17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Unlocking the Secret to a Great Mother's Day

I spent my Mother's Day (at least the early morning hours of it), trying to unlock Noe's bedroom door, with him asleep on the other side.

It all went down last night. DH and I had just spent a really amazing evening at the ballet, and came home to two peacefully sleeping children. I drove the sitter home and went to bed, exhausted and content after a very full Saturday. DH puttered around the house, as he is prone to do late at night. At 1:30am, he woke me out of my happy sleep.

DH: "Jen, I went to check on the boys and when I closed Noe's door, it locked."

Me: "Oh....that's a problem."

We just recently moved into our townhouse. I hadn't realized that the boys' bedroom doors could lock. After a couple of seconds to absorb DH's words, I jumped out of bed and found our tool box. Then, we locked our own bedroom door and realized quickly that Noe wasn't going to be able to figure out how to unlock it on his own. Noe's room is on the second floor and we had no idea where we were going to find a long ladder in the middle of the night to reach his window. Nor were we too keen on calling the fire department. At least not yet. So we spent the next two hours trying to find the right tool that would unlock the door without waking the child from his sleep....a situation in which true chaos would ensue.

A few coat hangers, bobbi pins and prayers later....we unlocked the door. And I fell back asleep until ten o'clock the next morning(thank you very much DH!)

Incidently, I learned a few lessons from our "close call" last night:

1. If DH and I work together, we can accomplish ANYTHING for our children. Yeah, maybe a locksmith or a fireman could have done it faster, but we got the job done. This was a great lesson for us to learn, especially as we help Noe overcome his autism.

2. I CAN be a calm presence in a potentially dangerous situation. Usually DH is the calmest one in the room and I am hysterical. Last night, he panicked and I reasoned out the situation and ultimately came up with the winning MacGyveresque tool that unlocked the door. Maybe it was because I was half-asleep, but we'll say otherwise, ok?

3. Sometimes I want to kill my boys, but more often I want to save them. During those two frightful hours, I was entirely focused...with an intensity that I've rarely known....on getting that door unlocked so it would no longer separate me from my son.

4. Mothers don't hold the monopoly on loving their kids. When DH woke me up....I'll never forget the tone and panic in his voice. I thought for sure he was going to tell me something really horrific, like one of them wasn't breathing. I have an equally ferocious papa bear to my mama bear.

5. It is a good idea to have keys to all of the doors with locks in your house.

Not bad lessons to learn on Mother's Day, don't you think?


  • Jen, Pukey has this new habit of locking her bedroom door or the bathroom door if she wants "privacy". A few days ago she did this during nap time (unbeknownst to me) and then fell asleep. Well the girlies never wake up at the same time, and when I heard the baby wake up, I tried to get in the room and it was locked. At one point we had these key-like things that could unlock the doors from the outside, but of course I couldn't find one. I decided that if I removed the doorknob that would get the door open....Well, I got the door knob off and got the baby out, and then closed the door and realized it was "locked" again. This is when I started panicking. I even went outside beseeching neighbors to help. Eventually I got in touch with the super and he taught me how to jimmy it open with a screwdriver. For now there is still no doorknob back in and now I have a nice peep hole to spy on the girls' mischief. Funny we both had this happen the same week! Happy M's Day
    posted by Blogger Kage at 5/14/2006 06:33:00 PM  

  • I was babysitting my cousin's kids (they went out of town for the weekend), and the 5 year old locked himself in the bathroom. It was one of those old doors with the turn locks, and only a skeleton key can unlock it from the outside. Of course, nobody had a clue where the skeleton key was, and they probably had never even seen it. The poor kid was crying on the inside, saying he wasn't strong enough to turn the lock the other way (which was probably true). I got every tool out I could think of, to no avail, and even called a locksmith, who told me it would cost $150.00 just for coming out on a Saturday night. The solution? The bathroom was on the 2nd floor, and had a window that opened on to the roof. Yep, you guessed it, I dug out a ladder from the garage and climbed up onto the roof. The 5 year old was strong enough to open the window a smidge enough for me to open it the rest of the way, and I wriggled my way into the bathroom through the window. Everybody was fine, although I did have a devil of a time getting his 12 year old sister off the roof, as she had shimmied up that ladder right behind me and was having a tea party up there.

    But it did teach me how resourceful one can be when you have to. That child wasn't mine, but I had to act as if he was. And I learned one will go to great lengths to rescue a kid.
    posted by Blogger Heather O. at 5/14/2006 07:03:00 PM  

  • Oh Jen, what a great post. I love the lessons that you learned too and that you have renewed confidence in your ability to stay calm and intensely focused.

    When DS was 19 months old and about 1 week before we had DD he locked himself in his room. We didn't notice it until we were checking on him before going to bed. I was HUGE pregnant and RAN down the stairs to the parking lot to get my little tool box out of the car. DH picked one doorknob to work and I picked another, trying to find the right combination that would work and wouldn't wake him.

    I figured it out first. I too was amazed at how calm and focused I was. And I was grateful that I was the one who got the door opened - it was a much needed boost to my confidence before having another child.

    Happy Mothers Day!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 5/14/2006 07:46:00 PM  

  • And Marian, you NEED to post about the time you locked yourself in my garage...with two toddlers in the house! He he he!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 5/14/2006 09:45:00 PM  

  • Ahhh yes, my crowning moment of Mommy glory!

    I had flown to CA to visit Chloe, and one morning she took her DD to a doctor appointment and left me at home with her DS and my own DS, both 2. The boys were sitting on the couch watching TV, and I went into the garage to start a load of laundry. I pulled the door shut behind me, so that they boys wouldn't follow, and IMMEDIATELY realized I had locked myself in there, literally within 5 MINUTES of being left alone with the boys. I was in my pajamas, in Chloe's garage, with two toddlers loose in the house. Fortunately they keep their toolbox in there, and I was able to jimmy the lock with a screwdriver. The boys were still sitting on the couch when I came back in, they never knew they had the house to themselves! I immediately called Chloe to tell the tale, and it's a phone conversation that has gone down in our relationship history. So funny, but only 'cause I was able to get the door open before bedlam ensued!
    posted by Blogger marian at 5/15/2006 04:44:00 AM  

  • Love it Jen... Unfortunately mine did involve the fire dept. DD was about 10 months, I went to answer the main front door and pulled our house door shut cuz she was crawling towards it to follow me... realizing immediately it was locked! She had seperation anxiety at the time and began screaming. The lady who was at the door go figure was there for looking for the neighbor upstairs and accidently pushed our bell. She felt horrible. She helped me right away try to figure out what to do. Back door, closed and locked. Windows?? BARS! Tools, no where! We had to act fast, cuz unlike sleeping babies, her cry was getting louder and more hysterical. The lady went to the corner and called 911 while I stayed and talked to DD through the door. The fire truck pulled up 2 minutes later, full of 8 HOT fire fighters. They quickly scope out the situation. While two took a huge tool to the front door, three of them took a ladder to the side where on the 2nd story there was a window without bars and climbed in, while removing the window air conditioner. One of them came to the front door holing DD and opened it. Her face was soaked in tears and snot!! I said you are my hero, and they all left. My door still shows the devastation of them trying to pry it open. Looking back the whole thing was kind of cool. The lady and I reminisced about it at a BBQ about 3 months later. Is it a pre requisit that fire men are hot?
    posted by Blogger Zinone at 5/15/2006 07:18:00 AM  

  • Z, I love your story! I mean, it's great and all that DD was resuced...but HOT firefighters? Oh yeah, baby!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 5/15/2006 08:19:00 AM  

  • All firefighters are HOT- put any plain ol' man in that uniform, and he transforms into Hot Hero Man!

    We have Locked-Door stories just like the rest of you- and I have come to the conclusion houses with kids should just have no locks. It always leads to bad things! Now, I keep a little "jimmy" tool tucked into the trim over the bathroom door in the hallway. Little hands don't even know it's there, and I can easily reach it in the inevitable emergency.
    posted by Blogger Tracy M at 5/15/2006 08:41:00 AM  

  • Wow...I didn't expect all of the great stories....fun to hear and glad everything turned out ok for everyone.

    Z- I agree that most all firemen are pretty dang hot. My best friend back home is a firefighter and I used to love hanging out with her at the firestation (pre-dh). She is seriously good at her job...but she did marry another firefighter...so I know what inspired her to that profession.

    NYC firefighters are the hottest because they have the whole "hero" thing going on and they have cool accents. I always picture them with ditzy big-haired gum-smacking Long Island girls though. Hope I'm wrong about that.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 5/15/2006 07:55:00 PM  

  • Mmmm...NYC firemen. The cops are hot too! Is it those accents? HOT.
    I love your comment about your DH being a papa bear. I love seeing my husband with my son and realizing I definitely don't have a corner on the market of "worrying for the well being of my child"
    Great post!
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 5/17/2006 06:07:00 PM  

  • Those little "unlocking tools" that you put on top the door frame... just be careful leaving them there when you WANT the door to stay locked- 8 year olds can figure it out- speaking from experience!!!!!!!!!!
    posted by Blogger BJHBHB at 5/17/2006 10:40:00 PM  

  • Few days ago I've been in almost the same situation. This happened to me with the car running during the summer. My locks on my subaru forester locked automatically with the key in the ignition. Don't know why. I had gotten out of the car to help my niece and heard the locks go -click click click. My 11 month old son was in the car.I called emergency locksmith company and they sent a locksmith. He checked my ID and opened the car.It took him about 10 minutes. They were great.
    posted by Blogger Damesh at 2/19/2008 06:16:00 AM  

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