If someone had told me when I woke up this morning that I'd spend two hours wandering around outside because I was locked out.... well I probably would have stuck a key in my pocket. But that's what I did. Not the key in my pocket part, the locking myself out part. I went out the front door to walk the boys to the bus stop and in my haste (because the bus was driving by *as* we were walking out the door), I must have closed the self-locking door behind me. Either that or Holly (the dog) jumped up on the door after I walked out and shut it on me. After I realized the door was closed, and locked, I ran around to the back of the house. Every morning Louisa takes the dog outside because she's the first one up. She goes out the back door, and 99.9% of the time she doesn't lock the back door again when she comes in. Except this morning. Back. Door. Locked. Thanks, Louisa. *Now* you listen to me when I repeatedly ask you to lock the back door again.
I checked both doors again.... you know.... just in case it was a fluke. Just in case one door can be opened if I push hard enough. Just in case one door would open if I pounded on it hard enough. Just in case the dog grew thumbs and was able to open a door for me! Nope.
I have a neighbor who does shift work. He's almost always home in the mornings, tinkering around outside or snow blowing the driveway. Of course he wasn't home this morning. I walked to a few neighbor's houses, but no one was home. The sidewalks are pure ice right now because it's been 35 degrees during the day, and 15 degrees at night. All the snow that's melting during the day, is freezing at night. I was wearing my non-skid "kitchen" shoes that I wear in the kitchen at school. They have no traction on them and walking on all those icy sidewalks was getting treacherous. Oh, and did I mention I had school this morning? My baking class starts at 9:05 am. By this point I had no clue what time it was, but I was sure I was late for school.
I thought maybe I could break in, so I checked to see if any windows were unlocked (no, thanks to my detail oriented husband), and tried to jimmy the deadbolt on the backdoor with a piece of wire I found in the garage. No surprise that I didn't get anywhere with that! I was near-tears and had to figure something out. Instead of crying I decided to pray. Crying would get me no where, and then I'd end up running in to someone who could help me with a tear stained face.
After standing in the garage and praying for a little bit, I felt like my head was clearer. I'm not good in stressful situations. I don't think well on my feet, or make split second decisions. Prayer is the best way I know how to handle these types of situations. I feel a calm come over me, I can think a little more rationally and less emotionally.
I decided to walk to the YMCA I work at to see if there was someone there who could give me a ride to Louisa's middle school because she has a house key. I slipped and slided the whole way there. The YMCA is so small that usually only one person is on staff at a time. He couldn't do much more than let me use a phone! I have one friend here in town (sad, yes, I know). I had to look her number up on my Yahoo contact list since I didn't have my cell phone with me. Thankfully she was home, and the biggest inconvenience was making her get dressed to come pick me up!
I went in to the middle school and asked the secretary to page my daughter because I'd locked myself out and I needed her key. She didn't even skip a beat as she called down to Louisa's classroom and asked to have Louisa come to the office with her house key! When Louisa came down the hall the first thing she said was, "Did you lock yourself out?!" Gee. How'd she guess? I got a hug from my sweet baby girl, and the key, and all was right with the world again. Two long hours after being locked out, I was back in.
When I finally got to school, my teacher had a good chuckle over my ordeal. She finds all my "chaos mommy" moments amusing. I'm glad my stress can tickle people's funny bones.
New rule... House key goes in my coat pocket before I take boys to the bus stop.