I’ve always heard horror stories of two-year-olds escaping from the house unnoticed, getting into mommy’s make-up and making themselves “pretty” and the like. Truth be told, I only half believed them. Really, how could a barely verbal child open a door and manage to get halfway down the block without being noticed? Allow me to demonstrate:
Picture, if you will, a regular day in the Mediocre household. Daddy is at work, Mommy is home with the girls alternating between laundry, reading books, and building so many block towers I’m on the verge of driving a pencil through my eye just for a change of scenery. A knock at the door, and I head over to see who it is. There stands a man whom I’ve never met, holding my 18-month-old. Wait. HOLDING MY BABY? A million thoughts begin to circulate: He’s kidnapping her. No he’s not, he’s bringing her home. So he kidnapped her then brought her home? No, that can’t be right. Cue the stranger.
“Excuse me, but I found her wandering through the parking lot next door and figured you didn’t know she was missing.” “Oh my goodness, thank you so much! I have no idea how she got out. I’m so sorry!” My face felt like it was going to burn off. There goes my mother of the year award. I put down my precious little escape artist, and found that the back door off the playroom was wide open. Goo had opened the door and made her way across the yard, to the church parking lot next door. Do I get points for the fact that she was trying to go to church? I’m thinking, “no,” on that one…
So the stories are true. Toddlers can escape from the house unnoticed, even if you’re a good parent. I now know to make sure that the doors are locked at all times, and in my “I learned my lesson and now have everything under control”
pride idiocy, think that someday that’ll make a funny story. But not as funny as the next one:
It is the wee hours of the morning. The sun is trying to come up over the horizon, but like me, it’s probably hoping for an extra hour of sleep. What a futile wish. In the still dark bedroom, my husband says to me, “Do you smell nail polish?”
Sniff. Panic. Yes, I do smell nail polish. I whip my head around to see my little angel, standing next to my head, covered in hot pink nail polish. She had sneaked out of bed, and rather than waking us up and saying, “Good morning,” she decided to get the bottle on top of my dresser, open it, dump it out all over my comforter, and finger paint her entire body. It took 40 minutes of soaking in a warm bath, alternating with light applications of nail polish remover, to get her back to normal. “Morning Mommy! I just thought I’d remind you that I have the stealth of a ninja, in case you had forgotten.”
Thus far, barely two years into her life, she has established herself as an escape artist, and a ninja. Initiate phase 3: lock-picking. Okay, so she didn’t actually “pick” a lock. She had been getting into the art supply cabinet. Every. Single. Day. We bought a child lock that failed to keep her out, and after a couple of purchases, found one that even the Nerd and I had a hard time undoing. Thankfully, Goo had a hard time too. But I forget, this is a toddler who, undoubtedly, will one day rule the world. So she views the lock not as a deterrent, but a challenge. I walked into the room the next day to find her, once again, in the art cabinet. Because she had removed the knob from the door. No knob, no child lock. It was a perfect plan, executed with perfect accuracy.
So consider yourselves warned. Take cover. Build storm cellars. Do whatever it takes to stay safe in the days ahead. I have no choice but to face the
monster angel head on, day after day. Good thing she’s so freakin’ cute.