Around 5 AM, I heard a soft, whimpering bark from the crates downstairs, and my husband and I stumbled out of bed, threw on sweatpants and bathrobes, and felt our way downstairs in the dark to take the puppies outside to pee. Bernie unlocked the back door while I located my shoes, and then we all headed into the screen porch to access the back yard. As soon as I pulled the door shut behind me, I knew something was wrong. Bernie just changed the front and back door hardware yesterday (I didn't like the bright brass color, and the lever style had long annoyed me for its tendency to get caught on sleeves and pockets) and the new exterior handlesets will allow you to turn the knob to get out even if they are locked, but then you can't get back in. When I pulled that door shut behind me, the doorknob didn't twist at all. We were locked out of the house at 5 AM, shivering in our pajamas in the pouring rain. Ah, Mondays!
Of course my husband immediately blamed me for locking the door last night and for pulling it closed behind me, and I retorted that he was the one foolish enough to go out the door without unlocking it first. Unhappily, finger-pointing did nothing to resolve our dilemma. Meanwhile, our puppies looked up at us with their big, brown eyes, wondering why we weren't feeding them their breakfast.
Bernie has ensured that our house is pretty secure, so it's not like we could get in through a window or anything, either. Lars and Anders, who sleep more soundly than any Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, wouldn't wake up on their own for hours, and even then they'd probably head up to the third floor toyroom instead of coming to look for us. So I grabbed an umbrella that we'd fortunately left in the screen porch the night before, and went around to the front door. I rang the doorbell over and over for a good 20 minutes. I alternated ringing the doorbell with pounding the brass door knocker. I tried staccato rhythms on the door knocker; I tried tapping out the Star Wars theme on the door knocker, desperately hoping one of my kids would wake up and let me in the house, but my house remained dark and silent. I did notice lights coming on in some of my neighbors' houses, though.
Bernie finally went into the garage (thank goodness for the garage door keypad!) and got a ladder. He climbed up to Lars's second-story bedroom window and started knocking on the window and calling in what he thought was a loud enough whisper, "Lars! Wake up! It's Daddy!" Meanwhile I was standing there on the front step, still slamming the door knocker and ringing the bell. In the pitch dark, freezing cold, pouring rain, in a bathrobe. Are you getting a good visual image? Right about then is when we heard the police sirens...
So yes, Lars woke up when he heard the incessant pounding on the door and delirious doorbell ringing. He was terrified and went straight to our bedroom to get his Daddy, and was even more frightened when he discovered that we were missing. He called 911, and was advised to stay away from the window and not go downstairs. When he heard his Daddy's voice talking to the police officers (no longer whispering, ahem!), Lars finally came downstairs and opened the screen porch door, tears streaming down his worried little cheeks -- AND HE PULLED THE STINKING DOOR SHUT BEHIND HIM, so we were STILL locked out!
We had one more sleeping child locked in our house, one more hope of salvation, but Anders is the type of child who could sleep peacefully through the Armageddon. While Lars and I chatted with the police officers and introduced them to our dogs (excellent socialization opportunity!), Bernie dragged the extension ladder out of the garage, brought it around to the back of the house, and climbed up to Anders' bedroom window. Anders eventually woke up and came downstairs to let everyone in and save the day. It was nearly 6 AM and I wished the day was over instead of just beginning.
However, it did get better. Check out this picture of the puppies napping belly-up in their crates just outside my office while I was working this afternoon:
|Lulu & Otto Taking it Easy in their Crates|
And here are their sweet little faces, wondering why I keep pointing this little metal toy at them that makes a bright light flash in their eyes: