Another Milestone Down

Image courtesy wikimedia.org.

It’s only Day 2 of 2014 and I’ve already had enough excitement to last a lifetime.  If there is never another repeat of today it will still be too much.

I’m in purge mode.  The clutter around here is driving me crazy so I’ve got boxes stationed in most rooms so that I can just toss something in the box when I want it to go away.  Today I decided that while we were out running errands I would drop a few things off at one of the many donation centers that dot the parking lots around town.

I had three plastic shopping bags full of books – books I paid good money for many years ago and then never even cracked open – and a bag of really fat clothes (as in, I don’t ever want to be really fat like that again).  I popped the trunk lid open from inside the house, then gathered up these bags.  Miss P was hot on my heels so I slipped out the front door saying “momma will be right back” and kind of kicked the door closed behind me.

Ten steps or less to the car, dump the items in the trunk, shut the lid.  Ten steps or less back to the door.  Which is locked.

WHA???

The door knob itself wasn’t locked, but the deadbolt just above it was.  The deadbolt cannot be locked from the outside without a key.  Specifically the key that is on my key ring, sitting on the shelf next to the door.  Next to my cell phone.

So, yeah, my almost-17-month-old locked me out of the house.  The windows on either side of the door are frosted and leaded glass, so I really couldn’t see in.  I pondered whether she could unlock the door and decided against it.  I doubt she realizes she had locked the door in the first place.

My guess is when she tried to follow me she stood up on tiptoes to try the door and brushed the deadbolt latch with her fingertips, thus engaging it.  She probably wouldn’t be able to undo this action, even if she knew what I was saying.

I ran next door to the neighbors and rang and knocked.  The wife answered the door.  “My daughter locked me out of the house.  Can I borrow your phone? Does anyone here know how to pick a lock?”  She called out “Rusty!” over her shoulder (her husband) and handed me the house phone.  I called my husband twice and it went straight to voicemail both times.  In all the time I’ve known him his phone has never gone straight to voicemail, ever.

Her husband slipped on some shoes, told me to go over and talk to the baby through the door to keep her occupied.  I ran back home, banging and yelling through the door because I couldn’t see her.  Rusty came over and went into the backyard.  Through the back window into the living room he could see she was in the living room, happily watching TV, completely unaware.

He started trying windows.  I knew they were all locked.  He told me to go back to his house and get the cell phone to call my husband just in case.  I got hubby on the phone and he said he would be there shortly.  When I got back to our house the neighbor was in the yard.  “I got in, and she doesn’t like me,” he said.

He had managed to jiggle the lock open on our bedroom window and climb through (leaving wet, muddy, leafy footprints on my bed, but who cares?), walked down the hall to the living room where she squawked indignantly to have a stranger in her house.  Thank God he got in, but wow, my house is that easy to break into?

His wife told me it’s best when you have small children to keep a key hidden somewhere outside, just in case.  She said this happens a LOT.

I was proud of myself.  I didn’t get panicky until I realized I really couldn’t get in.  I had hoped I’d left the spare key in the unlocked laundry room (not attached to the house) but no.  I had hoped I had left the back door unlocked while doing laundry earlier that morning.  Nope.  Could I pick a lock?  Probably not.  Was there any way my daughter could hurt herself in the house?  Probably, yes. Even her regular activities could result in injury without supervision (ie riding her rocking giraffe too vigorously and getting thrown).

I’m so grateful for helpful neighbors.

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