Tag Archives: Confronting Fears


O and I had a lovely weekend. Last Saturday, we watched The Wiggles, ate breakfast, took the dog on a walk, went to the toy store, got locked in his bedroom and I had to jump out of the window, went to a birthday party and ate hot dogs and cake.

Yep, you read that right. I somehow managed to lock O and I inside his bedroom on Saturday. Well, there is no “somehow” about it. Our doors are very old and so are the doorknobs. In order to get the door to shut properly, you have to yank it hard. When you do this from the outside, the door is shut tight so that O can’t push it open and the dog can’t nose his way in. When you do this from the inside, apparently, what happens is THAT YOU CAN’T GET OUT. The latch won’t catch and that door isn’t opening. No matter how hard you turn the knob, throw yourself against the door, or plead with the door gods. That door is closed.

So it’s noon. The husband is at work till at least five. I didn’t bring my phone in O’s room with me, because you know, why would you need a phone to put your kid down for a nap? It’s not like you would need to call for help or anything. We’re stuck, no way out. I pound on the door, yell, hope that my dog is actually Lassie and will either go for help, or at least understand the situation and throw his 90 lb self against the door to open it. My dog hears me, because I hear him enthusiastically thumping his tail on the floor when he hears his name, but either he doesn’t understand me or he wants to see how I will get out of this one.

Ok. So I think, What Would The Husband Do? The husband was in the army. And he always reminds me the motto is “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome”. The husband wouldn’t panic and he wouldn’t stay in a stuck room. The husband would also never get stuck inside a room, but no time to think about that. We have to improvise, adapt and overcome.

Only one option. I go out the window. First, I have to wrestle with the stupid child locks on the window. This is the only moment where I truly panic, when the window will only open a few inches. But my clear head prevails and I figure out how to master the child locks. I step out on the roof, at which point O’s screaming goes to Def Com 5. It’s no longer “I don’t wanna nap” whining, it’s full on hysterics. I guess he knows if his mom is climbing out of a window, things aren’t good.

On the roof, which luckily is flat at this part, I yell for help. Nope, nobody is outside to rescue me in my damsel in distress moment. I go back and lean in the window and tell O to calm down, mom’s got it. We’re sucking it up, buddy, it’s the family mantra. He looks at me for a second, then starts screaming again.

The problem is once I jump off the roof (which by the way, does not look as easy from up on the roof as it does from below), then I can’t get back in. Because I lock all the doors in our house like we live in South Central and of course I don’t have any keys hidden. One neighbor has a spare, but what if she’s not home? O will be stuck inside the house alone. But I see no other options, so I jump.

Well, actually, I slide off the roof, scraping my stomach and arms and then dangle off the gutter, and then jump down. But I make it, I’m saving my baby! I run to the neighbors. No one home. Now I’m starting to get nervous. Is this going to be one of those situations where I end up on the news, saying “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time to jump out of the window and leave my toddler alone in the house. I had no idea he would climb out of his crib and start a fire.”

I run down the street. My other neighbor, Mark, is strolling happily like a normal person on a sunny Saturday who HASN’T locked himself and his kids into his own house. Mark looks at me like I’m crazy, but who the hell cares because Mark has a spare key from the previous owner. I grab it like he’s offering me the last beer at last call and run home. It works! I run in the house and go up to open O’s door. He stops crying immediately and gives me a grin and practically jumps into my arms. All is good, Mom has saved the day!

Then I tell him it’s nap time and the crying begins again, but this crying I can handle. I go downstairs and wonder if it’s too early for a martini. I forego the martini, mostly because I don’t know how to make one, that’s the husband’s area of expertise.

And I wonder about how calm I was. Because the door has gotten stuck before, but my husband has been home to open it. But in those seconds before he came to open the door, I would panic and think, “Oh my god, what would I actually do if this door got stuck and the husband wasn’t here and I forgot my phone?” And then I would make sure to keep my phone with me for the next few days, then forget again. But the thought of it would send me into a tailspin. When I wake up at 4 am, these are the things I worry about: How I would get O out of a locked room? If a serial killer/rapist broke into our house, what are my escape routes and how would I get out? If there was a fire, what things do I need to grab immediately? If I went into labor in the car, how would we deliver the baby if we somehow couldn’t make it the five miles to the hospital? If my husband thinks he is going to leave me for another woman, how will I hide the body? I go over and over my plans of action in my mind. But I pretty much assume I will panic and not remember any of these detailed plans.

But in the moment where the thing I was worried about actually happened, I surprised myself. I was calm, I was logical, I did what needed to be done. It was only afterwards that I panicked with what might have been. I thought I was the kind of person that would be emotional and flighty, and I found out I’m actually kind of bad ass. If I was on Lost, I thought I would be Claire, crazy and crying in the jungle. But turns out, I am more Kate-like and can probably totally track wild boars and shoot a gun perfectly and look amazing in clothes I’ve been wearing for 180 days straight.

Even the husband was proud of me and gave me the highest praise- he said I did exactly what he would have done. He then proceeded to show me how to jump and land if next time I had to do it with O in my arms. You know, like he learned when he jumped out of airplanes.

Now I have something new to worry about at 4 am.




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