Rushing out the door as usual I slammed the door shut behind me as I carried the woken-from-his-nap O to the car. Baby Ace, also woken, was already waiting in the vehicle as were his two older, and at that very moment, whinging siblings. The clock was on our side and if I kept the momentum up we would make it to O’s doctor’s appointment on time.
It wasn’t until I closed the car’s back door, having wrestled to get O. strapped in, that I felt for the back pocket of my jeans and realised that I had locked the car and house keys inside our home. Desperately I tipped the contents of my handbag onto the drivers seat, I back around to where O sits to check I hadn’t put the keys down next to his car seat and then back to the other side to check Ace’s capsule, but I knew the keys weren’t there. I knew too that all the doors to the house were locked because I had checked them twice before leaving, even so I checked once more – this time from outside.
Definitely locked out. Locked out with four children, two of whom I’d woken specially. Thankfully I had my mobile phone on the outer so it wasn’t too dramatic a situation. I called the doctor and cancelled the appointment and then phoned my partner and explained that he had to come home from work to let us back in.
The eldest child really showed his true colours. Clearly assessing the situation and the need for him to take “survival” leadership. Immediately he was offering solutions to the problem - “it’s okay Mum we can live in the car”; “why don’t we smash a window”; “I know lets buy a new house”. Repeatedly I explained that all was good, their father was on his way home we just had to wait it out. “Everyone out of the car and lets wait around the back”.
Once in the backyard the eldest child continued to display his ‘leadership in a crisis’ skills. Disregarding my advice that a shelter was not really required this early in the afternoon he set about organising a tent, buckets of water, and make shift bedding from the beach towels hanging on the pool fence. Gallantly he removed the long sleeve tee he was wearing so that his shivering younger sister in a strappy dress could warm up. He assessed the backyard for possible food sources and was in the midst of planning our evening meal when his father finally showed up. Needless to say he was pretty disappointed to see him.
I, on the other hand, was thankful to be heading in doors – having nursed my two tired younger boys on my lap through the entire waiting period. Wrapping them in towels to keep them warm in the cool and breezy afternoon and jiggling them on my knees. Even so I had had fun. Who knew that locking yourself out would lead to such a good time? It was so heart warming to observe E. busy at work caring for the family. Super duper proud of him.