As much as I’d like to tell you my days are filled with glamorous lunches with ladies, or even dedicated hours spent at the gym, mostly it’s consumed by the ins and outs of getting my baby to sleep. She is, knock on so much wood (SO MUCH WOOD), not much problem in the sleep department. When I feel like she needs a nap I swaddle her (a nice way of saying I pin her arms down) put on some lullabies and then just lay her there. She stares at the ceiling for a while, makes some grunts and squirms a bit and then, eventually, on a good day, she falls asleep.
During that time I like ‘get things done.’ Sometimes that means catching up on blogs I read or watching re-runs of Supernatural or maybe accidentally falling asleep on the couch with the dogs as a blanket and the baby monitor as a pillow. But sometimes I fold laundry, vacuum, pay bills, or do a few lazy crunches while thinking of the dreaded bathing suit season.
Last week when the baby finally fell asleep, I was in a particularly motivated state. Dave had just left for the rink, the dogs were tired from a nice long walk, and the quiet was overwhelming. So, in hopes of keeping her from stirring too early, I shut the door. And along with the normal ‘clunk’ of the door shutting I hear ‘click’ of the door locking. From the inside. Not good.
Initially, I didn’t panic. Our apartment has the kind of doors that do lock from inside but have a hole on the outside of the knob. If you stick the appropriately sized item in the hole, you can unlock the door. I know this because we have the same doors at my parent’s cabin back home, and my sister used to lock herself in there a few times a day while screaming ‘I hate all of you. ALL OF YOU!’ or maybe ‘I’m never coming out. NEVER!’ We had to get her out of there somehow.
So I went to the kitchen, searching for an item of the appropriate size. A chopstick? Too big. A piece of wire? Too small. The inside of a pen? Usually PERFECT. But it didn’t work. And the panic started setting in.
I called Dave. I didn’t want to, but I had to.
me: I locked the baby in the room.
him: What room?
me: The room she is sleeping in.
him: Why did you lock the door? (implying perhaps I am stupid)
me: (feeling that I may be stupid) Well I didn’t, but someone (one of the dogs?) must have turned it, and it’s locked now.
him: I’m on my way back.
Meanwhile, I began disassembling the lock. The baby monitor indicated that the baby was still sleeping soundly, but somehow I was starting to believe the monitor wasn’t working and she was behind the door feeling abandoned, awake and surrounded by sharp objects and choking hazards. My logical self knew she was safely swaddled, in her bed, unconscious. My logical self was losing the battle in my mind.
When Dave got home, in a flustered flurry of a) panic over our baby being locked in a room and b) panic over being late for his game, he finished disassembling the lock, called for pliers much like a surgeon might ask for a scalpel, and opened the door. Crisis over. Disaster averted.
This parenting thing? I’ve got it locked down.