8 A.M.:


The husband is leaving for the day.  He generally locks the door behind him, but today, his hands are full.

“Can you get the door, Gin?”

“NO! I do it!”  The 2 year old runs for the door, fumbles a little at first, but eventually gets the deadbolt to turn over.

Crap, I think.  I’m going to have to watch her.  What if she walks down here in the middle of the night and lets herself out?  I wish she’d never figured that out.


12:30 P.M.:


I have to go grocery shopping.  But the guy we hired to scrape the ice off our sidewalk has disappeared.  He’ll be back; he left his shovels leaning against my gate, and I haven’t paid  him yet.  But for now, I don’t know where he is.  And I’ve only got a small window to get this shopping done.


1:15 P.M.: 


I come up with a plan:  put the money in an envelope, and duct tape it (discreetly) to his shovel handle.  I tell the 2 year-old that I’ll be back in a second, sprint down the walk in sock feet.  It takes me longer than I expected to affix the envelope, and I’m wishing I’d stopped to put on a jacket, because it’s colder out here than I thought.  I look up as a neighbor drives by, wave.  And then I hear a loud bang behind me.


Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who was cold.  The 2 year-old has slammed the front door shut.


The front door that locks, automatically.


I have no keys, no phone, no jacket, no shoes.  The only other stay-at-home mom on the block just drove away.  And the 2 year-old is by herself.


1:20 P.M.:


Thoughts that have crossed my mind while I have been trying to explain to the 2-year old how to turn the deadbolt:


Owen would KILL me if I threw a rock through the 80-year old front window.

How long before this kid gets bored, and goes to play with her dolls?

Tomorrow, I’m hiding 20 copies of my house key around the neighborhood.

We’re gonna make the news FOR SURE, this time.


1:25 P.M.:


I’m finally beginning to understand that saying, “No, the GOLD one, honey.  Turn the GOLD thing!”  isn’t working.  Probably because there are no less than 3 “gold things” on the door.  And a note of panic creeps into her voice, as she finally realizes the gravity of the situation.  She’s scared, and I’m scared for her.


And then it all becomes clear.


“Honey?  Do you remember how you locked the back door this morning?  Do you think you can UN-lock it?”


(Footsteps away from the door.)


I sprint around the house, get to the back.  But she must have gotten confused, because she’s not there.


I bang on the door.  “I coming, Mommy!”


I talk her through it, tell her to turn it.  She’s fumbling.


And then the clunk of the deadbolt receding into the door.


Her little eyes are lit up, her mouth is in a surprised “OH!”.  She smiles.  And the smile dives into a sob.  Her little face crumples, her shoulders slump. 


I try to stop the tears, tell her she’s so brave.


But she doesn’t want to talk about it.


7 P.M.:


Owen gets home late.  I tell her to tell Daddy about her “adventure” today.

“Oh,”  she says, in a “Pshaw!  Tweren’t nothing!” tone of voice, “I just open da door.”

21 responses to “Locks

  1. I love it! 🙂 Awesome! Things do work out!

  2. Lace a key onto your shoe, and never got out barefooted again. That way you’ll never leave the house without a key. 😉

  3. great story Ginny, your 2 year old sounds adorable. (I keep a spare house key hidden in the garage….)

  4. michael.offworld

    Children make it all worthwhile. I love watching them grow up.

  5. Just do like we do. We don’t lock the doors.

    Though we also have the garage door on a keypad, so we can go in through the garage if need be.

    Your poor feet must’ve been so cold.

  6. Alec did that once when he was about 2-3. He closed the door between two adjoining hotel rooms, and he was alone on the other side. I was reaching panic mode, and heading for the phone to call the front desk for a key when all of a sudden … he figured it out. 🙂

    Glad your daughter had her A-Ha! moment before your toes had to be amputated!

    p.s. I hadn’t read your post last night before I posted one myself, and found it funny how we both said we only had a ‘small window of opportunity’ to get shopping done LOL.

  7. At least she didn’t crumple into a sobbing mess BEFORE she got you back into the house! Remember that! Her calmness during the “adventure” is a good thing! Falling apart after it’s all over is perfectly okay!

  8. Children are useful like that. Much more useful than your mum, who gets pissed when you lock yourself out of your new house, don’t have any extras made and hidden, and she has to drive 40 minutes because you forgot your keys at her house.

  9. Excellent story! I really love your writing style. Glad you got back into the house safely…

  10. Oh, chilluns. And I like your door.

  11. Ohhh BRAVERY! What a great kiddo!

  12. based on that door I couldn’t even figure out which gold thing to turn.

  13. My son used to do the whole fall apart afterward thing. Hey, wait a second, he STILL does that!

    Why do you lock your doors? I thought you live in CANADA…?! 🙂

  14. Why do they make doors that lock automatically? That would drive me crazy.

    Yeah for The Two Year Old! She’s a smart girl.

    I had to read that last paragraph twice. Cuz for a second I thought she said “pshaw, it ain’t nothin'” Which would clearly be friggin’ awesome.

  15. Loni: I was due!

    Peter: You’ve got all the answers, don’t you, Smarty Pants? :)’

    nursemyra: Ah, if only I had a garage.

    michael: Exactly. You realize they’re learning, growing, but you rarely get to watch it in all its glory.

    Beej: Feet weren’t that bad, actually. Or I was too scared to notice.

    Kim’s Korner: All the heart-stopping moments we get to have, hey?

    arynsmom: I am extremely grateful that she is a carbon copy of her father. If she was like me, we’d be screwed.

    Captain Steve: Oy. Let’s both go get some keys cut, ‘kay?

    megan: Thank you, and thank you.

    Rassles: Thanks, I like it too. I mentally bought the house when I saw it. Too bad I didn’t notice the lack of closets and bathrooms. Oh well, it IS a really nice door.

    mongoliangirl: I gotta say, I gained a little respect for her.

    Xbox: Erm, no. If you’d asked when she was 6 months old, I would have had her in a Fed-Ex envelope before I finished reading your comment.

    O.G.: Neither can ANYONE leaving my house.

    writinggb: Yup, Canada. Where people get decapitated on Greyhound buses.

    vinomom: I usually appreciate the self locking thing. In 3 years here, that’s (surprisingly) the first time it ever bit me in the ass.

  16. Nice. That is totally going to happen to me very soon. Zach just learned to open the front door on his own, now all he needs to get through is the screen. Actually, he won’t lock me out, he’ll just hit the bricks.

  17. “decapitated”? Geesh, must have missed that bit on the evening news! Get an extra deadbolt. Hay, and how about one of them electric fence do-hickeys!

  18. FreeMan: Oh yeah, if it’d been her that was locked out? She’d be at the border by now.

    writinggb: Stuff like that is why I try desperately NOT to watch the news.

  19. bluestreak: Thanks. I’ve grown accustomed to their faces 🙂

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