Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The great lockout: more drama on Planet Baby

“Waiter! Another bottle of chilled riesling for the stressed mother-of-three-under-five over here! What’s that? Mr PB bought a spare one last night? Well, open it, lickety-split!” Just when I thought there’d been enough shenanigans on Planet Baby, I’m proved wrong. Again. Yes, open that bottle of riesling – it has my name plastered all over it. 
The eagle-eyed will notice that's a different bottle to last night and it's (nearly) full
The afternoon proceeded innocently enough (hmm, it always does). Sam and I collected Joshie from school and then India from daycare. Sweet. We zoomed home (observing the speed limit, Officer) in an effort to catch the last few minutes of ‘Play School’. I picked up Sam and walked with him and India inside the house. Joshie was mucking around, feigning extreme ‘tiredness’ which apparently precluded him from walking inside himself. Irritated, I plonked Sam on the living room floor, threw my handbag on the sofa (containing my keys) and raced out the door to pick up Joshua.

Hmmm. You can see it coming, right? As I scurried out the door, leaving it open, the deadlock was activated (owing to a certain incident described here). No sweat. India knows how to open the deadlock. What I hadn’t planned on happening in the five seconds it would take to collect Joshua was that the blessed door would swing shut.

I instantly realised what had happened. The horror. This is the sight which stared me right in my unbelieving face.

Yes, we were locked out of the house and little Sam was inside on his own!

This was the sight which greeted Sam (had he known how to climb up on the adjacent chair and reach his pudgy fingers up to unlock it. Hmm, he’s too short. Oh, and maybe a little young to have worked out what to do).

Joshua and India burst into tears as reality bit. Horrified, I raced around the house, attempting to open every single door and window. All bolted shut. Fort Knox. Sharp intake of breath.

Clutching the pixies’ hands, I raced over the road to my neighbour and banged on the door in demented fashion. She arrived tout de suite, her toddler slung from her hip. Tears streaming down my face, I managed to babble more or less coherently (it’s all relative in such situations) what had happened. As my mobile phone and keys were locked inside the house, she lent me her phone to ring Mr PB. Panicked, I told him to hop in the car right away and come to our aid. Hmm, his work’s 20 minutes' drive away. And 15 month old Sam's stuck inside.
You see, we didn’t have a spare key handy. The solution which would have instantly fixed my problem. Hmm, getting a spare key cut has been on the ‘to do’ list for months. Hmm.

Extremely distressed and with tears streaming down my cheeks, I fled back over the road and raced around to the French doors where I was met with the sight of darling Sammy banging on the glass. Imagine Sam inside, nose pressed against the door.

Within moments, all my neighbours (at least 9 whom I can recall) had gathered there with me. My brilliant neighbour then worked his way methodically around every window with a knife, attempting to jemmy it open. Sam was becoming increasingly distressed. Having the glass between us was torturous. This is the view he had (imagine the 12 people crowded outside, pointing at him with their mouths opening and shutting).

Finally, after many false alarms given our propensity to use every window deadlock in the house, my neighbour found the only window which had eluded our attention. He hoisted it up and within seconds, I was fervently clambering up on the window sill, clearing the crystal decanters out the way, hopping onto the cabinet. Here's the precious window.
I leapt down to sweep my darling boy up in my arms and smother him with kisses. I raced over to the front door and undid the deadlock to let the relieved pixies in. Exhale! It was over.

My neighbours returned home. How will I ever adequately express my gratitude?

Shortly afterwards, my father-in-law arrived, as requested by a panicked Mr PB. He helped me calm the pixies down (oh, and deal with a certain Master-I’m-almost-five’s temper tantrum. Hmm.) My mother-in-law soon followed and asked whether I would be pouring myself any sherry. No dice. No sherry. And no wine. Hmm.

Then Mr PB arrived and raced over to give me a huge hug. He handed me two spare keys he’d just had cut. We hid one outside the house. Finally. My in-laws left. Then my mum arrived (also prompted by Mr PB) and helped me take my mind off things by doing some sweeping and vacuuming. Mr PB told me he’d bought another bottle of riesling last night – it was chilling in the fridge. Bonus.

Then we put Sam down to sleep and Mr PB took the children off on an outing. I opened the wine. Here I am, five hours after the drama began. Sam is asleep. They’re now home. The spare key is hidden outside. And I’m having my third glass of riesling.


  1. Same thing happened to me, I blogged about it ages ago. Hudson locked me out while I was putting rubbish out, Charlotte just 3 months old, was on the floor under her jungle jim, Jasper my boxer also inside, I ended up calling the fire brigade. As breaking a window with shattered glasses could have been dangerous with a dog & 2yr old with no shoes on. Ahhh the joys. Enjoy the wine.

  2. Hope you have recovered. Love the photo story. Know the feeling. My darling son when he was a toddler decided to close the door when I was outside. But he was old enough to advise him to get the chair and unlock the door. I then made a note to self to always have keys on me. Charmaine

  3. Oh Jane, that must have been so stressful for you! Have another glass xx

  4. Oh Jane! It's happened to me too... at my mum and dad's house! Nic was 20 months old at the time and thankfully we had been reading the Alfie books to him! His favourite was a story about Alfie getting locked in the house and then using a chair to unlock the door and let his Mum (and all the neighbours) in! As I was running around the house panicking and trying to decide which window to smash in, Ross very calmly talked to Nicholas through the locked door instructing him to get a chair, like Alfie, and unlock the door! And he did it! The pixies might like to hear the story now! It is called Alfie gets in First and is by Shirley Hughes, the library should have it. Enjoy your riesling! xx

  5. Oh Jane, how very stressful! Although I have not locked kids in the house, I used to regularly lock the keys in the house. Once on my daughters first day of kindergarten, popped everyone in the car to go and collect her and realised the keys to the car were locked in the house. I was pretty upset to say the least. My sister who lived 20 minutes away amazingly was available to pick her up only 15 minutes late, but I'll never forget it. No where near as bad as all of your stories, but I now have a spare key hidden and I use it ALL of the time!!

  6. Wow, nice writing! I followed you the whole way, my heart beating... Made me recall when I locked my son in the car in the summer while at the library - I had blocked this memory out. The librarian drove me home to retrieve the second set of keys. Someone later told me I should have called the Fire Dept, and they would have opened the car quicker. He's no worse for wear (at least I think).

    Now I need a glass of wine...

  7. Oh what a gripping nightmare of a story! I'm so glad it all worked out so well, and that you have your spare keys organised. Enjoy your much-deserved wine! :)

  8. Oh, ladies! Thanks so much for sharing and your empathy. I omitted to mention that India darted outside immediately before the door swung shut (of its own volition - she didn't close it). That door is unbelievable. It opens when it shouldn't (well, maybe that was actually Master Sam opening it - minor detail) and closes when it shouldn't. Hmm. A mind of its own.

    Kylie, I didn't even think of calling the fire brigade. Good thought. I knew Mr PB was on the way. It just was a matter of how distressed Sammy was becoming. If he became frantic, we would have smashed the window next to Joshie's bed so the glass would have fallen onto the bed which Sam couldn't climb onto. The thoughts you have in such a situation!

    Charmaine, were you a Girl Guide? Be prepared is such a great motto!

    Emma 1, oh, the horror for you! I'm going to chase that book down. Thanks for the tip.

    Emma 2, you poor darling. I am so relieved to finally have a spare handy.

    And Laura and Simone, I am still drinking...

    J x

  9. Oh, thanks, Ashleigh, you sweetheart. I think an early night is in order to calm my frayed nerves! J x

  10. Keep those drinks coming, Jane!! And hide a damn key while you're at it. I reckon the incident you breathtakingly describe above is more likely to happen than some random breaking in using the key that you hid... bury it somewhere in the garden in a ziplock bag and then dig it up the second you need it. Peace of mind.

    Oh, and I've also made it a priority to teach my kids where the 'unlock' button is for the doors in the car.

    I just don't trust myself obviously! x

  11. I think I'm on glass number 4, Bron! Yep, key hidden. Mr PB chose a very obvious rock first up. I've found another with leaves covering it. Ooh, good point about the car as well. Note to self. J x

  12. Oh my goodness, what a life you have... no wonder you started this blog! Hope it's all calm now and that you're enjoying that very well earned wine and rest. x

  13. Aah, so I am not the only person to have done this! I did it when the munchkin was only a few weeks old. Solution: find the smallest window (i.e. the cheapest to repair), smash it, then go inside and call the glazier!

  14. The joys of motherhood! Keep that reisling handy.....such a necessary balm....Seriously, so glad that it all sorted out and Sam was fine, xv.

  15. Oh, how scary. This is one of my great fears since when it comes to keys it is always the last thing on my mind. Lucky for me I never remember to deadbolt the door and can easily jimmy it open. Good thing you seem to have an awesome support system.

  16. You need to move...! I don't like that house... although you seem to have solved the problem with the key. I have used ours twice already this year to rescue a two year old who slips the lock down at the base of our French doors laughing at me through the glass as I madly wave my arms around trying to get him to pull the lock up! A x

  17. Alls well that ends well & you have a great story. I've done it too, only no husband around with a key, i was stuck outside in my jammies feeding our dog, toddler inside. I had to call 000 - very nice operator said "darlin, we've all done it, i'll get the firies" which of course turned fears of handsome firemen about to arrive to find me sans bra!! One of those moments, you have to put love for child over vanity (or appear to). So super firemen removed our front door, my eldest could not have cared less (i was very calm so she didn't freak out) & the firemen even took time to have photos taken as proof of the event!! Nothing ever goes wrong when my husband is around, he's my good luck charm. Small mercy now my youngest is 7 - he can leap the side fence & grab the spare keys, if/ when it happens again. Love Posie

  18. Oh dear. At least you know your house if pretty burglar proof! Jane, your week has been excellent blog fodder! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Goodness, you have been busy commenting while PB has been keeping me occupied!

    Thanks, ladies, the riesling went down a treat. I have drunk more in the past two days (6 glasses or was it 7?)than in the past five years combined, what with pregnancy, breastfeeding and taking anti-depressants. Hmm, I think I'll be drinking a lot of water today...

    Thanks for stopping by, Cath. Oh, the horror - you poor thing. Yes, I had already worked out the window to smash as my backup plan.

    Yes, Samantha, the support of my neighbours was amazing. It helps living in a small street filled with young children as the parents understand how distressing such a situation is.

    Hmm, Ann. I see where you're coming from. But those issues aside, we really like it here until we decide to sell in Sydney and buy in Hobart. Yes, the key issue is solved. Now I need to write a lengthy email to my landlord requesting her to fix a number of things but more importantly, install some gates.

    Oh, Posie, what a vision! And yes, at least I was properly clothed ☺.

    Thanks, Deb. I found it quite therapeutic to write it down. I only hope today is a bit easier although I am a bit superstitious about things coming in threes! J x

  20. Oh hon what a NIGHTMARE!!! Now where is the spare key hidden? And is there any wine left in the fridge?

  21. Hi Sarah Thanks for dropping by. I've just started following you. Spare key hidden outside in a not too obvious place. No, out of wine. Again. J x

  22. The horror! I would have knocked off that entire bottle after an incident like that. I'm glad there was a 'fairytale' ending. :-)

  23. I'd give a key to the neighbours too.

    I locked the keys in the boot with Ina strapped in the car when she was about 9 months old. We were at the nursery and sun was streaming through the windows. Ended up calling a taxi to get home and return with the spare key. Horror! The nursery staff threw a tarp over her window to reduce the sun's glare and luckily Steve was with us so he stayed with her and played peek-a-boo through the tarp. Oh gosh that was a nightmare!

  24. Er, Allison, I think there was one glass left in the bottle...

    Good point, Sarah - I might just do that. That would have been so horrible. At least I knew Sam was safe in the house as it's child-proofed. J x

  25. Thanks for visiting the US site for material is
    Have fun. Charmaine

  26. Oh dear, what an experience. I'd be reaching for the riesling too. Hope tomorrow is a better day Nx

  27. Thanks, Charmaine - they have such pretty fabric.

    And thanks, Natalie. It was! J x

  28. Oh you poor love! I can imagine that terrible feeling in your chest the moment you realised your little one was locked inside and you out!! Glad all worked out ok and in the end without too many tears x

  29. Thanks, Amanda. Yes, I was almost hyperventilating. Never had a piece of glass seemed such a barrier! J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...