It was entirely my fault. Most of my family’s misadventures stem from questionable parenting decisions on my part.
Master I was playing with his friend, T in the park after school. The boys decided they wanted to play in my car. Master I is obsessed with showing people the interior of our car. I am obsessed with letting as few as possible see it. The mess in my car is exactly like that never-ending pack of Tim Tams. As soon as I clean it, the mess re-appears instantly. But Master I was keen for T to see the assortment of Lego, balls, water guns and who-knows-what in the backseat. I knew it wasn’t a great idea, but couldn’t really articulate why and so I handed over the keys after a stern talk about not touching any controls. T’s mum and I were right next to the car, so I knew the boys were safe, but the niggle remained. I turned to T’s mum and said, I really hope they don’t lock the keys in the car. Sure enough, the car door closed, the boys emerged. My keys did not. As this was an impromptu and supposedly quick park play, my handbag and phone were also still in the car. I had nothing.
T’s mum kindly drove us up the hill to our house. My neighbours have a spare key to our house. I planned to use that, get the spare key to the car, head back down the hill to the park and all would be well. My neighbours were not home. My husband had a work dinner. Thankfully, my lovely friends who live a few doors down were home and took us in, despite our newly vagrant state.
Eventually our immediate neighbours came home and I procured what I thought was our house key. Several jabs at the lock revealed it was not our house key. Inspecting the key further, I realised that when I had cut the key, I must have cut my parent’s house key rather than our own. A key to my parent’s house was the least useful thing I could have possessed at that moment. For some reason, I imagined I might have given my neighbour the key to our backdoor. She had a box full of keys and one of them was surely worth a try.
We have a dog. We have a locked gate. It’s about seven-foot high. I climbed over the gate. In a dress. And questionable shoes. The dog thought it was fantastic. And as I swung myself over the gate I felt (with somewhat misplaced girlish glee) that I was pretty fantastic too. Despite the gymnastics, the house remained locked.
By this stage, it was nearing dinner time and my lovely friend fed my boys and rang in pizza for the adults. My husband eventually arrived home from work, was entirely confused as to how one locks car keys in the car, and retrieved the vehicle. My knight in shining armour and my beautiful neighbourhood friends: my refuge in any storm.