Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why Being Locked Out Can Actually Be Fun

Today was definitely an interesting day. It’s funny how a fairly small thing, like a child closing a door, can alter the entire day. Because in reality, it’s no small thing when it’s the only way to your bedroom, and the door happened to be in the locked position—oh, and there’s no key. No small thing at all.

So at about 9 o’clock this morning, my nicely planned day returned to the drawing board. No running upstairs for that load of laundry I usually grab right after breakfast, no running up for a shower or makeup or fixing my hair (not that I do my hair most days anyway). Fortunately everyone was already dressed, or we would have stayed in pj’s all day long (since I was all caught up with laundry, it was all locked upstairs)!

Today showed me how much I take for granted being able to freely access any area of my home at any time. The day also gave me an opportunity to get caught up on some projects I never seem to have time for. I sorted, and washed, a few baskets of miscellaneous items I’ve been storing because I previously didn’t know what to do with them—store, give away, mend, take to the cleaners.

When I couldn’t get my littlest guy to take a nap because he wasn’t in his bed, we loaded up and went for a drive. Before we left, the boys counted out a dollar and five pennies (for the tax) out of their piggy banks and put their change in Ziploc baggies for a stop at the Dollar Tree (this is the highlight of their lives lately—mine, too, I guess!). My oldest was so excited to purchase some orange silly string (he’s actually been begging me for two days to take him so he could buy some); and I really wanted another microfiber cleaning towel.

Once we arrived home, I tried unsuccessfully to get the boys to take naps on the couch. I also realized how much we all need that afternoon naptime. They need the rest, and I need some time, too--alone and quiet. Since it didn’t happen, and they were acting like Labrador puppies, I decided we’d all bundle up and go for a walk. It was nice (and at least one child fell asleep).

Although we do have an upstairs access door on the roof, my husband was out of town, and I wasn’t feeling brave enough to climb up there. Finally, this evening, out of necessity (a little thing called sleep), I mounted my courage and summited the roof, only to find the door locked—and the keys are hanging on the wall inside. Going down was much scarier than climbing up.

(That's because this summer, my husband repaired the leaking roof. Doing so required him to remove the last flight of stairs to the roof. So now the only way up is to scale the plastic awning that hangs from the edge of the roof over the back door. My husband calls this the “Stairway to Heaven,” because if it doesn’t go well, you’re looking at a one-way ticket.)

Fortunately, my mountaineering husband arrived home shortly later and successfully picked the lock inside.

Here are some lessons I learned from getting locked out:

  • Getting dressed immediately upon waking really pays off. You’re productive right out of the shoot (another post for another day).
  • Keep some essentials in a room you’re sure you won’t get locked out of (or outside somewhere in the event you get locked out altogether).
  • Know how to get in your house (or any part of your house that you could get locked out of). Also know how to get out (fire escape).
  • Don’t panic. You will get in eventually. In the meantime, try to find fun ways to fill your time. Unique ways that make memories and leave your kids begging, “Mommy, can we get locked out again sometime?”. "No, but thanks for asking."
With that, I’m so grateful I can go through the unlocked door and access my room! (I will be getting dressed first thing in the morning, and coming downstairs with my laundry with me—oh, and my kids. Wouldn’t want to lock them up for too long. Or would I?). :)

(Visit Works for Me Wednesday to read others' ideas on a variety of subjects.)


  1. Great post! I would have been losing my mind :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. That is awesome how you kept your cool. I locked myself out of our unattached garage once and couldn't drive anywhere. What a long day that was but now I keep spare keys everywhere!

  3. My (then) 16 month old locked my out of the house when I went outside to flip some burgers on the BBQ. The patio door closed behind me and she flipped the bottom lock closed while I was outside. Of course, no amount of coaxing got her to "unflip" the lock. DH was at work so I ran around trying to find a neighbour who was home so that I could borrow their phone and call DH to come home. That meant leaving my daughter crying and panicked at the patio window.

    After what seemed like FOREVER! I was able to get a hold of DH and a neighbour stayed with me while we talked to a crying 16 month old through the window.

    Thankful DH only works 10 minutes away and we got in to the house for cuddles and hugs with our daughter.

    We now have an extra key hidden in our yard in case we ever get locked out again.

  4. Hi Supreme! Gosh--that would be nerve-wracking. I am fortunate that my boys were with me. I was thinking about what I would have done, though, if my 16 month old would have been on the other side of the door (sometimes he trails down after us). I think I would have called the police department for help, since my husband was out of town!! Good idea about the key:)