Locked Out

Clearly I need to get out more. And how do I know this? Well, last night, when I went to the later showing of a movie with some fellow mama friends and came home, I found myself locked out of my house. At midnight. In February. In Nebraska. Two days after we got 10″ of snow. And, of course all of this took place at time when I am 20 weeks pregnant!

Ironically, this is not the first time I’ve been locked out in the middle of a winter night while pregnant. No, really – this has happened before, but I wasn’t alone the other time. It was actually just over four years ago, when I was pregnant with Harrison, and Ozzie and Mara were still new puppies in our family, being housebroken at our first house. Ben and I would often take them out together in the middle of the night for a potty break, although why we did this is beyond me because I thought we had a fence by then, but who knows. Solidarity, perhaps? Anyway. Middle of the night. Winter. Flipping cold. And we knew the minute the door closed behind us that the lock was turned the wrong way and we were stuck. No keys. No phones. Nothing. So after a bit of ohcrapwhatdowedo? Ben kicked in a basement window, crawled in through our laundry room and unlocked the back door. Problem solved (although he unfortunately could have saved us about $100 had he kicked one window over as it wouldn’t have been so expensive to fix, but so it goes, right?). We took to hiding a key outside our house and never again were we caught so stuck.  (Side note: I did once have a babysitter get locked out with Harrison and she didn’t know about the hidden key, but it was summer and her apartment wasn’t far, so it was fine. But seriously – what a ridiculous time we had with that door!)

We’ve been in this house now for over a year and this is (almost) the first incident we’ve had with doors, and by doors I mean the locks on them. I say almost because a few weeks ago, I got home from teaching night class and found that I could open the screen door but not the wooden one; for some reason Ben had locked the deadbolt even though he knew I’d be home before 9:00. But that didn’t matter because I had obviously driven to campus and therefore had keys. Last night, I caught a ride with friends and therefore had NO keys, a fact Ben was well aware of (mostly because we are 85 and normally go to bed at 9:30 or 10:00 and he thought it was pretty funny that they were picking me up shortly before 9:30 to start our evening). The kicker is, the lock out from a few weeks ago went through my head before I left and I almost, almost made a joke before leaving about not locking me out this time…oh, how I wish I had!

The in between of this story is pretty tame. The movie was good and I thoroughly enjoyed time out with friends. I probably haven’t been to a movie since the last Harry Potter came out, so just being in the theatre was fun (although I did make a joke about how loud the previews were – again, see above about being 85…). And even though it was 11:45 when we headed home, I didn’t mind at all. I knew I’d be home and crawling into bed soon enough and Ben would be available this morning to hang out with the kids while I snoozed.

When I got dropped off, I noticed the house was dark but thought little of it because I hadn’t expected Ben to wait up for me. But I stopped short when I, again, could open the screen door but met total and complete resistance from the wooden one. My heart sank and my eyes got huge as I realized what had happened. I tried Ben’s phone first but we’re not ones to take our phones to our bedroom at night and sure enough, I could see his lighting up on the kitchen counter as I tried calling it.

My next thought was, I have to try to the doorbell. I hated to do that because I didn’t want to wake any sleeping babies, but again – February, Nebraska, midnight, pregnant – all of these trumped sleeping babies at that point. I rang it once and waited. Pushed it again and waited again. I even sang the ABCs to myself, giving Ben time to creep down the stairs and come to my rescue. Except that he didn’t. So I started ringing more, four or five pushes at a time. Then four or five more. Then non-stop for two minutes. Then the front door. Then a frantic text to my neighbor who was thankfully part of the movie going group and was still sitting in the car with her other friend, just down the street. They drove back up to my house and we tried brainstorming.

First a honk of the horn. Nothing. Then I rang the doorbell non-stop for another two minutes. Then I tramped through the yard to see if I could lob snowballs at our bedroom window, but the snow is still too fluffy and I couldn’t get it to stick together at all. Short of throwing my boot at the house or kicking in the glass on top of the kitchen door, I was out of options. And trust me, breaking glass went through my mind, but I knew the chances of me getting my leg high enough on the door or sliding my preggers body through a basement window weren’t really great ideas, especially since I did have a warm, safe place to stay, just across the street.

And that is how my girls’ night out turned into a slumber party. My neighbor and her hubby made up their extra bed for me quick, and even got me a midnight snack and some water. I was not where I expected to be, but I was in kind care, all the same! Normally Ben doesn’t text, but I sent him a message on the off chance that he’d get up, see I wasn’t there, and go check his phone. It said, “I’m sleeping at m’s because you locked me out. You are in SO much trouble.” After that I tried to sleep, but I was so keyed up (ahem – pun intended) from the incident, that I could not fall asleep.

Finally, at 1:45, I got a text back saying, “You can come home now. So sorry.” I felt bad sneaking out on my hospitable neighbors, but I also really just wanted my own bed and knew I needed to talk to Ben. Boots back on, quick walk down the street, and, just like it should, my side door granted me access to my house.

My poor husband. He came into the kitchen like a dog walking with its tail between its legs. He said he thought for sure he had checked the door to make sure it was UNlocked before going to bed, but then he must have zonked out and managed to sleep through all of the doorbell ringing. He left our bedside light on and when he woke up at 1:30, he saw right away that the light was still on and I was not there. He felt terrible and I can’t even count how many times he’s said sorry. I assured him that, really, I had spent more time laughing than fuming about the whole thing, and that he could make it up to me on our next trip to Target. 🙂

So, when I should have been home just before 12, I was home instead just before 2, and of course the children were up shortly after 6. That’s OK. I got to stay in bed until 8:30 and Ben and Harrison have already been out to get me donuts and a coffee – Stage One of Operation Oops, I’m Sorry I Locked My Pregnant Wife out of the House Last Night. Stage Two, Target, comes tomorrow.

Tell me, though, why was I ever so worried about the freaking doorbell waking sleeping children?!


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