Okay, so here’s what happened.
As you know from my previous whining, Jim has been out of town all week on some stupid
restaurant tour business trip. I have been hesitant to take the kids swimming while he’s gone, because they are fearless in the pool, but their ability does not quite match their confidence.
In other words, they spend the whole time actively trying to drown themselves. It works out okay when we can play man-on-man, but with Jim gone, I had to implement more of a zone defense.
(I don’t even know. Did I get that right?)
The kids were going stir crazy, so about 4:30 Wednesday afternoon I summoned up a little courage and took them swimming.
(Oh – no one drowns in this story, so don’t start crying or you’ll miss the part where I deserve all your pity.)
We swam for about an hour and then everyone got hungry (especially me because for some reason I forgot to eat both breakfast and lunch. That never happens. I expect to wake up a Super Model any day now), and we went back in the house for dinner, baths and bedtime.
Wait. Did I say we went inside?
We tried to go back inside, but this house has sliding doors. The owner has cut big dowels that fit down in the door track to protect us from axe murderers.
Perhaps you can see where this is going.
After we went outside, the dowel fell back down into the door track, and when I went to open the door….
Right. We couldn’t get in.
So there we were. Wearing nothing but bathing suits. Just the three of us. All alone. Locked out of the house. In 100 degree weather. In a strange city. With no water. And no key. And no phone. And no shoes. And in a backyard surrounded by a six-foot high fence.
Just give yourself a minute to absorb the horror. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Did you get the part where I was wearing nothing but a bathing suit?
After a I spent a minute or two in my head giving myself a pep-talk that panicking would probably not solve this problem, I turned to my wide-eyed kids, stroked their tear-stained faces and said, “Okay, lovies. Let’s figure this out.”
I walked all around the house, which has a lovely gravel edging. Not river rock gravel, either. The really good sharp stuff. It’s pointy.
Did you get the part where I was barefoot? And there are cactus every damn place?
I inspected the windows, and even took off several screens to see if any of them were unlocked. Of course they weren’t unlocked! Nervous Nelly makes sure all the windows are locked! You can’t be too careful! Axe murderers, you know.
Then I circled around again, this time evaluating the windows to see which one looked like a good candidate to be broken. I finally decided that the bathroom window was a possibility. It’s high, it’s small, and I could easily patch it until A Guy came to fix it. The window turned out to be double-glazed, with a UV coating, and probably has some kind of fancy-ass energy efficient gas between the panes. Looked expensive. Not to mention that this plan basically meant I’d have to break the window into the tub, then shove Big in there to land on a giant pile of shards and hope he could limp to the door and let me in before he lost too much blood.
I decided the better thing to do was escape the backyard and find help.
Did you get the part where I was wearing only a bathing suit? And the part where the fence is taller than me? And the part about the bathing suit?
So I dragged a bunch of crap out of the way, pulled over a lawn chair, told Big to look out for his sister, and hauled myself over the fence, landing ever-so-gently on more pointy gravel and yard decorations.
I had to knock on three doors before someone answered. A very kind retired couple, who will be receiving thank-you flowers, called a locksmith for me and gave me some water to take back to the kids. At this point it was 7:30 and we had been locked out for around two hours. The babies were starving. They weren’t too scared or upset anymore, for which I am taking all the credit because I somehow managed to keep a mostly calm exterior in the face of what was pretty much a FREAKING NIGHTMARE. I can only attribute this to having SUPERHUMAN MOM POWERS.
The locksmith had to drive from Wyoming or someplace, because he didn’t show up for nearly an hour. The instant he saw the lock he said, “oh.”
Which meant only one thing – dollar signs.
Two hundred and sixty dollars and 45 minutes later, I finally got the kids in the house, shoveled some dinner down their beaks, and chucked them into bed. Poor babies.
It’s now 12:51 in the morning and I am trying to decide if I should try to go to bed, or if I should stay up in case the locksmith made a copy of the key and has designs on my computer or super tempting not-size-8, old-lady-swimsuit-clad bod. Maybe I’ll check Pinterest to see if I can fashion a weapon out of an empty Pringles can.
On the bright side, I can now confirm that the dowel-in-the-door-track is, in fact, an effective barrier against axe murderers.