Well, it happened again. This time-- only worse. It was Wednesday night, and we were having company over for dinner. I needed a shower, but I hate showering if I haven't worked out yet that day. Yes, I know that's a little neurotic, but I somehow feel like I don't deserve a shower unless I earn it by sweating. So, I put on sweats and went out the door of our apartment to put on my shoes which were outside in the hallway. Colby followed me out the door to discuss something with me while the girls were running back and forth, in and out of the door way. We told them to stay inside the apartment because they were being loud, so they complied obediently....shutting the door behind them. As soon as the door slammed shut, Colby and I jerked our heads to look at each other with wide eyes...the door's default mode is always set on lock.
For the first few seconds, there was just the stunned silence of realizing that our keys, our cell phones, our....CHILDREN!!!.....were all inside the apartment and we were locked out. The denial stage: this cannot be happening to us. You can guess how the conversation exchange between Colby and I went as we entered the anger stage: "Now look what you've done!" Next, enter the bargaining stage, where we make every attempt to teach Haley how to unlock our door. She needed to stand on a chair, and turn the lock all the way to the right in order to free us from the disaster. I could hear Darcy in the background, jiggling Colby's keys and trying to fit them in a key hole. "Darcy....no....you don't need keys....Darcy...STOP!" We watch from behind the door as Haley is wiggling the door handle, completely ignoring the lock that is right above it. Next thing I hear is Darcy with her battery-operated magic wand attempting to cast a spell on the door. When that didn't work, she starts pounding and trying to kick the door down. "Okay...Darcy, that's not going to help honey...Darcy...NO!!...Darcy, you need to go sit on the blue chair." I shake my head in disbelief while Colby is trying to enforce a time-out from behind a locked door. Haley is crying at this point, way beyond her frustration level.
Okay, time to try something else. Colby gets a new idea. "Haley, try to unlock and open the patio door! If you can go on the patio and throw the keys down, I'll go outside and catch them." The patio door?? I can't even unlock the patio door...this is impossible. For the next ten minutes, Colby attempts to enact his idea, and I have moved on to asking neighbors for help. No such luck. The neighbors don't have the number for our landlord, Haley cannot unlock the patio door, Darcy will not stay on time-out, and I have entered the depression stage. I picture our guests Jon and Marissa arriving, and us still in the hallway. Colby borrows the neighbor's car to try to find the landlord while I am left to wallow in my misery. Finally, I have entered the acceptance stage, and make up a tentative plan in my mind, instructing Haley how to get them bread and peanuts for dinner, while we have take-out pizza with our guests on the other side of the locked door.
Somehow, after close to an hour, I muster up the strength to have Haley come to the door and try to unlock it again. Just as the neighbor, on the phone, locates a business that REMOVES doors for us, the miracle occurred. I have no idea how she did it, and she has not been able to do it since, but somehow she unlocked the door. Darcy was freed from time-out, and the reunion was dramatic, as expected. Before I moved on to quickly making sweet potatoes and meatballs for our guests, I made sure to put the number for door removals in the fake plant outside our door.