Locked Out
October 2, 2007

I am an emotional eater--humiliating, but true. If I feel stressed about an overdue bill, I'll eat a double cheeseburger. If I'm fighting with my husband, I'll probably eat a mint-chocolate-chip sundae. And I just recently learned that if my toddler locks himself inside of my parents house, then I tend to gorge myself on peanut-butter cookies.

As soon as I finish this post, I'm absolutely going to have to clean my keyboard. You see, when I opened my laptop, I still had four cookies wedged into my mouth. And every time I'd chew, breath, or blink, a spray of sugary crumbs would fill the air in front of my face and land gracefully on my computer keys.

Hot damn, I am really worked up right now. I'm going to take a deep breath, back that thang up, and tell you exactly what just happened....ok, I just took a deep breath. Here's the story:

My parents live in one of the nicer neighborhoods in an idyllic suburb in Connecticut. I love this neighborhood because it's completely picturesque without being over the top--you know, houses perfectly sized for a family of four with a golden retriever, well-kept colonial style homes that were sturdily built in the 1940's, manicured lawns, happy flowerbeds containing smiling daisies, and most of driveways house basketball hoops and two sensible cars, usually Hondas or Toyotas (like I said, nothing pretentious). You get the picture.

James and I went for a nice little outing to the post office in the center of town this morning. Sounds pretty cute, doesn't it? It was. James carried the package all the way across the street all by himself, two people stopped to compliment his hair, and one old lady was even stopped us to say, "Ohhhh...he's so lovely, you should dress him as an angel for Halloween!" Seriously guys, she really did say that.

As we drove home from the center, I was naturally feeling very good about my life. We pulled into the driveway, I helped James get out of his carseat, and as we walked to the front door we talked about what we'd have for lunch. Just as we were deciding between peanut butter or turkey, I unlocked the front door and we stepped inside.

Within seconds, my parents' dog Rocky was begging to sit in the front yard. Believe it or not, we've had Rocky since the summer before I went into sixth grade. He's probably two-hundred-and-seven in dog years, he's as deaf as an encyclopedia, and despite the fact that he'll hang off of your pant leg with his teeth for twenty-three hours a day, he's the apple of my mom and dad's eye. Really, they'll probably make me take this post down in fear that he might learn to read blogs and become offended.

Anywho, Rocky wanted to sit in the front yard and if I'd like to remain in my folks' will, then it is imperative that I respond to the dog's requests with haste--so his wish was my command and we walked outside. Just as I was snapping the long tie-out cord onto his collar, I heard the front door slam.

Before I had a minute to sensor myself, I said "Sh**."

You see, my parents keep this house locked down like Fort Knox. There is no chance of ever finding and unlocked door, window, second story window, or mouse hole. James had just locked himself inside of Grandma and Pepere's fortress.

Just as I was about to swear again, the little door to the mail slot opened up, and I could see James's fat little hand hanging out of it, making the international sign for "come here." So I walked up to the door and squatted down to see James's face pressed against the inside of the mail slot. He looked at me and asked, "Es Moyee otay?" (translation: Is Mommy okay?)

"No James, Mommy's not okay. You're stuck inside Grandma and Pep's house all by yourself."

"Oh," he said.

"Can you turn the doorknob?" I pleaded.

"Uh, no."

"Can you give Mommy her phone?"

"Uh, no."

"Can you give Mommy the keys?"

"Uh, no. I go wash Bob da biddah and eat a shack." (translation: Uh, no. I'm going to watch Bob the Builder and eat a snack."

I spent the next ten minutes running like a barefoot psycho through this cutesy little neighborhood, while pictures of on-fire electrical appliance danced through my head. I was hurdling stone walls, impressively avoiding dog poo piles, bounding across lawns with "Please do not walk on our grass. Have a nice day!" signs, army crawling through flower beds (ok, not really), and ringing doorbells with the anticipatory zeal of a Mormon missionary. And just like those hard-working Elders, I felt very let down every time the door remained closed.

Finally, I remembered the stay-at-home dad across the street. I used his cell-phone to call my mom at work as we watched James make blowfish faces on the back french doors, taking breaks only to wave like a zoo monkey and say things like, "Hi Moyee! I by maseff!!!" (translation: Hi Mommy! I'm by myself)

Luckily there was a spare key on the back porch, and James and the house were totally fine. All total, he was home alone for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Let's just say that I won't be taking that nice lady's friendly advice...James will not be dressing like an angel for Halloween this year.

17 comments:

Mother Smuckers said...

It just can't be said enough...

Dabes es a gud time!


I LOVE that kid!!!

Rob & Katy said...

yo, you did the SAME thing to mom when we were little, except you were willing to turn the doorknob. classic.

Boston Beans said...

Locking my mom out was my favorite!

jkrunning said...

That happened to me one time when my daughter was like 2. We went to feed a neighbor's dog and I stepped out the front door to grab the paper. Well the door closed behind me with her inside. I called base housing but they didn't want to open it because it wasn't my house!

Melinda said...

I shut my littlest in the car in his car seat once with the keys inside just out of his reach. It is panic (and swear word) inducing

Grandma said...

I like the fact that you called me and said James was locked in...really Amy ...you were locked out! How well I remember you doing that to me only it was a storm door and I talked you into going down to the basement to let me in by the promise of candy!

CollegeGirl said...

Haha... sounds like an interesting day!

Amy said...

The funny part about it is that James was fine and content while you were freaking out. Gotta love these kids!

Hilary said...

Great story.. great kidlet... had me snorting. Thanks for that. :)

Jess said...

That is so gonna happen to me someday. I lock myself out all the time, so once I have kids I can totally picture something of this nature happening to me, and b/c my husband is neurotic, you can bet I will never find an unlocked door or window to climb through either!

jahowie said...

Man that kid is trouble!! LOL

RunningCrazyAfter3 said...

I have locked my kids in the car before, but I have to say my favorite is grandma telling us how you described James as being "locked in"! LOL He was in TOTAL control!

MillerFam said...

Ok, time for a confession. The same exact thing happened to me except I was up at the YMCA of the Rockies, it was about 34 degrees out and both Chloe and my nephew were locked inside while my sis-in-law and I stood on the porch in a complete panic (and freezing to say the least!) They stood inside like little monkeys laughing at us as we were pantomiming (sp?) how to turn the knob and unlock the door. It all ended well, but I did sprout some grey hairs!

TamBaum said...

So you totally don't know me but funny story. I saw you linked on the Stringhams site and I am from Dallas so I just had to click on whoever you are.Maybe there was a chance you are in my old ward. I am not going to stalk you enough to read all your entries to find out though. But I bet you guys are at Parker Chiropractic School...

Michemily said...

So after reading the story, I'm wondering where you got that picture. It's kind of creepy, since it isn't even James. I'm an emotional eater too. Let's just say you can tell how the week's going by how full my jar of nutella is. I have 2 Euros and 76 cents to my name. That's stressful enough to make me want to go use it to get more nutella!

Penny said...

Definately classic. Grandma, you totally rocked Pavlov's theory. Awesome! Listen to your mom, Amy. :-).

Busy Little Bee said...

When Allan read this post, he said that James should dress as an Angel on the front, and as a Devil on the back -- you know, for his two sides :) Think you can manage to sew a costume like that? I'll try and help if I can.