Thursday, May 5, 2011

Teaching my kids the fine art of Breaking and Entering

We locked ourselves out of the house last month.  It had been a while, since we usually both carry a set of keys.  It never used to be a problem, since at our old house in a small village, we rarely locked the door. A small town thing combined with a complete lack of things worth stealing.  Since having foster kids and moving to town, the door always gets locked when we go out.  Compounding the problem was that we had gone away for a few days, and as usual, I had very carefully checked all the doors and windows were shut and locked before we left.

It probably wouldn't have been an issue otherwise.  Since I was a small child, I knew all the ways into a house.  Crawling through windows is great fun when you are 10 and mum is late home from work and you don't want to miss Magnum PI after school.  Our childhood house had two sure-fire ways in when locked up - if you were small enough to fit or agile enough to climb.

We've been locked out at least twice before, but just after a town trip, so I had made use of childhood skills to find my way in.  This time we were stuck.  The house key had been detached from the key ring and not made it back on.  We did discover we have a bunch of keys and no idea what they are supposed to open, and that we don't actually have keys to 3 of the four exterior doors in our house.

I spent a good 20 minutes checking the options without success.  I was debating which window would be cheapest to replace when Leaf asked me if I had checked a particular window.  I hadn't, since not only was it out of reach but had a security bar to stop it from opening.  Luckily, Leaf had opened it to air the room out and not replaced the bar - and I hadn't checked when we left, since I assumed the window, covered by insulating plastic film on the inside, hadn't been open since last summer.

Precariously balanced on an overturned plastic garbage can, I managed to get the screen off and the window open, but it was too high to haul my tired old self in.  Enter Mars.  He was very, very excited to get boosted through a window.  Unfortunately, once he was inside, he had trouble with the childproof door knobs designed to prevent Odin from going outdoors for a wander.

Crap.  It ended up that I had to get a foot on Leaf's shoulder to get up high enough, then squirm my rotund belly over the sill only to fall sprawling onto the boy's toys.  And I thought it hurt when you stepped on just one of them in the dark.  Made my way to the back door, opened it up and called Leaf and Odin to come it.

At which point Odin threw a fit.  Having seen both big brother and Dad climb through a window, there was no way on earth he was going to go in by a mere door, and no amount of pleading from Mum or Dad would convince him otherwise.  Sigh.  With great difficulty I boosted the little monkey in.  We need to hide a key outside somewhere.

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