One day, Delano, my cheeky, middle child who was not quite 2 years old at the time, ran into a bedroom and locked the door. I remained calm at first. Thinking that a little coaching could get him to unlock the door.
This attempt failed. Delly had no interest in leaving the room at that time. He did not bother to listen to my instructions. My calm level went down a notch or two, and my panic level was just barely readable.
My next attempt was to simply pick the lock with a paperclip ( I was reading a lot of Charles Dickens novels at the time and this seemed easy enough for a child to do).
Second attempt failed. I had no idea what I was doing. My calm went down, and panic went up.
Next, I thought to check the window. Maybe I had left it unlocked. I ran around the house to try.
Failed: Not a budge. I knew this the moment I stepped out of the house because I would never leave a window unlocked. But it was worth a try. Plus I wanted to at least get my eyes on Del. That didn’t work either because of the blinds and curtains. Calm was gone. Panic was creeping up to a dangerous level in which dumb ideas seem like good ones.
Fourth attempt to free my completely oblivious child from captivity. I needed to somehow push in the latch of the door knob. Credit card did not work. Then a light went off in my head. My thoughts were, “I will slip a strand of yarn under the door. Delly LOVES to pull my yarn when I am crocheting. I will tell him to grab it and with the tension, I will shimmy the yarn up near the knob, trip the latch and rescue my son. ” Great idea, right?
Wrong. I thought I almost had it a few times, but never could get it to work. My fourth attempt had, yet again, failed. At this point, I just needed to get my hands on Delano. I knew he was fine because I could hear him playing. I knew there wasn’t anything dangerous or problematic in the room. But I just need to touch him, smell his sweet skin, kiss his chubby cheek, look into his beautiful, blue eyes and know for sure that all was right with the world.
As cool as a cucumber, I walked over to my computer to google how to get into a locked bedroom. I didn’t want my three year old, Jenkins to worry if he saw me panicky. But inside, I was freaking out and praying for a solution to save my Delly Belly. As I typed in the question into Google, I heard Delano let out a strange yell. He is a screamer so most of his vocalizations sound like he just lost a toe or an ear in some horrific way and it no longer gets my heart rate up. But this was different. Panic level went through the roof, through the atmosphere, and continued through all of space!
I ran to the door, tried the knob. It was still locked! I looked down at my spool of yarn. Why had I left it by the door?! I could see the yarn being pulled into the room! All reason and all limits disappeared. I had to get to my son! I smashed my shoulder into the door. Once, Twice, Three times. My arm ached but I was going to get in there. Finally, with one final collision with the door, the knob broke off and I stammered inside. Delly was completely tangled up in the yarn, with two loops around his neck. He could still breath, but with all his thrashing, the yarn was getting tighter. I don’t even remember untangling him, though I did that immediately upon seeing the yarn around his neck. All in all, he was unharmed. I held him in my arms, wept and kissed his face, and told him how sorry I was to put something so dangerous in his hands. It was a devastatingly precious moment to hold my baby in my arms after going so long without the ability to do so.
Jenkins soon toddled into the room and asked me why I was crying. His movie had ended and he had just become aware Delly and I had not been watching with him. Pammy slept through the whole ordeal in her bouncy seat enjoying life of a newborn. Delano soon got up from my arms and began tossing up the yarn that laid all around the room and then ran off to play with his brother.
I sat on the floor in the room that had viciously imprisoned my child. I was completely exhausted. Life had already moved on from that terrifying moment. How could the world continue to spin after all that I had just gone through? I thanked the Lord for protecting my Delano. I picked myself up from the floor to continue my chores, parenting, and planning. Everything seemed unchanged. Except for me. I was now humbled, a little wiser, and very thankful for life and God’s mercies.
For you: Its a pretty good idea to go right now and look at your bedroom door knobs to see how they work. My husband showed me (and apparently had explained this before the incident) that I could have used a screw driver or even my thumb nail to open the lock with a simple twist.
Also, yarn is dangerous. If you are a crocheter or knitter or just have lots of it lying around, please put it out of reach of toddlers.
I pray you and your children have a wonderful, safe day!
For other Mommy Mishaps, check out: Where did you get a Raisin?