Charlie and I were up past midnight finishing our 2006 tax return.
This morning, I had a conference call at 8 AM. I had to put my fellow callers on "mute" when ride-on-toy races spilled from our kitchen in to the dining room, where I was set up with my laptop. Round and round they'd go ... and then there would be a bump in to the table leg, and milk would slosh from my Special K on to my Day Planner.
Charlie eventually corraled the kids back in to the kitchen, fed them breakfast, got them dressed, and as he was loading them in to the car to run errands ... I participated in another call and Net Meeting.
At 11:50 AM, Charlie returned with a car load of famished children. My husband was scheduled to be at the dentist for an appointment in 10 minutes, I had a third conference call scheduled in 30 minutes - with participants calling in all the way from Australia. Days are never this busy - but once in a blue moon they are - and when it happens, it requires all kinds of organization and dumb luck to proceed from one thing to the next seamlessly.
My goal was to get the kids fed, washed up and down for their naps before my next call commenced.
Piece of cake.
I said goodbye to my husband and locked the front door behind him. I then polled the children who wanted grilled cheese for lunch and they unanimously cried "I DO!!!"
And so it shall be.
I buttered some bread, threw it in a pan on the stove and turned the heat on medium. Looking in to the refrigerator, I realized that the new package of cheese was in our second refrigerator - in the garage. I walked 20 feet to the garage and when I opened the door, immediately saw Molly, with her front paw stuck up in her collar, hobbling around.
I left the garage door slightly ajar behind me while I went to free our dog.
Just then, I could hear the pitter patter of little feet coming down the hall, looking for me, and before I could do or say anything, I heard the door close and the "CLICK" of the push-button lock.
Our three children were in the house by themselves.
The stove was on.
The front door was locked.
The garage door was locked.
All of the windows were locked.
I had no cell phone or means of calling Charlie and telling him to come back with the keys.
I was in the garage with a happy dog and a Costco-sized package of cheese slices.
And, almost instantly ... a pair of dirty underwear.
Taking a deep breath and spotting a shovel that I was fully prepared to use to break out a window and hoist my pregnant self through ... I walked around the back of the house. I checked the sliding glass doors and much to my relief - our bedroom door was open. I'm not sure how or why ... and I don't care ... because I always lock the house up at night and had not had an opportunity to open any of the doors yet.
While I darted inside to a smoking pan, I couldn't help but think "What If."
If the door hadn't been open, I would have smashed a window with the shovel. Although, I'm not sure if I would have done this before or after I ran to our neighbors house and used their phone to frantically call Charlie. Even though he was only 3-miles away ... I doubt he would have heard my screaming.
The lesson learned from this experience is that we should leave a key outside in a secure spot should one of us ever get locked out of the house, again. Particularly when our three children are inside - with a stove on.
The other lesson learned from this experience is that if we moved in to the new house ... I would have no need to go outside to fetch cheese from our second refrigerator. Because, the new house has space for a second refrigerator off the massive pantry. And in the event there was a fire ... our kick-ass interior sprinkler system would activate and save the day.
Not that these facts alone are justification to move in to the new house ... but, they are certainly something to consider. Now that I am breathing normally, again.