Don’t leave them kids alone!

This is not your typical, “Life is perfect and nothing ever goes wrong” post. The following is an incredibly embarrassing story. I am only posting it so that others can learn from my mistakes!

On Monday, Lara and I were off to an early start. It was 0930 and we were bathed, dressed, fed and ready to go see the new Narnia movie. Stephen was lucky enough to be at Jury Duty (and, yes, he enjoys it as much as I do). I decided to put a load of clothes to wash before we left. I made a ball out of our dirty sheets and headed towards the back door. I left Lara playing with one of her babies and her stroller. Now, the washer and dryer are in the back yard. Yes, I was going to leave Lara by herself for about 2 minutes while I loaded the washing machine. No big deal. Lara is not a trouble maker and is pretty mild-mannered. She is beginning to get the hang of “right v wrong”. I put the load to wash. As I am walking up the back porch steps, I see her thru the screen. She is standing there, in her pink tank dress, with a big smile on her face. I greet her as I reach for the door knob.


the door was locked.

No, I did not lock myself out. She locked herself in.

The reality of what was happening took a while to set in. I started to ask her to, “open the door, please” without realizing, she can not do that yet. I told her to unlock the door knob but, we have not taught her that the word “unlock” is associated with turning the little key on the knob. After about 5 minutes of that, I started formulating a plan. I looked towards the bathroom window. NO WAY. I would fall and break my head if I attempted to climb it. I told Lara, “Can you please bring mommy the keys? They’re in my purse”. As she walked towards the living room (and away from my line of sight!!) I realize that my purse was on top of the sofa and, unreachable. She begins to bring me my empty purse from my closet. I wanted to cry. She was trying to help me!

At that moment, I decided that it was not the smartest idea to send her away from the door. Hello! I should keep her where I can see her! I was about to start yelling at my neighbors to let me borrow their phone when I thought to ask Lara, “Can you bring me the phone?”. Of she goes! A few seconds later, she’s back, with the phone! I pry the screen door open and she slides it underneath. Yay! She finds this extremely amusing. Unfortunately, she begins to realize that, I am not in the same room as her. I am outside without her. She starts to panic. She begins to cry hysterically and pound on the door, “Mommy! Open!”.

I start dialing my life lines. First, I try to reach Susie. I figured that she could run across the street from work, to the courthouse, get our keys from Stephen and, save the day! She didn’t answer any of her phones. I called Sandra next. No answer. I called Stephen. He was not amused. He told me that he didn’t think he could leave jury duty without getting in trouble. I reminded him that this was an emergency and we only live 5 minutes away from the courthouse. He hangs up on me. I call Julie and she sends Papa over with tools to dismantle the screen door. Meanwhile, Lara is pretty upset. She does not understand why she is all alone. 😦 I start to play with her by asking her to slide her magnetic alphabet thru the slot underneath the screen. This works to boost her spirits for about 1 minute or 2.

Stephen and Papa get there at about the same time. Lara runs into Stephen’s arms. Stephen rips me a new one. He hands her to me and drives back to jury duty. Papa leaves, probably disappointed he wasn’t able to use his cool tools.

I felt like such a teen mom. I could have been one of those stories: Dumb mom locks herself out of the house. Leaves her toddler unattended. Toddler sets the house on fire.

As the day progressed, my kind sissy-in-law reminded me that accidents happen and the good thing is that everyone is ok. Still, I can’t believe that happened to me. I will never wash another load of clothes again.

Lara and I still managed to have a great day. We saw Prince Caspian (7/10) and bought the following things:

Nothing like retail therapy to soothe the nerves.

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