Thursday, December 22, 2011

Locked Out

Ayaan and Aaliyah
Oh! what a crazy day it was. One that I'll remember for a long time to come. I was locked outside my house with two wailing children inside. We just have one door for entry and exit. I couldn't get in and the children couldn't unlock the door. It was around 2pm in the afternoon. Hubby was at work and the owner who lives upstairs, wasn't home either.  I tried to keep my calm hoping that either of my kids will unlock the door from the inside. The smart and swift Ayaan, who had locked the door in the first place or the not as smart, yet older Aaliyah. Neither of them could get the door to
unlock because when Ayaan banged the door shut, some lever inside the door knob broke and the door got jammed. 
I had stepped outside to hang some clothes to dry as it was nice and sunny outside. I heard the door shut behind me. I didn't think much about it. Ayaan loved closing the door behind me. Every time I went outside to either throw the trash in the big garbage bin or to put stuff in the recycling bin, Ayaan would rush behind me, shut the door and run back to the sofa. When I would come back inside he would give me his big naughty smile. I think this was the reason, I never thought of teaching him that whatever he was doing was wrong. It never occurred to me that I would be locked out.

Today, not only did Ayaan shut the door, but also locked all four of the door locks. The first one is the chain kind, the second one is the sliding lock, the third is the actual lock that works with a key and the fourth is a regular brass round shaped knob that just opens and shuts the door. Don't ask me why 4? That is just the way the owner thought would be safe.

When I found the door locked, I knocked, rang the bell, bribed Ayaan with candy, with his Dad's TouchPad that he absolutely loved, begged him to unlock but to no avail. The door remained shut. Instead, I hear Aaliyah crying at the top of her voice that Ayaan is not letting her open the door.  They get into a fight, Ayaan bites her, Aaliyah hits him back and then I hear both of them crying. Aaliyah was crying because she was in pain and she thought that her Mommy would die outside in the cold and Ayaan was crying because Aaliyah was forcing him to unlock the door. I am standing outside the kitchen window trying to give Aaliyah directions and pacifying her. I tell her to put Ayaan's favorite show "Dora the Explorer" on the laptop so he would get distracted and she can unlock the door. She does it and the plan works. I see Ayaan with the laptop.

Now, Aaliyah was free to unlock he door. She unlocked all the locks but the door was still jammed. I thought, either Aaliyah has not done one of the locks properly or the door must have gotten jammed due to the cold.  Aaliyah started crying again. She got Ayaan to help her pull the door. They tried but couldn't. I started to worry now. The cries got to me and I pushed the door so hard that I almost broke it. The door was locked at the last lock. The door knob was not working. It was jammed.
Aaliyah by "The door knob"

I then remembered that the window by the living room did not have a mesh. I stood on some old wooden crib railing by the window, moved the glass pane, luckily it wasn't locked. The kids were happy to see my face. I asked Aaliyah to keep a chair by the wall. I very carefully moved the TV stand that was partially blocking the window, and with a little squeezing, got my heavy body on the window sill, stepped on the chair and got in. Phew! Never in my wildest of dreams did I imagine doing something like this. Motherhood is very powerful. It empowers you to do the impossible and I think, this was just one empowering moment.

Once back inside the house, I looked at the door knob. There was nothing the kids could have done. The knob was just spinning. It had no connection with the middle piece that opened or closed the door. The part that went inside the wooden frame. Hubby had removed the child lock as it was getting too difficult to open. I guess the knob was already wearing out that is why it wasn't working properly with the child lock cover. Now our front entry door definitely needs a new door knob. The wooden door frame is cracked. I am not sure if that is fixable. Now I regret trying to push the door so hard from the outside. I should have just thought of entering through the window. I could have saved our front door. The priority at that time was getting to my children and a wooden, locked door was preventing me. Anyhow, I guess Hubby has a weekend project lined up for him.

As for me, the lesson learned from today's episode is to always have a plan of entry and exit through doors. Expect the unexpected from kids and teach them that locking somebody out is not fun.

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