So Addie locked herself in the apartment today. Without my help. And as much as this sounds like a pre-pubescent tantrum, it wasn’t.
I left her putting on her shoes in the foyer of the apartment while I took her backpack and my briefcase down to the car, which was parked within sight of the door to our apartment. I heard clicking but figured that it was Addie opening the door and coming out. No such luck…she had deadbolted the door shut on me. And my keys, you ask? In my hand. The beautiful catch in all of this is that the deadbolt can only be opened from inside the apartment. There isn’t an outside keyhole for the deadbolt, only for the main door lock, to which I had the key. It’s called a privacy lock and is generally only locked at night, when we’re all in for the evening.
I called and called through the door, and she tried (I think) to open the deadbolt, but the sneaky thing is harder to unlatch than it is to latch. She began to get upset (more because I kept asking her to turn the bolt than because she was alone). I told her I was going for help and- miracles do happen- she says quite calmly, “O.K., Mommy, I’m going to watch my movie”.
As I listened, openmouthed, through the door to her little feet pattering away on the linoleum, I realized I had a pretty brave little girl on my hands. At least, I reasoned, she was in familiar surroundings, and had her “comfort objects” (doggie and passy) with her, so she was calm- much more so than her tearful, speeding mother who nearly ran over a dog or two on the way to the admin office.
The mainenance guys ended up going through the balcony door, which unlocked with my front door key, after climbing a 40-ft ladder to get to it. Addie was quite calmly watching TV when the man entered, and listened attentively to his instructions on how to open the deadbolt.
She promises she won’t lock the deadbolt any more, only when “all the girls and Ruben are in the house”. Regardless of my feelings of inadequacy, especially as the moms in the admin office, shocked mouths in “O”s, called for maintenance, I’m glad it happened when I wasn’t tossing my cookies, or prostrate with nausea.
That came later.