A Disturbing Turn of Events

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So the morning STARTED out pretty good.

Megan slept in until about 8, which is always nice. She woke up in a great mood (singing her ABCs) and then she even sat still while I did her hair. She ate her breakfast REALLY well (almost an ENTIRE bowl of oatmeal!!!) and then we headed out to the library for our mother’s group.

We found a great parking spot (usually there are no spots on Friday morning) and we whistled a happy tune as we entered the library. Two items I had requested were available, so we picked them up and joined the other children. Megan had a great time playing and wandering around, and I enjoyed chatting with the other moms.

We had a pleasant drive home: we sang some songs and Megan laughed at how silly I was being. I was actually feeling kind of warm in my light sweater, and the roads were wet with melted snow from yesterday’s not so wonderful weather. We pulled into the garage as happy as two little ladies could be.

I gathered up our library items, (as well as some random toys that were in the car) and hauled Megan to our building. Here some explanation is required that will help make sense of this story. Our apartment is dual entry, meaning we have one key to get into the building, and then another key to get into our apartment. You cannot get into the building unless you have a key or someone buzzes you in from inside an apartment.

So I unlock the first door, carry Megan and our library bag up the stairs, and unlock our apartment door. Notice: our apartment door is very heavy (a safety feature which makes it NEAR impossible to kick in). It’s now unlocked, so I throw the keys into the library bag, and open the door with all the strength I can muster. Once inside, I set both Megan and the library bag on the floor. At this point I notice that Megan is missing a shoe. I get a little flustered, but I know that it can’t be far because she had it on when I took her out of the car. As she heads to play in her room, I take off her other shoe and head back downstairs to find the missing one.

Some of you might already realize what is going to happen. I bound down the stairs and out the door of our apartment building. Milliseconds after the building door shuts, I remember that my keys are upstairs, in the Trader Joes’ tote which serves as my library bag. I whip around in hopes that the door didn’t shut all the way (for the first time ever) but of course, I am locked out.

The rational side of me waited until I had gone and found Megan’s shoe before I fully assessed the situation. I walked around the other side of the building to see if perhaps the other door was open (for the first time ever) but of course, it was not. Then I decided to ring each bell, one by one, starting with people I kind of know. When I had finished ringing all the bells, I then went RAN from door to door (the first floor apartments open directly outside) knocking in hopes that someone was home. This is when the frantic side of me sets in. I then start buzzing all the apartments over and over again, holding down each buzzer for an ANNOYINGLY long time. At this point I am also crying, and I had no idea what I was going to do. My cell phone was also in the library bag which was (in case you forgot) upstairs, in my apartment.

After I tire of ringing all the apartments, I started banging on doors again. Then, music to my ears, I hear someone talking out of the loudspeaker. I run over, and practically shout: “HELLO?!!” to which comes a crackled response: “Yes? Can I help you?” CAN YOU EVER!!! I tell him I live upstairs and that I locked myself out. Oh and P.S., my 1 year old daughter is upstairs alone! He told me he would come down in a few minutes because he had just gotten up and he needed to get dressed.

The next few minutes were TORTURE! I had no idea what my little 1 year old was up to in our apartment with free access to whatever she wanted. Was the oven on? (oh yeah, I cooked her breakfast in the microwave) Curling iron? (oh yeah, didn’t use it today ) A fire in the fireplace? (oh yeah, we don’t have a fireplace) Would she climb into the bath and turn on scalding hot water? Is there a window open? Are there scissors out? A razor blade? A loaded shotgun?

Finally the door was open. My savior was there and I was bolting up the stairs; throwing an explanation and words of gratitude over my shoulder. He was very kind and was very willing to help. He waited until he knew my door was opened and after about the millionth “thank you” on my part he said “you’re welcome” and walked away.

Then I ran from room to room looking for Megan. I finally found her in the last place I looked (of course): the back bedroom. She was at the computer desk sitting peacefully in the chair, looking at a picture of herself on the desktop. I took her in my arms and cried and cried and told her that I was sorry and that I loved her. I half expected her to cling to me and curl up in my arms in great relief. Instead she gave me a quick hug and giggled as if to say “I’m fine Melmo, (that’s what she calls me – a combination of Mama and Elmo). But I AM happy to see you!”

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Not being able to get to my daughter when I wanted to was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced in my life. It may have only been about 10 or 15 minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. I am so glad that the situation ended the way it did (instead of having to search for a phone to call either the fire department or my apartment managers or who knows what I would have ended up doing. At one point I even pondered how I could scale the building to get to our balcony and break a window or perhaps kick in our balcony door…)

Megan is oblivious to the drama that ensued late this morning, and for that I am VERY grateful. I, on the other hand, will likely never forget this experience. I still could use a REAL hug and some serious sympathy. Thank goodness Adam will be home soon.

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4 responses »

  1. 10 to 15 minutes is an eternity when you don’t see any way to get to your child.

    I’m glad that neighbor was there to help you.

    On the bright side she didn’t even notice you were gone.
    Plus you didn’t leave your nonexistent fireplace burning and your curling iron one, or you’re oven on. All of which would have been a bad thing since you were leaving your house.

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