Monday, July 25, 2011

Sanity Questionable

This dirty doorknob picture was taken last week. It's the outside of the girls' door. Yes, the lock is on the outside. It's so we can play Cinderella more realistically. Of course I get to play the wicked stepmother.

I made good on my word (finally) to put a lock on their door. In my defense it was to save their lives. I've tried reasoning with them, saying in a calm voice, "Well, kicking your sister in the chest is unacceptable in our house. Would you like your time out on the stairs or in your room?"  This calm is met with hatred and kicking and scuzzing by the offender. So I continue in a calm voice, "Well, it looks like you choose your room." Then I gently grab them by both hands and walk their non-compliant self to the room. By this time I have usually suffered some sort of flesh wound and my temper is raising just slightly.  So I say something like, "If you don't stay in your room, you're going to be very sorry. I mean it! Don't open that door."  Then the door bangs open and shut as I try to hold the door closed and the offender tries to come out so they can hit/kick/scream/suck my brain. My temper does not improve and neither does theirs.

Usually I have to flee to my room, which I can lock myself into. But if I'm fleeing from the banshee, that leaves the other children unprotected. And I don't think I should have to lock myself in the room while the offender roams the house terrorizing the natives. Simple solution: a knob with a lock on it put on backwards. It has saved me from a few bruises, it has saved my children from a few yellings/spankings, and it has saved me from the madhouse.

Until this week. This week we had a little summer camp with some friends at our house. We had a great time learning about the water cycle, pretending cotton balls were clouds and playing rain drop tag. Then we went into the bedroom for some play time. I came in and sat down to monitor a little sharing problem.
Hannah said, "I'm going to shut the door!"
"No Hannah," I said. "Don't shut the door. Ellie's coming and she can come in."
"No! She can't!" and Hannah slammed the door before Ellie could come in.
I stood up and went to let Ellie in. The door was locked. Oh.
"Hannah! We're locked in here," I say trying to not fly into a rage that will terrify the six children shut into the room with me.
Hannah laughs. And laughs some more. I pull a bobby pin out of my hair and try picking the lock. I've never picked this type of lock before, so I become increasingly frustrated as the minutes tick by.
Someone wails, "We're going to die in here!"
"No, we're not going to die," I say, calmly thinking that Hannah might die later today. I look out the window and see the mail lady dropping off our mail. I open the window and I'm going to call out to her, but she is on the phone. I pause and the mail lady drives off. Surely Catherine will be coming out to get her mail soon. Won't she?
Ellie starts knocking on the door, getting a little whine in her voice.
"Watch out the window kids," I say. "If you see someone tell me right away." I go back to picking the lock.
"We don't have any water," someone moans.
"Hey Ellie, just a minute. Stay there sweetie."  I envision her crawling into the bathroom and falling in the toilet and drowning. I keep working the hairpin to no avail. I search the room for some other small object to pick the lock. Nothing. Hannah is still laughing. I give her a mean mommy glare.
"Look Mom! Tayson! I see Tayson," says Kenzie.
Hooray! I yell out the window to Tayson's father. "Hey Bryce, the kids have locked us in this room. Can you come and let me out?"
Bryce seems puzzled. "Really?"
"Ummm. Yes. I think the front door is unlocked."
"Are you all in there?" asks Bryce.
"Yes, well no. Ellie is outside the door."
Bryce and Tayson come and unlock the door.
"I wasn't sure if you were serious," said Bryce as he opened the door to let Ellie in and us out. "This'll make a good story."
Yes. A great story that illustrates why I can never own a daycare. I'd have to say that this falls higher on the embarrassment scale than the time I accidentally wore my pants backwards in sixth grade.
To top it off it happened again the next day. Just call me competent and collected.
And yes, I now know how to pick the lock (thanks Kristen).


Amber Chappell said...

Hah! I knew I wasn't the only mom who put the lock on the outside of the door!

Natalie said...

I'm sorry to say that I laughed out loud when I read this. You write so well! I can't imagine the fear/rage I would have felt if that had happened to me. So glad everything worked out and you all survived to tell about it.

Kristen and Gang said...

I feel really bad for making fun of you. You can mock my Spudman time if you want.

Kim said...

Ha ha ha! I'm glad you survived without any water :) This made my day!

Sherrie said...

Reading your blog has been my guilty pleasure this morning. Thank you Steph, thank you.

Melissa said...

I love your blog!! I am sure glad Brice came home in time to rescue everyone!!