I’m no Super Nanny or Dr. Spock, and not even on a good day am I Brangelina minus the entourage and airbrushing. That knowledge drove me to Professor D’s parenting class about 6 months ago. And not to point fingers or anything, but he was the one who told me I could send my oldest child to his room and lock him in if he chose not to stay there himself. Which is why, 6 months later, I found myself locked in that same bedroom late one summer night with all three children huddled around me.
I won’t bore you with the ugly details. But I will say that in a moment of parenting desperation I switched the bathroom door knobs with the one in the boys’ room in order to have ultimate parental control by locking the door from the outside. I am mama, hear me roar.
And in my defense, I only had to lock Kaleb in two times before the lock was no longer necessary. Which was why I completely forgot that the boys’ room locked from the outside until Leah accidentally locked us in on her way back from getting a drink.
I shook the door handle. I tried to jimmy the lock with a wire hanger. I even began removing the hinges only to realize I would have to break the door frame in order to get past the lock.
And when I turned around Kaleb was sitting on his bed, arms folded and eyebrows raised. “Trust me,” he said. “We’re never breakin’ out of here.”
No one likes it when bad parenting comes back to thumb its nose at you, and in front of your own children.
“Are we going to die in Kaleb’s room, Mom?” Leah asked, blinking her dewy eyes at me.
No, I thought. We’re going to call Professor D and asked him to get us out of this mess. Only, I didn’t bring my cell phone to tuck my kids into bed.
So I went to the window and looked down the long slope of my metal roof. You might remember that 7 months ago, at Christmas time, I was locked out of my house and stood at the base of my roof trying to determine whether or not I could climb back in.
I took out the screen and straddled the window sill, thinking how much like a slide my metal roof appeared. Getting down will be a snap, I thought. That is, if I weren’t barefoot with a very thick application of Bath & Body Works sheau butter on my feet. This was not an escape plan but a new Olympic event.
I sat there for a few minutes, pondering my options, while Leah stood beside me, gasping periodically and saying something about having to rethink our family fire escape plan.
It was then that I noticed our neighbors, chatting pleasantly in their gazebo. I realized I had two options. One, I could slide down my roof, providing someone the opportunity to take great footage for America’s Funniest Home Videos. Or two, I could ask my neighbors to spring us from our Spiderman-themed prison. It may seem like a no-brainer, but I had to think about it for awhile.
Finally, I called them over.
Five minutes later my lovely neighbor was unlocking the boys’ bedroom door from the outside. She told me my house smelled nice and added, “It’s weird that the door locks that way.”
Weird enough that I lulled my children to sleep that night to the sound of door knobs being put back where they belonged.
And I could swear Kaleb wasn’t snoring but laughing in his sleep.
I’m guessing so were the neighbors.