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Locked Out

Panicking doesn’t solve anything

Pretty obvious, right?

But it’s easier said than done the moment the door clicked behind me when I realised I had left my hand bag inside. I gathered up the nappy bag, pram, buckled in my toddler and strolled out the door – off to collect my little boy from school – and automatically locked the door on my way out.

Click.

Then my brain went CLICK also as it occurred to me, I’d just dutifully shut all the windows and doors before leaving.

Still, hoping against hope I swiftly, but calmly, raced around the house, double checking the two back doors, and all the windows in reach. None were open!

I told myself not to panic, it would be fine, I’ll just call my partner from school and get him to come home and let us in.

Oh wait… His keys are inside, our car is currently at the mechanic’s, and so he hasn’t had a need to take his keys to work every day – his keys are hanging on a hook by the front door.

It was then a light sprinkle of rain started, just as though the grey clouds above me were spitting on me.

It’ll be okay! Keep it together! I told myself, as I started to power walk towards school, I’ll just go to the office, call my partner, and one way or another this will be resolved! Though really I felt like just sobbing.

Half way up to school my chest caught in a wave of panic, as I started to puff as I quickly strode up the hill – my asthma puffer was in my hand bag.

VERY good reason to stay as calm! (and to walk a little slower, I would still be locked out even if I arrived at school 5 minutes later, walking faster wasn’t going to fix this quicker!)

When I arrived at school though, despite my efforts to not panic, I was freaking out a little. I asked to borrow the phone in the school’s office to called my partner. It rang out to voice message, and the message I left was a deflated “Hi, I’ve locked myself out, I don’t have my hand bag, keys, wallet or phone… or any way for you to call me back…. Please come home to help me bust in…. Thanks…. Bye…” And hung up.

My mind started swirling, I didn’t know what to do next. The school’s receptionist suggested calling the real estate agent. She looked up the number and I called it. After a brief chat with the property manager, explaining the situation, she offered to bring the spare keys to the school and give them to me! What a relief! It was right on 3:30 and she said she was only a couple of minutes away, so I ducked into my sons class, picked him up a couple of minutes before the bell went, then raced around to where I’d agreed to meet the property manager and collected the keys off her – thanking her profusely!

I strolled back around to the office, thanked the lady in the office again (for the fifth time by then) and asked to use the phone again – to call my partner to let him know false alarm! “The property manager brought me keys! Don’t worry about coming home early! Everything is fine!”

I walked home, keys in my hand, planning to buy a box of chocolates for both the school office lady and for the property manage as thank you’s for helping me out when I wasn’t able to think!

Are you kidding me?!?
Are you kidding me?!?

I get home and pop one of the keys in the front door – jiggled it around… nothing…

I tried the second key…. Still nothing.

“That’s okay! It’s probably for the back door!” I told the kids brightly!

Went to the back door – no luck.

Second key – still didn’t open.

Side door. Both keys.

“Are you kidding me?!?” I exclaimed aloud! And then smiled and pulled it together as both the kids were looking to me for answers. “It’s okay, we’ll try to front door again!”

I went back around and tried both keys in every lock on the property – including the garage door! Nothing. Nope. Not happening!

So… there I was… both kids… useless keys… no phone – no phone to call a lock smith! No idea what to do next!

OH and then I remembered I’d told my partner NOT to come home!

Panic started rising.

I sat on the front step, while my little boy merrily chatting to me about how it’s silly that we’ve been given the wrong keys. I rest my head in my hands for a moment and breath. Big deep breaths.

Panicking will achieve nothing.

Windows. Check the windows. Check them again. I just couldn’t accept that we were locked out. It just wasn’t acceptable!

One by one I removed the fly screens of each window on our house.

Surely one of them isn’t locked – just one. All I need is ONE.

Kids bedroom, our bedroom, laundry, kitchen (actually that one is too high, but I did tap it with a broom handle, in case it was wide open, I’d have considered attempting to climb up to it if I HAD to!)

Around the front, there were two windows left.

Tried one – nope.

Tried the next one.

…indescribable relief when it shifted – ever so slightly at first – but then all the way open!

I was standing on a stack of 4 garden chairs, in my excitement to climb through the window I nearly toppled off them! But I regained my balance, threw a leg over, balanced on the inside window sill, and through I went.

I opened the front door and the kids beamed at me and rushed inside!

The moral of this story:

When one door closes – hopefully a window opens!

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.

She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.

She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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3 comments

  1. Marie Lecordier

    My 3yo locked me out once. I was in a panicked attack mode. My newborn was also in the house.

  2. Shelley Masic

    My then 2yo locked us outside the laundry door and I had to scale the 6ft high fence to go to the neighbours. My husband didn’t answer but didn’t have voicemail either, so my neighbour drove to my husbands work to tell him!! What awesome neighbours