Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lesson for the Day: Keys! Keys!Keys!

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER go out a door of your home without your keys if there is a little one inside! My lesson for the day.

Felicity fell asleep for her nap earlier than usual, around 11:30am. I put her in her crib and told Cecilia I was going to work on planting a border around a small ground patch out front. I asked if she wanted to come or stay inside. She said she wanted to come and wanted me to help her get dressed (she doesn't really need help) and when I tried to help her she fled onto the stairs and said, "I stay here." I said okay and took the monitor for Felicity downstairs through the garage. I began moving border pieces to the front when Cecilia tried to come from the house into the garage wearing only her pullup. I stopped her and told her if she wanted to come out, she had to get dressed. She said I needed to help her (again, she does it on her own all the time) and I said that I tried to help her and she wanted to play on the stairs, repeated that if she wanted to come out she had to get dressed and closed the door. I finished moving border pieces and got my shovel and went to go inside to check on her when I realized she had locked the door from the inside.

I could hear her feet running upstairs above me. I knew the front door was locked. I knew I could not get in from around back as we keep our fence gate padlocked. I had no keys. I had no phone. I tried calling her name, pounding and kicking the door. Nothing. I couldn't even hear her moving anymore. I went back out front and looked in the windows. I couldn't see her from there. I went to the front door, dodged a stupid bee that thought our wreath was real, and rang the doorbell, called her name, kicked and pounded the door all to no reply. A neighbor heard me shouting the name and pounding on the door and asked if everything was okay. I explained my 3 year old had locked me out. He kindly offered to go around the back and try to shout to her to open the door in case she was on that side of the townhouse.

I put my ear to the door and could hear, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Help! Help! Help" over and over again. I also made out the word "down" but whether that meant she needed help getting down from something or had fallen down I had no idea. I went to the back of the townhouse and looked but could see nothing. Our fence and gate blocked me from getting up to the townhouse but the backdoor was locked anyway. I went back around to the front and the kind neighbor said he would bring me a phone. I went back to the front door again calling Cecilia's name, pounding and kicking the door, ringing the doorbell, and telling her to come to the front door. With my ear to the door I could still hear the "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Help! Help! Help!" I knew from the sound that she wasn't missing a limb or anything, but I still didn't know if she was stuck or hurt or what.

The neighbor returned with his cell phone but when I tried to dial 411 to get a locksmith, the phone required more minutes. As he left to get a different phone, I heard Cecilia push open the baby gate and approach the other side of the front door. She was upset and crying. I asked if she could unlock the door (she has done it before, but it is a bit high for her). She said she couldn't. So I told her to go to the garage door and unlock that door. By the time I got to the garage door she already had it open. I profusely thanked our neighbor and then proceeded to break down crying holding Cecilia. She didn't understand why I was crying. I explained that she locked the door so I couldn't get in and I was crying because I was scared she was hurt. Of course, seeing me cry so much, she got scared and began crying and then said she would get me a tissue.

When we got back upstairs I figured out why she had been shouting for me to help her. I had told her that she could have a few M&Ms that afternoon, but while I was thinking more like 3pm, she was thinking more like 12:01pm and, after she locked the door (God knows why), she pushed her small chair up against the kitchen cabinet, climbed up onto the counter, and pulled the M&Ms out of the upper cabinet. She was calling for me to help her down. It was only after she got the courage up and figured out how to climb down that she could get to the door.

Praised be to God, Felicity slept through the entire thing.

Why didn't I try to call James instead of 411 for a locksmith? He had a meeting scheduled for 12:30 so I didn't know if he'd be able to be there anytime soon, and he was already 45 minutes away.

The entire thing lasted about 20-30 minutes and I am still coming down off the panic, fear, adrenaline rush. Considering I'm approaching my 8th month this week, I think I handled the whole thing pretty well, but the added hormones certainly didn't help and I, intentionally, didn't hold back when Cecilia finally opened that door and I could just let the emotions and tears go. I hope she learned something from it. I know I did.


  1. Wow, you must have been so scared! I'm so glad she was okay.

  2. Yeah, I did that several times at our last paratment. I was able to climb back in the kitchen window (that's fun when you're six months pregnant) but it was always pretty scary. I'm so glad that here our door doesn't lock automatically.

    i'm so glad Cecelia was able to unlock the door for you.

  3. Hey - that happened with my eldest and my dad when no one else was home. She ended up being fine also, but my dad was scared for her! She locked him out too.

    I learned recently that nationally - one can dial 311 to get the Fire Department for a non fire call. They'll come help get kids out of locked homes, cars, stuck in chairs, swings, etc...It works like 911 and takes you to the closest dispatcher.

    Thankful all was well. I'm sorry you got so upset too. Many hugs!

  4. domesticaecclesiaApril 30, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    Thanks. I'll have to remember that about 311.

  5. domesticaecclesiaApril 30, 2009 at 2:38 PM

    Yeah, it was no fun and took me a while to fully recover. Unfortunately we live in a 3 story townhouse and the ground floor is the garage (no windows) and the locked backyard. I don't think I had any windows unlocked though anyway - it was still 89 degrees that day.

    I knew if I could just get her to the door, she could unlock it, but I didn't know why, and hence worried, she wasn't coming to the door but was calling for me and help instead.

    Fortunately everything was okay....other than my adrenaline levels.