I woke up when Cohen started rustling around in his room. I waited in bed a few minutes until he had woken up and was ready to greet the day.
After breakfast, we enjoyed some train play.
Then we got excited about the nice weather and an impromptu trip to the park.
Cohen played hard for a good hour. We met a new friend. He pooped his pants twice (Cohen, not the new friend.)
After the second poop, I decided it was time to go home. I bribed Cohen with a cookie and promises of a hot dog, and we made our way. I got lunch prepared while Cohen played with some bananas.
And then I noticed the dog outside, chewing on one of my son's toys. I felt the blood begin to rush to my face as I stormed out the back door towards the dog. He'd been stealing and destroying Cohen's toys lately, and I was about to make him regret it.
Until I heard the back door slam shut.
And saw my son, watching me through the glass door, turn the little knob and lock the door.
My heart sank. I was locked outside. My child was locked inside. In the kitchen, no less, a room he's not typically allowed in, and so he was having great fun exploring the most dangerous room in our house.
I managed to get him to the door and asked him to open the door. He tried, but he couldn't figure out that lock. Panic increased as I begged Cohen to unlock the door. He smiled at me in a Mommy's gone crazy way, crawled through the doggie door, and hugged my legs. I cried. He patted my thigh. "Don't worry. Be happy, Mommy!"
And so we were stuck in our fenced-in backyard with no phone and a dog I wanted to murder. It was just after noon. I knew my neighbors were at work. I knew my husband wouldn't be home until 6. I knew my child still had a dirty diaper, an empty stomach, and was thisclose to needing his nap.
I tried to crawl through the doggie door, and got my head and one arm through before I gave up. I tried to climb the fence, heard the wooden board crack, and decided that wouldn't work. I peeked through the fence and waited for the elderly man who always passes my house on his afternoon walk. I called out to him when he appeared. He looked around and began to walk faster past my house.
So then I picked up a large rock. I had seen in the movies how home invaders could so easily break off door knobs. I figured I could do the same thing. I slammed the rock into the door knob, effectively denting and chipping black paint off the door knob. Frustrated, I went to work with that rock, banging into the door knob until my hands began to bleed and the knob was essentially just a flattened piece of metal. The door was still locked.
Cohen began to cry. He was hungry and dirty and sleepy. I sat in the back yard and rocked him. We rocked for what seemed like an hour, but I'm sure it was no more than 10 minutes. Time dragged by. We played, we sang songs, we waited. I heard the high school bus drive by. I knew it was about 2:30. I also knew that in 30 minutes, our neighbor's son, who has special needs, would be dropped off my his school bus. His mother meets him in the driveway every day.
I waited by the fence that separated our large properties and listened for voices. When the bus passed my house, I waited. I heard my neighbors talking to the bus driver. I began to call out to them.
Hello? Excuse me! Hello?
I stopped and listened. Nothing. Visions of that elderly man running away from me popped into my head.
Hello? It's your neighbor. I'm not a murderer! I'm stuck in my back yard. I need help! My toddler locked me out of my house! Hello?
I heard them talking to each other, and then the woman called out and told me she was coming. God bless her.
She passed her cell phone over the fence, and I called Travis. And, I'm not kidding, the minute he answered the phone, Cohen came running up to me, screaming and crying and flailing his arms. He had been playing in an ant bed, and they were all over him. So I'm calling my husband from a strange number while ripping off Cohen's clothes and brushing off biting ants. I think the conversation went something like this:
Erica: Hey. You need to come home. I'm locked out of the house. Cohen is covered in ants. I've been here since noon. Oh, this is Erica.
Travis: OK, I'm leaving right now.
Poor man didn't know what was going on, but he managed to make the 45 minute trip home in record time. He was impressed with the work I had done on the door knob. He was impressed with the work those ants had done on our son. He replaced the door knob and hid a spare key in the back yard.
Needless to say, today I haven't left the playroom. No use taking any risks, you know? We've got some scary weather going on this afternoon, and all I can think is thank goodness I didn't get locked out today.
And also that I need to teach my kid how to unlock a door.