Monday, April 08, 2013

Not my brightest parenting moment

Ah, toddlers. Who doesn't have the fondest of memories about the temper tantrums, the bedtime battles, the time your kid locked himself in the vault at city hall. Wait, what? Oh yeah, it happened.

On this fateful day, I had both boys with me as I ran into city hall for one quick thing.  As I looked at a computer, FunnyKid ran down a long (fun-looking) ramp next to me that went into the big vault full of city records. Then he ran back up and we headed to the desk to speak to an employee.

As I began speaking to the woman and FunnyBoy began fussing, FunnyKid (the 2.5 year old) saw his opportunity and took off to run back down the ramp into the vault. I picked up the baby carrier and was not too far behind him, telling him to turn around and come back. As I got to the bottom of the ramp, FunnyKid gave me a sly grin... and knocked closed a glass door at the entrance to the vault (a door with no purpose I could figure out since the vault also had one of those huge metal vault doors).

Seeing no knob on the outside of the glass door (just a keyhole), I immediately turned around and went back  to the employee I had been speaking with. "I'm really sorry, but my son just locked himself in the vault. Could you please get the key for the glass door?"

"Uh, I don't think we have a key for that door," the woman replied.

That's when I began to panic. Running back to the door, I smiled and urged FunnyKid to turn the locking mechanism on his side of the glass. Having fun playing our game, the poor kid tried to turn the lock, but wasn't strong enough. Standing there with a toy train in either hand, he watched as two different employees with two different keys each arrived and failed to unlock the door.

That's when a woman in a really nice outfit came rushing down and decided she was going to try to slide under the door (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the glass door didn't go all the way to the top or the bottom of the door frame, making it even more useless and more confusing about what it was even there for). Despite the panic rising in my chest, that part was kind of funny because the poor, professionally-dressed woman had no chance of fitting through the couple of inches of space beneath the door, but she pressed herself to the floor and tried.

The ending of this story is a little anti-climatic: no firefighters rushing through the door for a dramatic rescue, no having to tell FunnyKid to go hide in the corner while a police officer shot through the door. Nope. Instead, we got FunnyKid to lay down on his side of the door and I reached under and slid him out.

Then we threw some more apologies around and ran out the door while the employees were making phone calls to see if anyone in city hall had a key to the door. In the aftermath, I felt ashamed that FunnyKid was able to get that far away from me and cause some mischief, but I also started to get kind of angry that a city office didn't have a key to the mystery door in its vault. I can think of a couple of (unlikely) scenarios in which that door could swing closed and need to be reopened. In any case, it's a funnier story than the battle FunnyKid and I fought over naptime this afternoon, and if I have to be embarrassed or admit some parenting failures, at least I want a funny story out of it.


Sarah said...

HA. I'm a municipal employee, and yet have never had such a thing happen. Clearly I'm not trying hard enough.

Sam_I_am said...

Oh my gosh! I'm totally not laughing (hehehe) but that's hilarious! At least it's hilarious now looking back ;) what our children do to us!