Yesterday was a day of panic for me. It's the type of day my friend Amy would have. No offense Amy, I love reading of your adventures! But this wasn't much of a "Ha ha, wasn't that funny!" Sort of moment. It was more of a "...Ahhhhhhhhh!" kind of moment.
I was going about my usual mommy duties of getting Karis and I ready to go to grandma's house in Elmont. I placed Karis in the kitchen and buckled her up in her high chair. We live on the second floor of a private house in East New York so getting the car packed up isn't the easiest thing to do with an 11 month old. I grabbed about 4 heavy bags balanced them in my hand and headed down the stairs to the car. Nobody was home in the building. They were either out of town or at work, including Rick. So that I could have quick access to Karis, I left the door open to the apartment with Karis in the kitchen facing the open door. As I reached the bottom of the stairs I left the secondary door wide open, again for quick access to Karis, if need be. So finally, I reached the door that leads to the outside of our building and I say to myself... "Self, don't lock the door." And subconsciously I turned the lock on the knob of the door and closed the door behind me.
Now at this point I feel great because Karis is safely in her high chair upstairs and I have closed the door to the building so as not to welcome uninvited "guest" to help themselves to our stuff. I place the bags in the car, close the car door, lock it and walk up the stoop to open the door. "Click, click!" Panic set in... I WAS LOCKED OUT!
Just as I was getting ready to have a nervous breakdown I caught myself. The first thing I did was try to reach for my phone. But had nothing with me only the keys to my car. "Ok, Rosie, think! ........ Go get help!" My first instinct was to call Rick, or maybe my mom could help. But no, I need to get to my daughter ASAP. So I get in the car to look for a payphone to call 911. As I drive I NO payphones anywhere so I make my way to my nearest police station, approximately 3 blocks from where I live. I arrive, finally find parking and sprint down the block towards the station. When I get inside there are tears welling up in my eyes and panic written all over my face. Uniformed Police Officers pass right by me. I found the civilians sitting in the waiting area paying more attention. Finally, the woman behind the Plexiglas gets back to her desk and says, can I help you? I tell her that my 11month old daughter is locked in my apartment by herself. She looks at me funny and says, "You need to call 911." .......I'm beside myself..... I tell her I have no cell phone, everything is locked in my apartment. She said, "Use a payphone it doesn't cost anything". ........Baffled...... I asked her where there was a payphone because I had driven around and couldn't find one. She said there is one right outside. I turned to run outside and a nice man sitting in the waiting room offered me his cell phone so I could call 911. I called and told them that I was at the police station and she sounded confused.... "You're at the Police Station" (as if saying why can't they help you there?) So she asked me to go back home and wait there. So I did.
I arrive back home and listen through the mail slot only to hear Karis crying. I try to talk to her to say everything will be ok. Then... it got quiet. I called her name... nothing. I try not to think the worse and assume that she's sleeping so I keep trying to call her name to confirm that. I as I waited for help to arrive it seemed like an eternity. I cried, I condemned myself for being so irresponsible.
In the distance I begin to hear a fire truck. I think, "That can't be for me...?"..... but it was. How embarrassing. Now not only do I have to live with the fact that I locked my self out of my home, but now the whole neighborhood has to know as well. So the firefighters came... in full uniform. With large metal hooks and crowbars. I panicked more. Now, because of me there will be massive damage to the front door of our building. Sheesh! They easily break open the front door and I run upstairs to my now crying daughter. Unbuckle her and hug and kiss her to death.
I thank the Lord she was OK and had not nuzzled her way out of her seat. But instead she sat there crying but safe. I think I was more traumatized than she was.
So now not only does my neighborhood know of my locked out episode but so does the World Wide Web. Or in the words of former President George W. Bush "The Internets"!