Back in November, I was making breakfast, Nik was getting ready for school, and the kids were playing in the bedroom. At some point, Nik came out of the bathroom and asked me where they were.
“In the bedroom…oh, I guess Ellie must have closed the door.”
Scratch that, Ellie locked the door!
(This happened last summer too, while we were in England visiting my brother and his family. So sadly, we’re no strangers to the “my child is locked in a room” panic.)
Our doors are original to the house and our locks are actually levers that are pretty difficult to push. Somehow, Ellie managed to lock it but there was no way she was going to be able to get it unlocked. The door also doesn’t have a key so after trying all the tiny tools we had, we took the handle apart. It was quickly becoming clear that we weren’t going to be able to get it open ourselves so I started calling supposedly-open-24-hours-a-day-on-call-for-emergencies locksmiths. No one answered.
Meanwhile, Ellie is becoming increasingly upset and Mark consequently was getting upset too. Ellie was alternating between crying and talking to us and by sticking my hand under the door, I could sort of keep them both calm. Luckily, that particular door has a fairly large gap between the bottom of it and the floor so I could get my hand under easily.
With no locksmiths answering, it became clear what I needed to do. So I swallowed my panic, and in my best “Rescue 911” imitation, called 911 to save my children. The dispatcher was lovely and calm (just like on the TV show!) and a police officer was at our door, probably within 5 minutes. The firemen were not far behind. The policeman went through the whole process we had with taking the handle apart. As he was doing that, Nik remembered that he had a pair of very-fine-tipped needle nose pliers and that’s what the policeman used to manipulate the lock mechanism to get it open. Ironically, we had already figured all of that out and so could easily have done it ourselves if we’d remembered that we had those particular needle-nose pliers in time.
But that was OK. They got the door open. Ellie’s eyes were super wide when the door opened, I rushed in to swoop them up, tears in my eyes and my voice, and she saw a whole bunch of men in uniform in our hallway.
As the firemen were leaving, with their crowbar and other demolition tools in hand, I heard one of them say, “I guess we don’t get to bust up anything today!” 🙂 I was not about to let them break my gorgeous solid wood door! We would have broken a window first. Thankfully though, nothing had to be broken, no one got hurt, and we’re all fine.
That was the longest 20 minutes of my life. Lord willing, I won’t have to go through that again any time soon.
And yes, Nik figured out how to disable the lock in our room!