Locked out.

My daughter, Wren, is participating in the Student Slice of Life Challenge for the second year in a row. She has shown so much more independence with the project this year. Last year, we often thought of ideas together and then she would draft out loud while I typed. This year, she made a list of ideas in her notebook and has gone back to the list every day as she sets up her Chromebook and gets to work all on her own. This year, I’m supporting her just as a reader.

I was surprised by her post a few days ago because she chose to write about something that happened to our family a few years back now. It was something that I had even considered writing about, I even had this blank titled space “Locked Out,” just waiting to be written. Then, Wren wrote about it, so I thought I could go there this week. I would write about the same incident from my perspective. So, here it goes:

We pulled into our dark street, illuminated only by the streetlights. I looked back at the girls in their car seats. Luckily, no one had fallen asleep. But, it was definitely past their bedtimes and I was dreading the transition into the house, into pajamas, and into bed. We had just come from Grace’s (Dawn’s daughter’s) dance competition so the girls were ready to crash from exhaustion and the sugar rush from the Skittles we had bought them.

“Everyone unbuckle,” I called out as I pulled my jacket closer, bracing for the cold February air and the whining I knew would come.

I grabbed all of the garbage that accumulates after an outing with three kids, my bag, and Rose. I left Arnauld to gather Wren and Adi. I balanced everything carefully to open the door leading from our garage into the house. Locked. I was surprised. We never lock this door. I tried it again. Still locked.

“Did you lock the door?” I called to Arnauld.

He didn’t even answer. He just walked over to the door to try it for himself, like maybe I had been lying.

“Do you have a key for the front door?” he asked, trying the door again.

“Nope,” I said running through other possibilities in my mind…the windows were all locked. My parents have an extra key, but they were out of town. It seemed like we were stuck. What were we going to do?

Arnauld started rummaging through the tools in the garage and I stuffed the girls back into the car, out of the cold and out of the way. They hopped from the front seat to the back, pretended to drive, and giggled with excitement, no worry on their little minds.

I asked Arnauld what he was doing. Did he have a plan? But he was in serious mode and was working without answering. He fiddled with various tools and the doorknob with no luck. He went back to the tools and came back with a saw…

“What are you going to do with that?” I asked.

No reply. He just began sawing away at the door jam.

I went back in the car with the girls as he sawed away.

Finally, after sawing around the bolt in the door, Arnauld pulled the door open.

This was not the end of the day that I had imagined. Looking back, I would have been grateful for a little whining and a rough bedtime. At least Wren and I both got a Slice from that eventful evening!

13 thoughts on “Locked out.

  1. I remember that story!! Wren’s snippets of dialogue in her’s really brings her perspective to life! The kids were having fun! Yet, in yours, I sense the tension over how the door got locked and the use of the saw! I think you and Wren could be co-authors!!! A picture book is coming!


  2. I never would have thought of getting out the saw. I would have checked other doors and windows. Isn’t it interesting how differently our brains work? Same with perspective (and memory) – we take things in as individuals, and store them in our own unique way. (And then there is the research showing how flawed our memories are!)


  3. This is fun. I liked reading your version and then Wren’s. She was having a bit more fun. Considering your concern, that’s a pretty good sign that you didn’t get the girls too concerned. I like your “I asked Arnauld what he was doing. Did he have a plan?” I couldn’t quite tell if you had actually asked him that. I could imagine a grumpy reply if I had been asked if I had a plan.


  4. “Looking back, I would have been grateful for a little whining and a rough bedtime.”
    That line made me laugh! Sometimes whining and a rough bedtime routine IS preferred to what you folks went through that night.
    I’ll check out Wren’s blog later today. 🙂


  5. How many perspectives belong to a story and yet, so often we only get to hear one. I loved being able to read another version of the same event and compare the adult versus child’s perspective. Thanks for offering another window on what’s possible not just with kids but with our very own offspring!


  6. I love that your daughter is slicing, and that you wrote your perspective of this story after reading her slice about it! I can’t wait until my daughters are old enough to do this!!! Your vivid details really made the story come alive, and your ending made me laugh. (Incidentally, I once locked us out of the garage door as well, and now we have an extra key hidden in the garage!)


  7. Apparently I’ve missed WEEKS of your blog. I’m so sorry! This is a great story – though I imagine it was no fun at the time. I especially like how Arnauld just gets the saw & starts sawing. And now I really need to go read Wren’s blog to get her perspective!


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