So! Here’s what happened.
Yesterday morning Sir Monkeypants suggested he take off of work early so we could take the kids swimming. It was supposed to be the last sunny, warm day of the year and we thought we’d hit the outdoor pool across the street from the Carl Sagans before it closed for the year.
Later that afternoon I called Mrs. Carl Sagan, and found out the pool was already closed. I hastily looked around and found out that an indoor pool we’ve been to a couple of times before had family swim from 1 to 4 p.m. But that would mean moving our swim from late afternoon to more mid-afternoon, and Sir Monkeypants would have to leave work extra extra early.
Sir Monkeypants thought about it for a while and eventually decided we should go for it. By this time it was already after 2 p.m., but if I got the kids ready and packed the swim bag so we were ready to race out the door the minute he got home, we’d make it to the pool for 3 and still be able to get in an hour’s swim time.
So I started rushing around packing stuff, and making last minute snacks for all three kids, none of whom had touched their lunch. When Sir Monkeypants arrived, I was still running around, the Captain was crying because he thought he wouldn’t get to go swimming because he wasn’t done his snack, and Gal Smiley was yelling from the bathroom that she needed help with her poop.
So it was the usual chaos.
We soothed kids, we wiped bums, we threw things in bags, we rushed out the door.
And…we left the front door open. Not just unlocked, but AJAR.
AND, we left the sliding door at the back of the house wide open.
This story could have had a very unhappy ending. Obviously, someone could have easily broken in while we were out. Actually, “broken in” is hardly the term — someone could have accepted our welcome invitation to please, come take our stuff and we probably wouldn’t have a legal leg to stand on.
However, that didn’t happen. And on any other day, we’d have been gone for an hour, come home and discovered our mistake, had a good chuckle, and sworn never to tell anyone ever how stupid we’d been.
My mother happened to drop by.
Now, my mother lives in southern Ontario. A seven hour drive away. She is not usually expected to do the pop-in. Yesterday, she decided to pack my older sister, niece, and nephew in the car, check the dog into a doggie motel, and drive up to Ottawa.
That’s totally awesome, except that when they arrived — hopped up on several Tim Horton’s Iced Capps — they found our front door ajar, back door open, half-eaten food still sitting on the table, half-packed bags in the hallway.
My mom immediately thought that one of the kids must be in mortal danger, that we’d had to flee in a huge hurry to take them to the hospital.
Or maybe we’d been forced out of our home by armed kidnappers.
Or maybe we’d been EATEN BY ZOMBIES.
My sister ran over to Queen Charming to ask if they knew anything, and suddenly the Charmings were all worried, too. They checked my laptop and found “strange messages” on it (I can only guess at what they read — my Twitter feed, probably) and then there was mass panic.
I think they were probably mere minutes from calling all the hospitals in town when we got home. I was so excited to see them, but all they could talk about was the horror they’d walked in on. Doors! Ajar! Homes! Unsecured!
I admit, it was stupid of us. Dangerous, and idiotic.
But the worst part is that now, we have a lifetime of pre-bedtime calls warning us to lock the doors. Retellings of the story, over and over, at every family gathering, of our massive stupidity. Years and years of hearing, “I hope you locked your doors!” the minute we arrive at their house for a visit.
I guess we’ll deserve it. Like I said, it could have been worse.