#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Breaking and Entering

It all started when I grabbed the wrong set of keys.

There are two drivers in our house, two vehicles, and two sets of keys for each vehicle so that if one set of keys is lost (because of small children or other mishaps) the vehicle can still be driven. Three of those key rings also have a house key, so that anyone driving around all day can get back into the house later. There is even a fifth key ring hanging up with a bright pink key that only unlocks the house, just in case. All of the keys hang in a neat row on hooks by the back door.

Guess which key ring I grabbed while walking out the door with a screaming toddler in my hands? That's right, the keys to my husband's car that have no house key! I was outside, in the cold, juggling a screaming toddler with useless keys, and already running five minutes late to pick up my girls from basketball practice.

I live several miles from the school, and while we have friends in the area none of them live very close. So I called my husband to let him know I was locked out of the house. I'm a city born and bred kind of girl, I lock my doors. All my doors. And the windows. Locked. Locked. Locked. There was no way I was getting back into the house the easy way.

The toddler screamed, I told my husband to leave work early, and then I tried calling the school so I could let the coaches know I was running late. That didn't work either, the school office closes at 3pm and it was already half-past. I moved to Plan B: breaking and entering.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is always one window on a house that doesn't lock right. I'm not sure why this is the case, but it is. In every house I've ever lived in there has been one window that - with the right force applied at the right angle - will pop open thus making it possible for Teen Me to sneak in after curfew. Or, in this case, for seven-months-pregnant me to break back into my house, grab the right set of keys, and pick up my kids from basketball.

The only real deterrent is the locked in screen windows that aren't meant to be removed. Ever. It may be something to do with the hurricanes that rip through every few years, or maybe it's that someone thinks screen windows will prevent someone from using the window for breaking and entering. PRO TIP: the screen window won't stop anyone.

Dragging the toddler in my wake I confronted the screen window between me and my desired entrance point. Hubby and I have used this window before when a certain young someone (the screaming toddler) had locked us out of the house over the summer. At that time we'd been doing home repairs and had a screwdriver handy to pry the screen out. The screwdriver was now tucked safely in the tool box, in the laundry, in the locked house. I used a broken window shutter instead (P.S. Remind me to tell the landlord the shutters were knocked down in the storm last night).

Five minutes after my initial panic attack I was on the road with a still screaming toddler, a broken window screen sitting on the front porch, and the clock ticking from LATE to THE COACH WILL KILL YOU LATE.

Ten minutes later I was lost.

In my defense, the school my daughters attend is a sprawling complex with a labyrinth of interconnected buildings designed by the offspring of MC Escher and Salvidor Dali. There are not one, not two, but three full-sized basketball courts, two auditoriums that I've found, and two city blocks worth of land. It's a k-12 country school with no labels because everyone else who attends the school had parents who attended the school, and grandparents who attended the school, and possibly great-grandparents who attended the school. The school map is imprinted in their DNA at birth.

Me? I did laps around the school with a screaming toddler on my hip. This isn't the recommended practice when the doctor has ordered bed rest and no heavy lifting. The toddler (who is screaming because he's sick and hasn't quit screaming since 6am if you're interested) weighs close to 30 pounds, that's not fun to waddle laps with, and at this stage of pregnancy it is definitely waddling.

I found the men's basketball team, the weightlifting team, the ROTC crew, the cheerleaders, and a group of fourth graders doing debate but no one from the grade school practicing basketball. Finally I stumbled on a helpful teenager who had the right athletic build, a phone she was texting on, and knee high socks paired with gym shorts: a promising sign when looking for a student athlete. She pointed me to where the hidden basketball courts were hidden. They were empty, but a nice man stopped in his truck and asked what I was looking for.

Look... I'm a married woman and very happy with my life but after fifteen minutes of hiking several miles with a screaming toddler on my hip I was not above some shameless abuse of my good looks. I'm short, but I'm curvy, and there's nothing like pregnancy to add cleavage. Nothing short of a turtle neck is going to hide that fact and my cute v-neck wasn't even trying.

I may have leaned a little.

The nice man gave me a ride, so I can add hitchhiking to my list of afternoon activities. And flirting. And pretending to be a ditzy Pretty Girl, although maybe I'm just naturally ditzy when stressed.

As it turns out, there is a whole section of the school located across a major street. It's the North Campus that I never even knew I existed. And there's a set of basketball courts over there too!

Thirty minutes after I grabbed the wrong set of keys I'd done some breaking-and-entering, hitchhiked with a stranger, and thrown feminism out the window in favor of getting a ride and talking the coach out of yelling at me and kicking my girls off the team. The nice man gave me a ride back to our car, and I drove home with giddy girls and a screaming toddler.

I should be ashamed of myself. I'm not. I didn't have to resort to hot-wiring the neighbor's car. I didn't have a third trimester break down and sit there sobbing for thirty minutes while I waited for my husband to come rescue me. I did get all my afternoon goals accomplished and I had a fun story for Twitter afterwards. That counts as a win.


  1. You are awesome. Period. Use what resources you have at your disposal to accomplish your goals. Win.

  2. And Mee Maw always said that my life of teenage rebellion would get me nowhere!

  3. Oh yes - winner - rsults all round I'd say and no no no no reason for shame - why? just using intiative - in awe at how you did- and whats the use of a clevage if it can't be flashed at appropiate times - blow feminisim!! winner all the way - great blog and I'm off to my bed with a beaming smile on my face yet another result go girl go:)

  4. A definite win, Oh Twinny One. I'm cheering and taking notes :D >:)

  5. I can relate, Liana.

    I always check three things before I walk out my door: 1)keys 2)work badge 3)phone.

    When winter comes, I always have to warm up the car. I stay in the house for 5 minutes, allowing the car to heat up and greet me with warmth.

    On my way out, I go, "Keys are in the car, work badge is locked about my neck and phone is in my purse...okay, lock and shut front door.

    I discover my car is running and my keys are locked inside my car. Thank goodness I had my phone so that I could call my husband to come and let me in the house so I could retrieve our spare car keys.

    Thanks for an opportunity to rant! :D

  6. I understand. I have locked myself out of my house a number of times. Now I have a lock box like the realtors use and as long as I remember the code I can open it and use the key to my house. I bought the lock box at Lowes. I'm sure you can find them in other places. Of course if you did get one, we would miss out on your being creative. Love your blog. As my mama always said if you got it flont it. We are female for a reason and it is because we can use what we have to advantage. You are awesome in my book.

  7. Kind of curious why your hubby does not have a house key on his ring, but you managed okay. Hate whiners and that you are not. You took charge. I learned to hide spare keys in my car. Always put them in the air breather on the engine till I bought my first car with a hood that had to be opened from the inside. Glad your day turned out good in the end. Just think in a couple months you will be balanced out. One on each hip. My wife could share a couple good ones with you. Might make a funny book. Definitely a best seller.

  8. Ric - It's his spare key and he has a spare house key in his wallet. My spare house key wandered away.

  9. Sorry it was really none of my business, but the wallet don't work either. I kept mine there till I went swimming put my clothes in the car and locked it up. Duh!!!!Took several hours to solve the problem and no swimming. Nice burn though.