were playing a computer game, so I thought it would be a good time to slip out with the dog. Josie thought it would be a good time, too ... to leap through dandelions and chase her tail and nip at her leash. And to sniff every. Single. Blade. Of Grass. (Seriously, someone enlighten me: when the world is your toilet, why does it take for-freakin-ever to find a suitable place to pee?) After what seemed like an eternity, she finally went, and we headed back to the house.

Our front door is flanked by windows on both sides, and I could see Cameron standing at one of them, one hand raised toward the doorknob.

Oh no he didn't, I thought.

I heard the doorknob jiggling.

Oh no he didn't! I thought. I reached for the knob.

Oh yes he did. The door? Was locked.

First I was mad, until I realized that Cameron most likely locked it on accident. He doesn't quite understand how it works ... just that there are fun little buttons and latches to turn. But then it dawned on me that he wouldn't know how to deliberately unlock it, either. Okay, so don't panic, I told myself. Colin's in there, and he knows how to unlock the door. So I knocked.

Cameron ran away.

Colin was nowhere to be seen.

So I pounded. With both fists. Then I rang the doorbell.

... And rang it. And rang it. And raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang it.

No Colin. No Cameron. No magic-door-unlocking fairy. Just me, standing on my front porch with the dog, pounding on my own door like some sort of idiot. As I was beating the door with both fists like a crazed gorilla standing there, I could hear my own voice in my head, replaying a conversation I'd had many times with Colin. If the doorbell ever rings and Mommy's not able to answer it - like, if I'm in the shower or something - you never, EVER answer it yourself, I had sternly warned him. Don't even go to the door to see who it is. Just pretend nobody's home.

Great. I should have added an "unless-Mommy-is-outside-with-the-dog-and-your-little-brother-locks-the-door" clause. But too late; Colin wasn't coming to the door (it figures this would be the one damn time when he actually does something I tell him to do). So I gave up on the doorbell-ringing and headed around to the basement door. I already knew the other exterior doors would be locked too, because I always keep them that way - but I had to try anyway.

Yep. Just as I thought, the back door was firmly latched. No use knocking on that one, either. My last resort was the door on our deck, but it was pretty much guaranteed to be locked because Cameron's always trying to open it. As I trudged unhappily up the steps, I wondered what the hell to do. I mean, someone with more common sense, someone whose three small children weren't locked alone inside the house, might have had a good solution - but I was panicking a little bit, y'all. Should I break a window? Go get my neighbor and see if he has some sort of idea? Why can't I be one of those people who just automatically knows what to do, all the time, about everything?

By the time I reached the door, I was really starting to get upset. I pictured the kids inside, doing what they do best: getting into mischief while I'm not looking. There would inevitably be a huge mess, or a huge accident. They would -- holy shit, the door opened!

You can imagine my relief as I turned the knob and the deck door swung open. I'm serious when I say it's almost never unlocked, so I'm counting this as some sort of miracle. And the second miracle of the day? The kids were unfazed, intact, and hadn't made any messes. Win.

I think from now on I'll, like, keep a key attached to the dog's collar or something. You know, just in case.

*The winner of the Perricone MD giveaway was announced yesterday - congratulations to Aleta! I'll be posting a really fun giveaway within the next couple of days, so stay tuned!*


  1. Awww man, that is the WORST! That happened to me once when my 3 year old nephew locked the door and my 2 babies were inside with him. I lived in an apartment with literally ONE door. It was blazing hot outside and I was FREAKING out that they were all inside without me. It was ridiculous how much I pounded, banged, screamed. As if that was gonna change anything, but the panic is so real. Thankfully, I borrowed a neighbors phone and called my husband and he was on his way home from work. Seriously, NOT fun.

    BUT, your account of the situation was pretty humorous, thanks for the story.

  2. Glad you were able to get it. I once locked myself out of my car, with my baby, keys, and phone inside. I was freaking out, and crying. Luckily, my husband came home 15 mintues later and rescued all of us. It was that moment that I wasn't sure I was legally allowed to be a parent. But not only did I continue to be a mom, I had another kid. No one has been locked in the car since.

  3. if this happened to me, i'd be a crumpled mess. congratulations for keeping it together :)

    what i do is a take the door keys with me, even if i just have to step out in the yard. just to be safe...

  4. I have been through a similar situation a couple of times. So now, I NEVER leave the house without a key. I have attached on to my bra (we don't have a dog).

  5. Oh my gosh! That's kind of funny but I am sorry for you! You could just carry a key in your pocket or something...

  6. That is lucky that the deck door was unlocked!

    You can get a key box that has a number code to open it to keep a spare key in and safe from people with bad intentions. Or, I know some people who keep the garage door to the house unlocked at all times and have a number keypad to get into the garage. (Not sure if that applies to you or not.)

    Glad you got back into the house. This post had me laughing out loud.

  7. Thank God you weren't in your underwear or something! That's how it would have happened for me. And the dog? It is ridiculous how long they take to do their business! How hard is it to cop a squat instead of sniffing the world?

  8. SCARY! I understand the panic. How can you react calmly?!?!
    I locked my keys & my daughter in the car once. It was hot out and I started freaking out. I called my husband and he came from work practically on two tires whipping around the bend. **mental note to self, never, NEVER put the keys on the seat while buckling in your daughter!!!!**

  9. Oh man, I know that feeling. I went through the same thing last year. I went to get the mail and when I got back, the door was locked. Of course a 2 year old doesn't know how to open it so I was panicking. As I was ringing the neighbors door bell trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do, I realized I was holding my keys in my hand (the mail key is attached to my big key chain. Not one of my most brilliant moments.

    However, crisis averted! That night we put a nail under the back deck and hung a spare key on it!!

  10. This just reminded me that I need to find a place to hide a key around here. I'm scared my kids will lock me out.

  11. You seriously need a fence or a dog run so you can put the dog out without having to go out yourself.

  12. What a panic! Did you instruct Colin to at least look out the window from now on and see who's rining the bell?!

  13. Ack! Mothers of boys, right!? I've um, been there. Except it is usually ME who accidently locks doors. Now, I am off to hide (another) key.

  14. While everyone else is talking about the dog, key, and fences, I cannot stop laughing about your husband's bathroom habits. Not only the use of an Ipod, but that he doesn't KILL you for posting that! My husband would HAVE MY HEAD!!!

  15. Yikes - that's scary. This is why I have a hide a key outside... Glad you were able to get in!

  16. I've never done that but my husband has. Twice.

    PS I see my husband almost as much as you see yours. It's fun, isn't it?

  17. Giiiiiirl! I think you did better than I would have done. I'd have been in total freak-out city. Locking myself out and my kids in has always been one of my biggest fears. . .thank God for small favors, neh?!!

  18. Electronic door pad - it's a beautiful thing! We have one installed on both doors. When you forget your key or lock yourself out, just punch in the code and viola! It opens! Oh, yes it does :) Great story, had me smiling :)

  19. Wow, what a story! LOL I'm sorry to laugh, but the way you write it out just makes it hard not to! ;-) I've told my daughter the same thing, but now I'm wondering ...

    On a completely unrelated note, I have an award for you:

  20. Yup, Natalie locked me out before. It was NOT fun.

    Happy Mother's Day!

  21. I blogged last summer about locking myself out of our house. It was the middle of the afternoon and like 110 degrees, and we didn't know any of our neighbors yet. I knew Mike and my sister wouldn't be off work for another five hours or so. Finally, some utility guy just happened to show up and he let me use his phone to call Mike. Since then, I take my phone outside with me, double check every door when I walk out, and have a spare key in a secret place! It put me into such a panic!


Post a Comment

Commenting makes you big and strong! Okay, maybe just strong. Okay, so it's only your fingers. But still ...

Popular Posts