Locked In!

Yesterday we had a harrowing experience.

It was just after rest time. Sugar Plum hadn’t slept for her afternoon nap, Monkey Man had energy for days, and Hula Girl was starving. It was a toxic mess on the brink of disaster. So we did the most logical thing. We went to the library.

However, it wasn’t so simple as that. First, all three children (and their mom, truth be told) had to get dressed. Half an hour later (how the children drag out the process of putting on socks for twenty minutes solid is beyond me), we were dressed. Then we had to scour the house to find our library books to return. We looked in all the usual places, under couches and pillows, between the beds and the walls, and in a heap in front of the bookcase (we wouldn’t want to put the books on the bookcase– those extra two inches would strain our young bodies beyond repair <eyeroll>). Then we searched all the unusual places and found books in the middle of the laundry basket, under a pile of toy bugs, and on Hula Girl’s sewing table. After we had stuffed all the books into three separate bags, I told the children to put on their shoes and meet me in the car. I grabbed the books and loaded them into the car, then came back inside for a couple of granola bars for the big kids’ snack. I also scooped up Sugar Plum.

Monkey Man and Sugar Plum were all strapped in and ready to go when I turned back to go inside and see what was taking Hula Girl so long. Uh-oh. I couldn’t open the door between the garage and the house. Somehow Hula Girl thought we had locked her in the house, so she had turned the deadbolt to try to unlock it. She locked herself inside the house!

“What’s the big deal,” you might ask. Well, the big deal is that when we bought the house, the only key we received works on only one lock: the front doorknob. I have no way of opening any other locks, whether they are deadbolts, doorknobs, chains, or sliders. Another part of the big deal is that Hula Girl has very low muscle tone in her hands, and the deadbolt is a super sticky one. She couldn’t turn it back!

After about five minutes of her trying desperately to free herself through the garage, I told her to meet me at the back door. Surely she’d be able to turn that deadbolt- it’s much easier. No dice. By this point, she was scared and crying, and I was starting to panic.

I couldn’t use the key on the front door– remember, it only does the doorknob. Also, the front door is secured with extra slider locks at the top (a great safety measure when dealing with young children), but Hula Girl can’t reach them, so I didn’t think the front door would work, either.

Thankfully, Jonathan had gone out the front door and he didn’t secure the slider locks the night before. So Hula Girl was able to let herself out that way eventually.

Guess what Jonathan did last night? We’ll never be locked out (or in the case of the children, in) again.

The whole time I was outside, trying to figure out a way to get my baby out of the house, I was thinking back to a time when she was barely two years old and she locked herself in her room during roomtime. I was ready to break down the door to get to her that day, but I ended up breaking in with a bobby pin. Fortunately I was able to avoid property damage yesterday, as well, but I was strongly considering it! Yikes, man.

After all this we went to the library, and Hula Girl brought home 87 books. I think that’s a personal record.

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