This morning my two-year-old locked me out of my house.
I stepped out back on our patio to let our aging Labradors out to relieve themselves. While I usually leave the back door open so that I can hear my kids fighting for the three to five minutes that I am not in the room, today I closed it in response to my husband’s statement that I have unintentionally been letting mosquitos get into the house.
Yes, honey – this is me blaming you for what happened.
Well, kind of.
Okay, not really.
My two-year-old is a bit different than others, or maybe that’s just what every other mom thinks of their child, but regardless, she’s pretty exceptional. She is my third child, and though her official name is Harper Belle, we have dubbed her “Boss Baby” and “Wonderkid”.
Still, she is age-appropriately needy, and once she noticed that I left the family room, she, of course, came looking for me. Typically, she follows me to the back door and asks “I come, too?” and then we wait and talk on the patio while our pups do their thang.
Not today though. Today, the little pumpkin came to the door and locked it; locking our chocolate lab and me out of the house.
So, here’s what happened next.
I told her to unlock the door. She knows how, because I’ve seen her do it before, but instead, she refused. Then I told her to get her older sister or older brother. Guess what she told me? “No.” And, she continuously shook her head “no” at me.
All of my efforts and attempts to lure her to make the right decision were wasted. She was not budging. She put her foot and her booty down and sat on the floor in front of the locked door and stared at me.
Thankfully, I had my phone on me because embarrassingly, as a SAHM and blogger, I am addicted to it, and I need that constant virtual interaction. But, what my phone offered me in this situation was a solution, and so I called my husband who was taking his usual morning potty break to inform him of my unfortunate circumstance. He attempted to yell loud enough from behind the bathroom door so that my older kids could let me in, but they couldn’t hear him.
Eventually, I went to the front door and knocked, and my oldest let me in. My seven-year-old also informed me that my youngest had called for her when I finally walked away.
The whole debacle was like 50% funny and 50% annoying, but it did force me to ponder why it is that our children, or heck, even our spouse lock us out at times. And truthfully, we lock our loved ones out as well.
I’ve shared before my belief that if we, as parents and spouses, are too overbearing toward our family members, we can unintentionally suffocate them; forcing them to dodge us at every opportunity and possibly even hide from us. Although we mean well and have good intentions, our overzealous mannerisms, including our commanding and inquiring word vomit overload, repels them. We, too, can feel the same way when the tables are turned.
There is something very almost paralyzing about a loved one who wants constant touch, attention, tending to, and conversation that causes the other party to want to “lock you out”.
I am 100% an advocate for family members being attentive, active, and engaging as opposed to the extreme alternative, BUT I’ve also noticed that in my home I have more present, talkative, loving, listening, and self-motivated family members when I give them the space to experiment (and possibly/likely) screw up, but do so contently at their pace.
More often than not a little space, a bit of independence, and me not being overbearing with my children or husband surprisingly intrigues them to close our proximity gap, giving me exactly what I want — connectedness.
You see, lockouts aren’t always all that bad.
In my little munchkin’s case, she likely locked me out and left me out there because it was fun to be Mommy’s boss for a bit. And, if I’m being honest that few minutes of distance and laughter at the situation might have been just what I needed to snap me out of crazy mom-mode, which is typically where I operate from during the morning rush.
If your spouse or children (young or old) ever lock you out, take that space and time to contemplate what message they are attempting to convey to you. Look closely to see if the distance they’ve placed between you has to do with their needs or yours, and then go ahead and act accordingly so that the two of you may come back together even stronger.
I just love being raised by my kids (and occasionally, my hubby). I’m learning and growing a lot.
I’ve also gained the knowledge of how crucial it is to keep an extra key hidden on the patio for future lock-outs.