Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Beck's recent litany of household absentmindedness, including, as she says, "blowing up small appliances, letting the kettle boil dry, forgetting my keys, locking myself out of places" has me itching to make her feel competent by reference to my own thoughtlessness.

This summer, I locked us all out of the house. We had to wait for a locksmith. On a Sunday night. In the dark. It cost $130. I'm a moron.

Ah, July. Such nice evenings for hanging out in the driveway, waiting for the locksmith, watching the traffic whiz by on your regional-road street.

Here I am, trying to look contrite and pitiful so that Pynchon will forgive me: who remembers to put the camera in the diaper bag, but neglects the house keys, for goodness sake? Just looking at this picture brings me back to that summer evening. Look at me wearing my maternity jeans, grateful that (unlike late in my pregnancy) they actually fit! Look at that big blue lump, sitting on top of the brown lump that is my postpartum belly! That's Miss Baby there--that blue lump in the sling. She's asleep, having had her fill of open-air diaper changes and open air nursings and several marchings around the block. Thank god the sling had come to the grocery store with us. Again, I remembered the sling, but not the house keys.

We are beginning to be able to laugh about this--we were lucky enough to find ourselves squatting in the best of conditions: a clear night, a trunk full of groceries (we opened some pop), a garage through which we could forage for camping chairs, and a bag of warm clothing that we kept meaning to bring to the Goodwill but never had. Club Monaco sweatshirt from 1989? Yeah, baby! Warm me up! We were also though, obviously, unlucky enough to be locked out of our house, with no spare keys in existence, with a 7 week old baby, on a Sunday night, with a cell phone with near-dead batteries, that allowed us about 5-8 minutes of call time. Did you know that it's not easy to find an on-call locksmith on Sunday nights in July? And that when you do, he will make you wait nearly two hours on your front lawn? While your cellphone dies and you have no way to contact him or he you? And then when he finally arrives, tell you you should get some spare keys made?

Yup. I'm a dummy. This was 100% my fault: I packed the sling, the diaper bag, the grocery list, the wallet, the camera, and the cellphone. But not the keys to the house, even though it was totally my job. Now that's thoughtless, um, not that there's a competition or anything ...


Beck said...

I would happily let you win the thoughtlessness competition - if indeed, there was one - but I've locked myself out of my house MULTIPLE times. Including on one of the hottest days on record in early June, with a medically fragile baby stuck outside with me. Luckily for me, my mom left work to come and save me.
Look how pathetic you look there! I'm cracking up that Pynchon took a PHOTO of you while you were being all contrite.

Bloor West Mama said...

I have always been afraid of forgetting my keys, though we have three sets they are all at home.

I can bet you that if this had happened to me it would have been winter, a baby that really needed a diaper change and was starving, no husband in sight and no car. I kid you not.

I should really think of hiding a key somewhere on the property.

NotSoSage said...

bwm: Been done.

I even tried breaking into my home with said poopy, screaming baby. I did so by tresspassing on someone else's property and hoping the back door was unlocked (god, how I love living in an attached home in Toronto). It wasn't.

Luckily, I was able to scrounge up a quarter, got to the community centre across the street, and call close friends who live about 10 blocks away to whom we'd given an extra key just a few weeks earlier.

Mimi said...

One of the reasons we felt so awful was that there was NO extra key out in the world, and NO family we could turn to. We were just on our own. Locked out of our own house. Paying strangers to break in for us. Losers!

Jenifer G. said...

Yup. Try locking the kids in the running car, twice. First time was winter and Rosebud was about 4 months, Papoosie Girl 3. I was unloading the car and bringing the bags in (I have no idea why I didn't turn the car off) and I think the diaper bag hit the automatic lock. Next thing you know I am on the outside of the car, it is locked and running. I immediately panic and call husband who rushes home to save the day.

Second time was getting the mail (we have a superbox style) and I got out to grab the mail and next thing you know it happens again. This time I was able to get Papoosie Girl to wriggle out of her car seat straps and unlock the door. It took about half an hour but, with no cell phone, keys or anything it was all I could do. She wasn't strong enough to push the buttons to unlock herself, but she was able to get out of the shoulder straps and pull herself up. She still talks about the time she saved the day.

So you see, we are all winners.

Her Bad Mother said...

Yeah. I have forgotten my keys, like, sixteen gazillion times. And my cell phone. And my wallet. And diaper bag? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

ewe are here said...

heh heh

The very day I hid an extra set of house keys in our storage shed on the back patio (accessed by combination lock), my husband locked himself and our toddler out of the house. Yes, the very day. So he didn't initially understand why I started laughing at him when he called me on my cell phone asking me when I was coming home with my keys. :-)

Yes, we've all done this. Part of life, I suppose.

Arthur said...

Sometimes it happens. I also few days ago had a an interesting situation.I finally got a locksmith to come over and get the lock open. It turns out the keys the previous owner gave me, the key that was supposed to open that particular lock didn't match. The locksmith said it was definitely the wrong key. I took a closer look at the door and it was a little cracked on the side plus the locksmith said the lock wasn't of the same series as the other locks in the apartment. The rest of the locks in the apartment was silver color while the odd one out without the key was gold in color. I think what most likely happened was the tenant of the previous owner, at one time or another, probably got himself locked out of the room and broke the lock, hence the damaged door side. After that, the guy replaced it with an identical lock... only he forgot to return the new key to the previous owner. That so pissed me of. I spend a few hours trying to get the lock open. I even sprayed it full of WD-40 to lubricate it. Damn it. I think I'm going to make a bonfire with all the previous tenant's old mail