Baby Bear has figured out how to unlock the sliding glass door, so Mr. Lucky cut a two-by-four to fit into the bottom runner. It doesn’t just drop in; it has to be carefully worked in.
Last night, while Mr. Lucky was at work, I opened the sliding glass door so the dogs could go into the backyard to do their business. I went out there with them because otherwise, they’d head for their secret escape route under the fence. (I think they’re squeezing out under the gate, but Mr. Lucky doesn’t think that’s possible because the gate is locked both top and bottom.)
After a few moments, I noticed Baby Bear was at the door, his nose and lips pressed against the glass. Since I can’t lock the door from the outside, I thought it quite odd that he was making no attempt to come running out as he usually does. I pulled on the door handle. It didn’t budge.
He must've locked it. I pointed to it and yelled at him to unlock it.
He laughed and danced. I pounded on the glass and yelled some more. He finally clicked the lock, I pulled on the door handle, and . . . it didn’t budge.
Did he unlock it, only to quickly lock it again? After more yelling and pounding on my side of the glass, and more laughing and dancing on his side, he clicked the lock again as I quickly seized the door handle and . . . it still didn’t budge.
That’s when I noticed, to my horror, that the two-by-four had been neatly placed into the runner behind the other glass panel. The little sneak had figured it out!
More yelling and pounding and pointing ensued, this time all of it directed to the two-by-four. Bear tapped his toes on it a few times, but showed no inclination to remove it. He was thoroughly enjoying this.
I was not. I was trapped in the backyard, and I was panic-stricken. It was dusk, I could hear thunder in the distance, and Mr. Lucky wasn’t due home for another four hours. My only consolation was there was nothing in the oven or on the stove.
The windows were all closed and locked from the inside. I was barefoot and wearing a tank top and very short shorts, so I wasn’t exactly dressed for scaling the six foot high wooden fence that enclosed the yard. Besides, there was nothing to boost me over but an unsturdy patio chair, and the table was too heavy to drag from the patio to the fence. The gate was secured with a padlock that required a key. But even if I did find a way out of the backyard--there was a shovel handy, so I suppose I could've dug my way out, like the dogs--I still wouldn’t be able to get in the house because the garage and front door were also locked, and my keys were inside the house.
Wouldn’t you know it? Believe it or not, I usually keep my keys with me, even around the house, for Baby Bear’s safety and security. I should probably get one of those things my father used to have, that you clip to your waistband and you pull the keys out on a chain. Or a big giant ring, like a medieval dungeon master (or in this case, mistress).
A key is needed to unlock our front door from the inside as well as the outside, to keep Baby Bear from running off never to be heard from again. I read too many heartbreaking stories in the news about autistic children exactly like him, who slip out of the house while their parents are distracted, only to meet tragic ends. He couldn’t let me in through the front door even if he wanted to.
After about ten minutes, he seemed satisfied that I’d completed my transformation into a total basket-case, so he pulled out the two-by-four, allowing me and the dogs back into the house.
If that wasn't enough, when Mr. Lucky came home from work shortly before midnight, I had to unlock the front door for him, because he’d locked his own keys in the car, along with his cell phone. Imagine if Baby Bear still hadn’t removed the two-by-four!
This isn’t the first time one of my little darlings has locked me out—or in. About ten years ago, Fiona locked me in her older brother’s bedroom while her dad was out on an errand. Neither she nor the Crown Prince would let me out, despite all my screaming and hammering on the door. And I didn’t have my keys with me that time, either; so even if I went out the window, I still couldn’t get back into the house. I had to wait for Mr. Lucky to return, which he did about half an hour later.
At least he didn’t lock his own keys in the car that time!