Friday, March 16, 2007

Morning Has Broken (me)

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.


  1. Hello:

    I read your blog and love it. I am glad to know I am not the only one. The same thing happened to me. My husband was 300 miles away. Thank goodness I had my cell phone. I called the fire dept. They had me in in a few seconds. My poor little girl had cried herself to sleep. I felt like the mother of the year. We now have a hide a key!!!!

    Charlotte, NC

  2. It's happened to me (but only with one baby) and, of course, the hubby went out and purchased one of those hide-a-key boxes that require a code to open. Of course, I'd been suggesting it every time we went to Home Depot but it wasn't a good idea until he had to come home and bail me out. He also went one better and installed one of those keypads to open the garage door and we never keep the internal garage door locked! And I still thought I'd managed to lock myself out the other day (with two babies, this time).

  3. Seeee... this is a sign - you need to move into that house! I know that I am the only one who comments that you should move... but I know you guys personally... MOVE! LOL

  4. Oh Yeah, BTW, I picked Winthrop to beat Notre Dame! Go Eagles!

  5. And one more thing..even tho you were only leaving the kitchen for 'a minute', SHUT OFF THE BURNER. When ever you leave the room. Please. You were sooo lucky.

  6. That "what if?" game can make you crazy. I spent weeks thinking "what if" not too long ago regarding our son. I still cannot allow myself to dwell on our particular incident, because I feel sick to my stomach.
    I'm glad things worked out for you. And don't even think about trying out for "Mother of the Year" because I have already won that title....many, many times.

  7. I've done that but without the dog, cheese or triplets. Definitely hide a key. :)

  8. (((((I hope you made your call and got a good nap out of them)))))

  9. I have that nightmare all the time. So far, it hasn't happened IRL. But, yikes. Glad you're all OK. Going to hide a key outside now ...

  10. oh my! I've been away a long time! You've been busy.

    I've never been through that w/the house but I have with the car! Maybe you remember - James got out of his car seat and locked me out! Had to call 911 to get to him. Thankfully the car wasn't running; I was so afraid they were going to call DSS on me but I certainly learned my lesson!

    Did you sign up for those pregnancy Yoga classes yet? You really need them - this house thing is becoming an obsession.:-) Love ya! Marg

  11. This really hit home because just the other day my husband was looking all over for an extra key to our house. I asked him why in the world he needed that and he said to hang in the garage when they lock us out! I thought he was nuts but then I read your blog! I am so glad that the door was unlocked! THANK GOD! We now have a key safely hidden incase of emergencies