Thursday, November 20, 2008

Basement door plus screaming toddler equals...

So yesterday William and I were having one of those days. Instead of waiting until I said "no", William would jump right into toddler tantrum mode before I had time to respond to any of his requests. Lots of screaming, lots of fun.

Later on, I was calling my husband to ask if he was going to be late (and beg him not to be). Since talking on the phone, even for 30 seconds, has nothing to do with William and is therefore unacceptable, my toddler screamed. I left the basement where we were, and shut the door behind me so I could hear the phone.

This was a mistake.

The door to the basement opens into the stairs. Immediately my son effectively locked me out by standing at the top of the stairs, his body pressed against the little windows (I think it's what they call a French door). As he howled, I told him "Go downstairs, William. Go down. Down! Down!" But he wanted to go up, where I was, so he banged on the glass and yelled louder.

I remembered that there's another door to the basement from outside. I put on my coat and shoes and ventured out into the snow, climbing over a frozen-solid garden hose treacherously placed on a flight of cement stairs. The door was locked. I went back inside and got my house key, but it didn't work.

I actually looked up how to pick a lock on the internet, but I obviously I don't have a lock-picking kit, so I grabbed a hair pin. Macguiver, I am not. Apparently it's actually very difficult, if not impossible, to pick a lock with a hair pin.

William was still screaming. Reasoning that he couldn't possibly stay there forever, I started to make dinner (I could see the door, and my hysterical son, from the kitchen). Of course he was still at it when I had the dinner in the oven.

I tried to talk him down, like a hostage negotiator.
"William would you like to have a snack?"
"Okay, go sit on the couch and I'll bring you a snack."
"Would you like me to come watch tv with you?"
"Okay, just go downstairs and sit on the couch and we'll watch tv together."

I tried to throw a cookie down the stairs, but it ended up on the first step and it didn't even calm him down.

Finally I opened the door just enough to get my arm through. I grabbed his shirt and, as gently as I could, nudged him down the stairs, while holding him so that he didn't fall. By the change in pitch of his cries, I could tell he was just as dubious about the safetly of the manouever as I was. Luckily, I was able to get the door open, and the incident ended without broken toddler bones.

I gave him a magic mommy hug, and he was completely happy as if nothing had happened.


zydeco fish said...

Glad to hear that there were no broken bones. I've always thought that picking locks would be a good skill to have.

Becca said...

Oh Jen... Sorry you guys dealt with that - Yup - I too have already had Aedan locked on one side of the door , and me on another.... I can totally relate to the hostage negotiations. It was a 45 minute standoff before he finally listened.

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