• Michelle

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Locked In

I’m linking up today with Rachel and Mr. Daddy for True Story Tuesday. This story is just too funny not to share!

This story happened about a year ago.

We had just moved into our new house, and with that, we decided some changes needed to be made in regards to our brand spanking new 3 year old. As in, his 3rd birthday had just past. One of these changes, and probably the biggest one, was to transition him from his crib to a big boy bed. And when I say ‘transition’, it was more like ‘kid, you’re 3 years old and still sleep in a crib and suck on a binky; time to sell the crib, lose the binky and sleep like a big boy.’ So when we moved, the crib didn’t come with.

I’m fairly certain that John was psychologically damaged in the process by not getting a transition period and returned the favor in kind. His new idea of sleeping was to not sleep at all. Now, John had never been a good sleeper. He’s always fought sleep and rarely stayed asleep for long. But this was new. He had freedom without constraints and used it to the best (and worst) of his ability. He’d get up and sneak into the playroom to get his trucks. He’d sneak into the kitchen to grab a snack. Oh, he was a crafty one. When he thought nobody was watching, he’d climb the shelves in the pantry to reach the cookies on the almost top shelf, and place them on the bottom shelf for easy access later.

The constant getting up was getting on our nerves. One day, James had an idea. He turned the knob on the bedroom door around so the lock was on the outside. It worked fabulously! We’d put John to bed, read him his story, tucked him in and left. The door was closed and locked, followed by a short period of screaming, kicking and tears but it quickly subsided. When all was quiet, the door was unlocked and opened. As long as he was asleep, the door remained opened.

Soon after the knob was switched, John had found a new game using the backwards lock. He thought it was rather hysterical to lock his brother in the bedroom. Then it was his brother and his brother’s friends. He even locked himself in the bedroom along with his brother and his brother’s friends. We’d hear John laugh and laugh from across the house and James and I just knew that he had locked that door again. We’d shake our heads and release his prisoners, then secretly laugh about it later.

One fateful day, John was sick and I stayed home from work with him. Gary was at school and James was at work. It was just the two of us. I had called Gary’s school to let them know I would be there to pick him up when school let out. Usually he would go to the afterschool program until I got off work, but since I was at home there was no need to pay for a day that we didn’t have to. John and I hung out in our pj’s all day playing games and watching tv. When it started nearing the time for us to leave to pick up Gary from school, I decided it was time to get dressed. I walked into the bedroom with John on my heels, very aware of John’s attraction to taking prisoners, but apparently not smart enough to place John in front of me. As I approached the dresser, I turned around to find John turning the lock. As I started to scream for him to stop, the door was quickly slammed shut.

I looked at the door in disbelief, then at John. He was grinning from ear to ear. The look of mischief in his eyes was unmistakable. He had his payback. He had taken mommy prisoner. Like an idiot, I turned the knob. Sure enough, it was still locked. I banged on the door, knowing full well that nobody was going to hear me except my captor, who was enjoying my agony a little too much. I’m not in the habit of carrying my cell phone on me while I’m at home, nor do I carry the home phone around. Calling someone was out. I knew that a skinny flat head screwdriver worked great to pick the lock, but I never had a reason to keep such a tool in the boy’s bedroom. I looked around to see if there was anything I could use to shove into the little key hole. I found a belt and used the metal thing that goes into the belt hole, but it wasn’t long enough to reach the locking mechanism. Searching again, I found some wood lining stashed in the bottom drawer of their dresser (don’t ask me how it got there). I broke it in half, hoping it would break so that the broken edge was slightly pointy. My efforts were rewarded with a nice point on one end. I shoved it in the key hole, but it was too thick. I shaved it down a bit on the sides and managed to get a splinter in the process. Excited, I shoved the now skinny piece of wood into the key hole, but to my dismay, the wood was too soft. The point buckled as soon as it hit the locking mechanism.

It was closer and closer to the end of the school day. If I didn’t escape soon, I was going to be late picking Gary up. John had all ready gotten bored of this game and was distracting himself with a toy he found under the bed. I started to panic. Sweat was starting to trickle from my forehead and armpits. I started imagining James’ reaction to finding me locked in the boy’s room when he got home. The laughter and humiliation would be fierce. It would be a story told for years to come. I could imagine James telling our grandkids about the day their daddy locked their grandma in the bedroom for hours and grandpa had to rescue her. “She was bald from pulling out all her hair and your daddy was hiding in fear.” Yes, this is how the story would go.

I couldn’t allow that to happen. Desperate, I walked over to the window to examine the lock. It looked fairly simple. Press the button thing on the bottom, remove the window lock, slide window open. Luckily, this was as simple as it looked. I was ever so grateful that we lived in a one story house, but was quickly deflated when I looked down and realized I would be walking barefoot through rocks. I hopped out the window, hobbled through the rocks and breathed a big sigh of relief when I finally reached the front porch. I prayed the front door wasn’t locked as I reached for the handle. The handle wasn’t locked, so I pushed. The door gave way. I was victorious. I had escaped John’s prison and my lack of security had finally paid off. As I pushed the door the rest of the way open, the door stopped abruptly. Crap. I had the chain lock in place; so much for lack of security. I reached my hand in and tried to undo the chain lock. With a bit of finagling, grunting and cursing I managed to undo the chain lock and get inside. I released John from his own prison, got him and I dressed in record time and made it to the school before they escorted all the remaining kids who’s parents hadn’t come yet to the office.

The locks have lost their appeal since that day. I suppose John was waiting for the perfect opportunity to pay us back for all the damage we had caused him. The locks still remain backwards, but they are very rarely used. Perhaps we all learned a very valuable lesson from that day.



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