So, I’ve been promising you a good story for a week now. I would hate to leave you dangling like that, so here we go. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
It was last Saturday, the day we were going to Bobi’s party. That morning Chris had taken off with Peter and Isabel for a morning hike up to Kay Pyiat and the water source that’s there. That left me and Little Miss on our own for about 4 hours. Things were going well, that is until I ran down to get a couple of things from the other house.
I thought it out ahead of time so I could do a very fast cruise through the building and just grab what I needed. I grabbed my keys and headed out. I was literally gone less than 4 minutes. Apparently, when you’re a toddler, 4 minutes is all it takes to wreak havoc.
I came back up the stairs to the apartment and went to open the door only to have it not budge. Not one ounce. I almost started crying because I knew what had happened. I knew right away.
When we were looking at doors for the apartment Chris found nice metal security doors with 4 deadbolts on them – 3 open with the key and the last is a “quick lock” that you can turn from the inside. The person who invented these doors was obviously trying to think about keeping thieves out and never once considered how much fun a toddler can have with them because you can’t open the quick lock from the outside with the key. Yes, I know, ridiculous.
So yes, you guessed it. In the less than four minutes that I had taken to run down to the other house I had been locked out. With the quick lock. Did I mention that we also have security windows that you can’t break into??!?
As I tried to process what was going on and think rationally Little Miss didn’t care one bit that Mommy was in fact, locked out. I tried asking her to go down to unlock the door, because I had seen her do it before. She went down and would bang on the door. Or play with the door handle. Did she once think to touch the quick lock? No. Not once.
The guard saw me standing in front of the window begging my child to “help let Mommy in the house.” And then it sounded more like, “Olivia! Mommy is locked out. You locked Mommy out. Mommy can’t get in until you unlock the door. Mommy is stuck out here and you’re stuck in there.” Normally a toddler will start picking up on stress from their parents at this point and start responding, you know, with crying and getting frantic themselves. Olivia is apparently not normal in this sense. I say that because while I was trying to keep myself calm she was having a ball inside. I popped the screen out at one point to see if that would help. All it did was give Olivia window bars to climb up. And then she would get off the couch and run around giggling. So NOT helpful at all.
Eventually the guard and I figured out how to get in and free the child that didn’t know she was in a bind. I wish I had a recorder for when I talked to Chris on the phone and he asked how things were going. All I heard was dead silence on the other end when I told him that our daughter had locked me out. I could hear the cogs in his head going through the mental list of all the ways that a person couldn’t break in. Because we had built the place like that. And then we had a toddler.
The best part about sharing this is that I know it’s the kind of thing that leaves our parents feeling a sense of payback. Payback for the times where we tortured them as children. Times like when I was about 3 and my mom got upset with me for not listening to her and I very calmly turned to her and said, “I heard you Mom, I just didn’t like what you said.” I now understand why parents love it when their kids become parents – they get to watch the whole cycle repeat itself, and I believe they are doing so and secretly hoping that your kids will give you twice as much grief as you gave them, just because they can.
And, in case you think that these are isolated incidents let me tell you what happened this morning…
I started feeling sick last night and as of this afternoon have managed to lose 6 pounds. Needless to say I wasn’t getting up much this morning. That left Chris in charge of Olivia. Mondays are also one of the days when Yonese comes in, which we love because Olivia loves her and loves to follow her around as she works and it gives us a bit of a reprieve. Well, this morning Chris went down to the other house to take care of some mission work, and left Olivia with Yonese, but I don’t know that Yonese realized she was supposed to be watching Olivia and she went out to take the compost out. I was in bed with the door closed. As I lay there I started to smell something familiar, but not common. It took me a few minutes to pin point the scent and boy, when I did I went flying out of bed.
I flung the door open to find a very cute little girl standing there with one closed bottle in her hand, BUT completely covered in another color. I followed my nose and found a nice big puddle of white iridescent polish on the floor. Not to mention the foot prints on the end table. I didn’t even have the energy to get mad. I calmly took the nail polish away. Then I found the jug of paint thinner we had in the storage room and mopped up the mess on the floor, and then the mess on Olivia. The stupid thing is that last night as I set the case (which has a zipper on it, for the record) on the end table I mentally reminded myself that I had to grab it first thing in the morning or I would be in trouble.
So yes, parents, you just go on laughing. Did we mention that next time you come to visit we’re going away so you can have some “quality time” with your granddaughter?