Locked Out

It started, as so many things do, very gradually.  At first it was just a bit of a sticky lock.  After a while, it became difficult to get the deadbolt on the front door to open all the way.  A tiny bit of it would stick out, even after it had been unlocked.  As time passed, more and more of it would stick out, and an increasing amount of finagling was required in order to trick the door into letting us through.  Two nights ago it took several minutes of hard jamming and twisting to get the key to do its job, and yesterday it finally gave up and refused to let me in at all.

I had managed to get the deadbolt to unlock earlier in the day, but clearly that was because it was not snowing heavily at that time, and thus was not the worst possible moment for it to fail.  At around 2:30 in the afternoon, just as the storm started to give us its worst, I locked the door for the last time ever and walked across the street with Edward to pick Ruby up from school.  When we finally returned home, cold and covered with snow, the deadbolt informed me that it had gone into retirement and would no longer be sliding back into the door just because I had the audacity to stick a key into it.

I tried to open my front door for 10 minutes, at which point I wondered if maybe, in an unlikely twist of fate, my key was the problem, rather than the lock itself.  I trudged through the snow over to my neighbor’s house and asked to borrow her master key, which she not only gave to me, but also let my children warm up in her house.  I then spent another 10 minutes bruising my fingertips in a futile attempt to get the key to turn just a little farther.

Having spent 20 minutes trying to enter my stupid home it was now time to take Ruby to her drama class.  So I retrudged to the neighbor’s, returned the useless master key, and retrieved my children.  We piled into the car and I called the maintenance woman who had the number for the locksmith.  She called him as I drove very slowly over increasingly dangerous and unplowed roads on my way to the drama class.

When Edward and I returned home, I tried once again to open my door.  Obviously, it did not work.  The maintenance committee member who had called the locksmith informed me that he was a few towns over, but would be here soon.  Except I had just driven on the roads, so I knew that he would not be here soon.  It occurred to me that we did have a second door into the house, but this door led onto our second floor deck.  I wondered about trying to find a ladder, setting it up against the icy house in the slippery snow, and then trying to break my neck by vaulting over my deck railing from the top of that almost tall enough community ladder, but decided that this was one of those plans that my wife is always warning me not to think of, so I just waited for the locksmith.

It only took him 90 minutes to drive over and help me out.  Did I mention that it was blizzardingly cold out?  Did I also mention that my two year old was not wearing snow pants, and yet was rolling in the snow for all of this time?  Luckily Edward was very interested in what the locksmith was doing, so at least he came otu of the snow for a few minutes, just to watch.  And by “watch” I mean “go through the locksmith’s tools, selecting the most dangerous looking ones, and then attempting to hand them to the locksmith via the back of the guy’s shin while he was working on the door.”

Eventually, we got the door open.  Well, I didn’t.  I just stood there like an idiot.  But the locksmith got the door open and surgically removed our lock from the door, replacing it with a new and improved deadbolt that not only bolted, but unbolted too!  Amazing!  So our door is functional again, we have a new lock on it, and nobody froze completely to death, although the situation did require large amounts of hot chocolate once we finally made it inside just before 5 pm.

The moral of this story is, if your door starts breaking, fix it before it breaks all the way.  Because if you don’t, it will break during a snowstorm when you have not properly dressed your children.

Posted in Bad Parenting, Doors, Edward, Locks, Parenting, Ruby.

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