Thursday, July 31, 2008

When You Could Just Really Use A Doorknob

A couple week ago, Landon was tearing our bedroom apart napping one lovely afternoon in our bedroom. Through a series of events that surrounded the entire nap time, I found the night stand got completely wiped off, a lamp was taken apart, all electronics unplugged (including his dad's alarm clock) and various and random items randomly scattered in various places. Later that night when it was finally my turn to go to bed, I found that the door knob had experienced great atrocities committed against it as well. Basically, it was in 3 pieces. And none of the pieces were able to function as a doorknob should function.

Now, perhaps he is a budding Albert Einstein or Thomas Edison but please, can't he dismantle destroy experiment with his own toys? Or with items already trashed? Or with sticks and stones? (Son, if you're reading this 20 years from now, I hope you're taking pity on your dear, old mother after all you put her through...)

Until that day, I complained that our door did not have a lock on it. Now I had real reason to complain since it now didn't have a door knob either. I neglected complaining because at that point, I was just very thankful that we at least still had a door never mind a knob or lock. You don't appreciate what you have until you lose something close to it.

So, using a tried and true honey-do-list technique that only works when it's his idea and not mine that I happened to try that day, I basically asked the husband if he could fix the door knob. I mean, it is his room too and he seemed even more desperate and disgusted when he found that the knob was broke.

He disappeared for a few minutes and came back saying it couldn't be fixed: it was missing an important screw *that he couldn't find.* (note the asterisks: they connect with asterisks later on this post.)

The kind and soft hearted wife that I am, I believed him. I mean, his amazing record at finding things that are lost is quite a document of the ability he in no way shape or form has for finding things... ie., like the glasses on his face that he can't find on the dresser because they happen to be on his face while he's looking for them, or the belt on his pants that he can't find anywhere because he's actually wearing them while looking in the closet for them, the countless times he's "lost" his cell phone only to have me find it on his desk... right where he left it. etc., etc., etc.

Still, I believed him. *He did say he looked* so you can't blame a man for at least trying. (re noting the asterisks just to make sure you notice.)

So, one bright early morning, Janae came into our room and shut the door. Now, this paragraph may not sound bad or suspecting of trouble or the beginning of a long, sad story but you have to understand that a door without a doorknob can sometimes still shut and latch shut BUT you can't open it to get out of it if it doesn't have the knob-turny-handle-thingy. Which is exactly what my door was missing. (the door knob was in 2 pieces on the buffet out in the dining room; the 3rd missing piece (the screw) was exactly that: missing.)

I was undressed (well, I mean, I did have pajamas on-- can you be undressed with pajamas on?), getting ready to shower when that door latched shut. I was trapped. I was locked in. I was a prisoner in my own house held captive by a three-year-old girl with braids and blue eyes.

So, what did I do? I rose to the challenge. My day could start bad, sure, I always get all the trouble anyway that's fine. I'll show it that I am undaunted! I'm in control! I'm woman! (blah, blah) Using a skinny, long, plastic, handy device that was randomly laying on the floor, I stuck it in the hole and tried to turn the latch. It didn't turn. But, at least I tried to open it in an attempt to rescue myself.

I could at least have that to say to Toby when I called him. For a guy, there's nothing like helping a girl if she is not willing to help herself. I had evidence to prove I was trying to help myself: I stuck a plastic thing in that hole and it didn't work. (you can't blame a girl for at least trying.)

Because I really wanted him to know about the distress I was in thanks to his incompetence Because I didn't know of anything else to do, I called Toby... "Honeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyy?" I said into the phone I was very thankful to just happen to have in my room (we JUST moved a phone into our room.)

All formalities aside, I filled him in on my day... how I was locked in my bedroom by a small child, barely 3' tall with no way to get out all because the door knob hadn't been fixed the other day because he couldn't find a measly screw because he had been distracted by reading a book instead of fixing the door the child just happened to shut the door while I was in it and the door knob was on the other side of the door.

"Besides going through the window, I have no way to get out of here," I informed him assertively with an aire that said thank-you-very-much-but-I-have-everything-under-control.

He sighed and breathed deeply and moaned and groaned pretending to show remorse, sympathy and regret over how much he disapproved of the kids doing this to me because he didn't know what to do next.

"Find something that you can stick in that hole," he advised.

"Oh, I did honey. I can't find anything that will work," I told him.

"You have NOTHING in the room that could fit in that small square hole?" He asked, sounding shocked that our room is not equipped with state-of-the-art equipment commonly used to rescue one's self from one's own bedroom. The only tool I could find was a level, under the bed.

"Dear, I have no perfectly square screw drivers made to fit in a door knob and designed with precision for emergency purposes. You will need to call your local hardware store and have them custom make you the recommended tool. I would give you the number right now but news flash: the phone book also is not something I normally store in our bedroom. If you get me out of this room, I vow from this day forward to equip our entire room with a week's worth of food, tools for emergency purposes and an adequate reference guide known as a phone book. Thank you for calling Woman in Distress Ministries, have a nice day." "No Dear, I have nothing," I informed him quite matter-of-factly.

"As long as the front door is unlocked, I guess the window is your only option," he said, regretting that he hadn't fixed the door in the first place informing me of my last option.

To which I calmly replied, "Oh it is indeed locked."

In a panicking voice tinged with disgust, he asked, "So now what?"

"Well," I said, "as long as the van is unlocked, I think I can get the keys out of there and then open the front door and then actually get into my own house again," ending my note in desperation because I didn't want him to think I enjoyed this kind of distress at such an early hour in the morning nor did I want him to think I was indeed mentally capable of handling such complicated scenarios because I truly was feeling desperate.

"Okay," he said with all the love and tenderness a man can have for a damsel in distress that he is trying to save because there really was nothing else for him to say.

Before hanging out my bedroom window and lumbering up the driveway while humiliating myself to the whole neighborhood because 1) I didn't have deodorant on yet and 2) I couldn't even get out of my bedroom from inside my house and 3) I really wouldn't want the neighbors to know either one of those facts about me, I looked one last time for something to stick in the hole.

And what should I find right behind the door with neon lights flashing blaze orange arrows at it unburied on the surface of the carpet? The missing screw.

I calmly gracefully serenely quickly utilized the redial button on my phone. His defense? "Oh, that's good... *I never really looked for it." * (were you noting asterisks?)

I didn't even go there with him. A man is always right.

Before ejecting myself out the bedroom window, I just so happened to find a Popsicle stick on the floor. Two to be exact. It fit perfectly. I wiggled it snugly in where-the-door-knob-is-supposed-to-be-hole-that-you-never-see-unless-your-four-year-old-destroys-your-door-knob-during-his-nap. The entire mechanism inside the door that the four-year-old has yet to figure out how to destroy couldn't reach when he was removing the knobs, turned in perfect harmony. The door unlatched.

I was free. And I fixed the knob right then and there because I wanted to tell Toby that not only could I find the screw but I could also FIX the door knob because I didn't want to lose that screw again and start the next day the same way I had started that day.

Within minutes, I was serving my little family a nutritious breakfast cold cereal and we commenced the morning by spilling milk on the table, crying in the high chair, letting the outside dog in, and fighting over who got the purple bowl for their cereal. Yeah, it was a great start to a great day.

Next time I'll just stay locked in my room because I think these kids had it planned all along. Seriously, I do. My kids are out to get me. Perhaps they want to have a day where they run the show and have all the cookies and candy they want and keep me locked up nice and tight. It's like they had this criminalistic plan all contrived where you have the booby-trap set-up guy and then you have the booby-trap detonator guy and then you have the good guy. Landon was Bad Guy #1 and Janae was Bad Guy #2 and I was The Good Guy.

From now on, I will sleep with Popsicle sticks next to my bed. And I'll always keep a phone with me... just for emergency purposes: you never know when a 3 year old might kidnap you.


Peter Pillman said...

Ah Courtney, the answer to so many of life's problems is right under your nose! Why else would Landon take apart the doorknob, other than to be prepared to fix it sometime later when he is stuck in a room with a disassembled doorknob for the closed door as the only means of escape! They always say, "Practice makes perfect!" I mean, just the fact that you were in such a quandary, and that it required a minimum of two phone calls with your husband and such, just proves that you didn't take apart enough doorknobs, lamps etc in your younger days! (Just don't ask Jessica if I have ever experimented with doorknobs)

pat ve said...

I thouroughly enjoyed your story. At least you didn't say everything you thought, but you were candid about those thoughts. I would have probably said too much. A good story.

Amy said...

The life of kids!

Jean said...

Life with small kids.

Kate said...

SO funny! Never a dull moment, huh?