baaaad mommy! bad!

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.

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2 Responses to baaaad mommy! bad!

  1. Sarah says:

    🙂 I’m sure it was stressful, but it makes for a pretty funny story! And dont feel too bad. I know a disturbing number of kids who are enterprising enough to lock themselves in a car along with the keys but cant seem to reverse this feat and get themselves back out. One particular unnamed parent left the car running when she got out of the car and then watched, or rather dashed in horror as her adventurous 4yr old decided to ‘drive’, getting the car into reverse, and crossing a fairly busy road before bumping into a tree. Addie had the good grace to lock herself in a safe place.

  2. erin says:

    i don’t know if you’ve started a parents-do-the-stupidest-things thread here or what, but i have to share this one that i just saw last night. while eating at a lovely outdoor bar kind of place in oakhurst, i looked up because there were several people– mostly 20-30-year-old females shouting from where i was sitting towards someone across the street. i looked across the street to see that there was a toddler very close to the curb, but on the street, next to another outdoor eating area. (they have lots of them.) i thought maybe the child actually belonged to one of the people at my eatery because one girl actually started running across the street towards the child. whoa, that’s dumb, how did the child get all the way across the street?, i thought. in the next second, i realized that the child was actually not far from her parent-types, and that this woman running over from my restaurant was just freaking out a little bit, running to save someone else’s kid, who was pretty close to her parents, if not in the safest proximity from traffic. then, i– and everyone within a block, i think–watched as the child moved to sit on the curb. (we’re thinking, oh, good, she’s not going far, hopefully her parents will see her quickly and get her back away from the street.) — split second later, i don’t know if she ever even “landed” in her move to sit down– she just tumbled. there was something horrific about it. it didn’t help that she somehow managed to do it in slow motion so that each of us could truly experience the sight of her body rotating over the curb, head over heels (how did she do that? it’s only 5 inches tall!), and waiting to see just how many times she would roll and how far into traffic that would throw her… in the meantime, the parents can only accomplish the turning of their heads toward their own daughter, just in time to see the tumble. thank God, because they then reacted at superhuman speed and got to her about 3/4 of the way through the second rotation, as a large gray sedan approached from their side. i’m sure … i don’t even want to think about it…
    but i did want you to experience this mini-horror of unfortunately normal parenting. it didn’t seem to occur to all the other seemingly childless-as-yet younguns such as myself at the bar across the way, but the last reflection i had on the incident was, “It’ll probably happen to me, too. My poor future children. How will they ever survive?”

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