Sunday, May 27, 2012

Yes...this actually happened

So, it's taken me a long time to blog about this.  You know how there are those experiences in life that are so unbelievably bad, but that you know will be funny later?  They are moments that you can hardly believe didn't result in the death, or at least serious injury, of somebody or perhaps the maiming of really expensive electronic equipment? They're the stories that you almost don't call your best friend about because it was really that bad and you don't want to admit it, but you just KNOW she'll think it's hilarious?

Welcome to my Thursday afternoon.  See, my mother-in-law graciously watches my 2 and 3 year olds on Thursday afternoons for me.  I bring them over, put them down for their naps and when she comes home, I'm free to go to work, pick up our teenager or just have a few hours to think clearly.  On the Thursday in question, we arrived early because I had some things to arrange in the kids' rooms.  I set them up in the living room with an episode of Caillou.  I knew I'd be up and down the stairs a few times and since my 2 year old was going through a "Mikko do it" phase, I thought it best to gate them in the living room lest I come back to the top of the stairs to a tumbling toddler with broken limbs.

I had some things to get out of my car, so I snuck out through the garage door we had come in.  Bare foot and empty-handed, I ran out to my car, got the things I needed, and came back to the garage door.  As contained as my kids might be in the living room, that wouldn't stop them from trying climb the stone fireplace, crying because they couldn't see me or any number of other things I hadn't wrapped my head around before I decided to go back outside.  I got back to the door, turned the handle and found that it's locked.  No, seriously.  I locked my two toddlers inside a house that I couldn't get into.  Let that sink in for a moment or two.  Yup, two toddlers.  In a house.  Alone.

I only panicked for like 3 seconds before I started trying to figure out how the eff I was going to get back into that house.  I pretty quickly set aside smashing a window because I thought my in-laws would frown on that approach.  I frantically dug around for the spare key that had been moved since the last time I used it.  Finally, I gave up and ran around the house to the window where I could at least see the kids.

I didn't want them to get scared, so I tried not to sound as freaked as I was.  Although my cell phone was locked in the house with my kids, I had my work phone in the car.  And I used to think it was a bit frivolous to have two cellular telephones to keep my personal and professional life separated!  I grabbed that and called Kaia over to the window, through which she could just barely hear me.  She came when I knocked, thankfully.  I had her go get my phone and come back.  There was an amusing exchange where I tried to call her while shouting through the window explanations as to how to answer the iPhone.  She finally answered, while looking at me outside from her spot at the window, and I asked her to try and push the gate over.  I figured if there was a way to get them to the garage door, I'd talk her through opening the garage door and letting me back in.  It was an ingenious plan until she replied, "Not right now, Mommy.  I'm watching Caillou," and just like that she put the phone down on the window sill and turned back to her show.  By this time, my 2 year old had realized I was outside.  He thought it was a super game of peek-a-boo.  Unfortunately, every time he went to hide, I frantically knocked at the window trying to get his attention back.  That kid is a tornado and I couldn't imagine the damage he might be doing.  Thankfully, he liked peek-a-boo enough that nothing was broken or colored on.  I did have to coax him down from the entertainment center at one point, but he hadn't knocked down the tv yet.  After Kaia's show ended, and I wasn't there to start a new one, she came back to the mommy-at-the-window show.  She wanted me to put a movie in.  She kept bringing DVDs to the window and asking to watch them.  I kept telling her I couldn't put them on . She got bored with that and decided to stack them in front of the window until my view was blocked.  I had to pound on the window to knock them down so that I could see what I had no control over and she just kept putting them back up.  Awesome.

About 25 minutes after I managed the ridiculous, my mother-in-law came home to save the day.  I rushed in and hugged them both.  They were, of course, oblivious.  They went down for their naps like normal and I opened a bottle of wine before 4:00 p.m.  I called my mom and she said very helpful things like, "You know, this is probably the worst thing you'll ever do as a parent" and "At least you will probably never do it again."  I should hope so...and not.  My sister laughed.  My husband pointed out that I should carry a purse (I don't)...because normal, not paranoid people, carry their purses from the house to the car every time they have to run out for something silly?  Oy.

It was a rough one with a happy ending.  So, today's lesson is that no matter what bumble-headed idiocy you might have committed today, I bet you managed to avoid locking yourself out of a house that you've locked your children into.  Take some solace in that.  You've got me beat.