I winked out of here for approximately 25 minutes or so. You may not have even noticed. If you did, you might have just thought I had been busy with small, real-life, mundane things, like maybe answering the ringing telephone or, even doing laundry or dishes; you know, normal, household chores that everybody does.
You would be wrong.
Friends, I just spent the last 15 minutes locked in my own bathroom, with no way of freeing myself, and completely at the mercy of a three-year old and some smart ass teenagers. Why?
Because I'm just fucking lucky that way.
Oh, it started out innocently enough; a simple jaunt to void my bladder. It turned into HELL quite quickly, and simply because of one of the little Casa D'Pants quirks I've come to insist are "charming" and "quaint." I'm adding "dangerous to the cardio-pulminary system," as well.
The lock mechanism, a small button, is, for whatever reason, on the outside of the master bathroom door. Hence, it is possible to lock someone in the bathroom, who is then at your other-side-of-the-door mercy. You can't lock the door yourself for privacy; only for sadistic glee. It's something I knew about, and may or may not have employed to... perhaps... freak an FOW or two out with. And I've always intended to mention it to my handyman extraordinaire, John.
But I kept forgetting.
When, like a dumbass, I foolishly believed I deserved to be able to pee alone and without someone else's child staring at me, I shut the door behind me. I immediately heard, "Auntie JOY! Where did you go?!" Followed by the happy, scampering footsteps of one 3 Year Old charge for the day.
"I'm in the potty, Hon! Give me a second!" I trilled out. It bears mention here that I am a notoriously slow pee-er. I have peeing envy in restrooms all the time. Other women pee like rockets. I pee like a soap box derby racer on a level street. Even if I try to force myself to pee faster, it's nothing more than embarrassing. So I definitely knew that I was there for the duration. 3 Year Old, however, got kind of impatient and in her desire to actually see me, she accidentally depressed the button that locks the door. I heard it, pretty loudly; a sickening Click! that made me want to do a little more than urinate.
"AUNTIE JOOOOOOY!!!" I heard from outside my now prison. I immediately knew she was wandering into my bedroom... with its white comforter and selection of nail polishes on the dresser. Actually, the comforter is only completely white on one side, courtesy of 3 Year Old and those same nail polishes.
I panicked a little more. I finished all pertinent tasks and pressed my face against the door as possible.
"Honey! Honey! HONEY! Come back!" I yelled.
"I coming," I heard.
"Honey, turn the knob for Auntie Joy."
[various sounds of doorknob rattling, but not turning.]
"I can't, Auntie Joy. My hand don't work."
"Okay, Honey. Calm down [this was said more for me, than her, but...]. Go downstairs and bang on [Either Kids'] door. Tell them their mommy needs them. Okay?"
Then I listened to the silence of her not walking away.
"Baby?" I called out.
I dropped to my knees and peered through the crack between the bottom of the door and the floor. I saw her legs as she sat, leaning against the vanity outside of the door. I audibly groaned and said a bunch of not-quite-three-year-old friendly words.
"Pleas go get one of the kids, okay? It's really important."
This time, I heard her tottle off... and then I heard her in the living room, singing along with Nick Jr. I started to sweat a little more. I damned myself for not bringing my cell phone in with me. Then I laughed aloud at myself because, really -- why would I have done such a thing? Then I realized that both FOWs have a habit of sleeping into the wee hours of the afternoon and I faced the very real possibility that I could be trapped in my bathroom for hours. I started to sniffle, imaging the destruction that a three year old can wreak in a mere 30 minutes of unsupervised play and then multiplying that exponentially.
That's when I realized, I could either sit there and cry about stuff or I could get busy thinking of a way out.
There is a window in my bathroom. It's only slightly larger than an industrial-sized box of Potato Buds (Don't ask. Please.) It's also TWO freakin' stories from the ground, and I think we've determined I am not graceful. So, climbing out was checked off of the list.
Three minutes of fruitlessly rattling the door proved, well... fruitless. It did, however, return the 3 year old to her sentry position near the door.
"Auntie Joy! Auntie Joy! Auntie Joy! Are you okay?"
"No, Sweetie. I'm actually not. Could you please go wake up [Children's names]?"
This time, I actually heard her make it beyond the living room, happily singing the Franklin song the whole way down both sets of stairs. I heard what I think was her trying to knock on the doors. Apparently, her "hand don't work" for that, either. And I knew, with an accute certainty, that if she couldn't turn this knob, she couldn't turn those knobs, either.
So I had myself a Brat-fest, the likes of which I haven't had since I was about six. I stomped my feet and I pounded my fists on the floor. I screamed in frustration (because, really -- time passes very slowly in a locked-from-the-wrong-side bathroom.) And while I was freaking out, my dog started freaking out. Yes -- the same dog who elicits a string of cuss words from me because he barks when the doorbell or the phone rings and I threaten to kill him because it pisses me off so much.
In this instance, however, all I can say is, "Praise JESUS on high!" Skeletor thought someone was knocking on the door and that is not allowed to happen on his watch. Bless his little walnut-sized brain! I felt the faint stirring of hope in my heart. And sure enough, the dog's barking revived FOW #2 who woke up just long enough to walk over to her brother's room, throw open the door and growl, "The goddamned dog is going nuts. DO SOMETHING!"
I heard all of that, along with the sound of her door closing. But hope is a dangerous drug for me; I, in Brokeback Mountain Style, just can't quit it. I heard FOW #1's footsteps on the first set of stairs.
I heard him ask 3 Year Old, "Where's Auntie Joy, hon?"
I heard 3 Year Old respond, "I don't know."
I renewed my stomping frenzy. The dog barked louder. Then, at long last, there was a knock on the door.
"FOW #1! Thank God! 3 Year Old locked me in here! Turn the knob and get me the hell out of here!"
"Uh... hang on a second."
WHAT?! "Hang on a second?!" What the fuck?! Did he not understand?
"No, wait, FOW#1! You have to..." The words died in my throat as I listened to his retreat.
Seconds later, I heard both brother and sister, Fruits of my Womb, giggling outside of the door. Then, the taunting began.
"So, Mom. How much will you pay me to let you out?" I'd said this to FOW #2 a week before.
"Yeah -- it's pretty small in there, isn't it?" Damn me and my big mouth when talking to FOW #1.
After a few more minutes of torture, in which the 3 Year Old parrotted whatever her two older conspirators said, "Mercy" and "Kindness" returned to Casa D' Pants and I was released. I breathed in the sweet, sweet air of Freedom and promised myself two things: I will never pee without my cell phone again, and John is going to fix that damned knob tonight, and I will hold his child hostage until he does.
Even if she has a follow up doctor visit for her Scarlet Fever and vven if it means I'm late for Friday Masses at The Tavernacle... which I sorely need.