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Saturday, July 08, 2006

and then this happened

so anyway i realize that--with the exception of these two posts in rapidfire succession--there have been no entries here in about 100 years. there are a few reasons for this which aren't that interesting: one is that my darling bride and child left town for an extended holiday weekend at omi's house (i had an inconvenient work schedule that kept me stuck in new york doing lots of naked-alone-bourbon-drinking-in-the-bathtub, you know how it goes). and the other is the fact that nothing interesting is happening in our thoroughly uninteresting and generally worthless lives sans interest.

still. be that as it may, there is one thing that happened that i would like to tell you about. it happened about a week ago. i was at work. it was about 4 pm. i got a call on my cell phone. it was the nanny. "gee," i said to myself. "i bet the nanny wants me to pick up some milk or maybe some more blueberries, which my daughter can't seem to possibly hoover enough of into her tiny blue-turning face." (incidentally, our little smurfette has been pooping blue for about 12 days now because she will eat nothing except blueberries. at least she's eating ... right?) so i answer the phone. "hello, nanny!" i say with jocular jovial jocularity. "want me to pick something up?!"

nanny: "sob sob cry sob weeping sob cry YOUR BABY cry sob weep weep I'M SORRY snivel weep snuffle sob IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!"
mr nice guy: "i am having difficulty processing what is happening. it appears that you are crying and repeatedly saying my baby's name. once i recover from these five simultaneous coronaries, i will become irrevocably insane. please try to tell me what's happening in english."
nanny: "sob sob THE DOOR IS LOCKED cry weep whimper BABY IS INSIDE."
mr nice guy: "oh. god. no. god."

so there you have it. what happens once has a habit of happening again. history (and hysteria) is doomed to repeat itself. the nanny was outside of our apartment and the baby was inside. and i could hear the baby crying over the phone, through the door, over the understandably extreme distress of my nanny. and so, having been in this selfsame situation before, i took a deep, calming breath and murmured to myself: HOLY SHIT MY CHILD, WHO CAN WALK, IS LOCKED INSIDE THE APARTMENT ALONE WITH FLYING JAGGED KNIVES ON FIRE AND SWEET-TASTING DRANO A-BECKONING FROM EVERY WET OUTLET!!!!!!!!!! and, of course, my wife who i love with a burning flame of love-fire and adoring love, is not answering any of her 13 phones or email addresses. as usual. she is none the wiser. lucky wife.

so i tell my boss as calmly as possible: "um, i have to go home a little early because my nanny seems to have locked my INDEPENDENTLY MOBILE CHILD alone in the apartment alone without supervision and alone." my boss, who i will love forever, said "ok, bye."

by the way, it takes me at least 45 minutes to get home. no matter what.

so i left the office and i ran in circles like a meth-addicted headless chicken in search of a taxi. it being rush hour, i found no free taxi. i did, however, notice that something deep inside my wounded knee at some point went CRUNCHCRACKLEPAIN but i was too stoked with adrenaline and dadfury to care. so i descended into the bowels of our fine cellular-free subway system. i caught an express train going in more-or-less the right direction up to a point. when that point was reached, i got off the train and ran up the stairs to the street (feeling and, more worryingly, HEARING my knee go click-clack-crack-fuckyou-click-asshole-crunch-eatme as i ran) in search of another taxi. i found a taxi. it was 542 degrees outside and because i was en route from work, i was wearing like 9 layers of clothes. i was soaked from every pore. (people, do you want to know how many pores i have? no. you don't. i have a lot of pores. and they are all too eager to deliver sweat directly into my 9 layers of work clothes at a moment's notice.) as i hopped into the cab, i had my 6th heart attack in 20 minutes as i envisioned my unsupervised daughter eating fresh cat feces.

so i get into the back seat and i say BROOKLYN PARK SLOPE FAST BIG TIP NOW. and the cab driver, i swear on my own future grave, says verrrrrrrrrrry slooooooooooowly "aw, man, i just came from there. no." and my head, right before it explodes, manages to say I WILL PAY YOU MORE MONEY THAN YOU HAVE EVER SEEN IN ONE PLACE AND I WILL EVEN DRIVE THERE MYSELF AND PAY ALL SPEEDING TICKETS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET ME TO BROOKLYN OR I WILL KILL EVERYONE YOU HAVE EVER LOOKED AT.

and he goes "ok, ok." and he starts driving. i look at my cell phone and i notice that i have one voicemail, which i am convinced is from the morgue. reluctantly i check the message and it's my neighbor. and he says "mr nice guy, CALM DOWN. we broke into your apartment. EVERYONE IS FINE SO YOU CAN RELAX. also, i hate you."

as i begin weeping uncontrollably, i try calling the nanny. she answers her phone. but she is STILL CRYING! hmm. calmly, i say "so everyone is ok, right? and by everyone i mean my daughter and if she's not i will ruin you." and she says "yes, she's fine. she's laughing. she has no idea anything went wrong -- the whole thing lasted 10 minutes. i am so sorry." and at this point it becomes possible, instantly, to become the most magnanimous dude this side of warren buffet and say "oh, no worries. i've done the same thing once before. we're all human. ha ha!" of course, if things had turned out differently, i would currently be serving 914 consecutive life sentences.

so, that happened. when i got home and tipped the recalcitrant cabbie $800, i found the baby sitting in her bath, splashing away. the nanny was still visibly frazzled, so i gave her a tall glass of wine. i hugged my daughter. everyone was alive and healthy and alive and together and alive. there have been moments in my life when i thought i knew what it meant to feel relieved. i was wrong. this is what relief -- pure, gluttonous relief -- feels like. relief is delicious. i could eat it all day. my baby was just fine. hallelujah, or however you spell it.

ok, so it's a week later and i still can't really walk without limping and my knee is quite possibly an official goner, but you know what the best part of it all was? i got to go home from work early. all in all, parenthood is awesome.


Anonymous Pete said...

Can you "Hide-a-key" or even give a neighbor you trust a key? Actually, I recently saw an add for a combination lock for your front door. I only ask because we keeping thinking about this exact scenario. Thanks for the motivation to get the job done.

7/08/2006 9:55 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Fantasy said...

Okay, that entry had me on the edge of my seat and I am SO glad it had a happy ending. My 10-month-old son just started walking I haven't even considered the fact that he could be locked in our house to do with whatever he wanted. I'm getting like 20 keys made and hiding them in my yard stat!

7/08/2006 10:25 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Um, does it not concern you how easy it was to break into your apartmant? LOL

7/08/2006 10:51 PM  
Blogger stay-at-home mommy said...

I feel your fear. I've been there. I drove from my sister-in-law's house to my own in about 10 minutes (it's a 30 minute drive) when my then 15 month old son locked himself in our house. My husband was looking through the window in the door, trying to get him to unlock the deadbolt, with no luck. It's the worst fear ever. When I got home, my husband, dad and neighbors were all standing on my front porch, watching me run like a madwoman from the driveway to the house to unlock the door. My son was laughing and playing in the porch (thank the lord). One neighbor offered my husband his couch to sleep on...

7/09/2006 12:03 AM  
Blogger Moo Moo said...

Oh and today.. our 11 month old, was sitting at the edge of the stairs (going down about a 20 ft drop) -- the gate was broken, and then when I turned.. she looked over at me and smiled and crawled away from the stairs and back to her toys... I had about 2343849384934893 heart attacks.

7/09/2006 12:25 AM  
Blogger onyx said...

Damn, I was having heart attacks while reading this. When I was done I went ahead and hid a key someplace outside the house.
What wories me is that my daughter is getting tall enough to reach the locks of the doors inside the house, and we have no keys for them.
I do, however, have a crowbar and are not afraid to use it. On the door that is.

7/09/2006 2:50 PM  
Blogger The other me said...

Did you get that lead leg feeling? The slow motion why can't I get there quicker thing? Nightmare...glad all is well.

7/09/2006 7:04 PM  
Anonymous samantha Jo Campen said...

I loved the dialogue you had going between you and the nanny. Laughed my patootie off.

You're a damn good writer and the ONLY reason I wasn't a nervous wreck was because you started the post with a long paragraph about how boring your life is AND THEN went into something that happened. I had faith you'd be more straight forward had something horrible happened. So instead of heart attacks I was laughing at the colorful scenarios you created.

Get a retina scanner for the door and hook it up to everyone you know. Then you'll be set!

7/09/2006 8:05 PM  
Anonymous marian said...

How do you manage to be gone for eons at a time and then redeem yourself with a tour de force like this one? Bravo!

This falls under that "you will cry, but not all of your tears" thing, right? Geez, my heart is still pounding.

7/10/2006 10:39 AM  
Anonymous dreamouse said...

Good Lord, that may have been the scariest thing I've ever read. I'm going to hide a key in my garage as soon as I get home.

7/10/2006 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Monkeyaker said...

I swallow a key every morning, so that I always have it "with" me, just in case the need arises.

7/10/2006 11:56 AM  
Anonymous desertjade said...

Wow! I am glad everything is ok! Now that my heart has stopped pounding... you really know how to recall these situations. It was like watching a rescue 911 show, and every time, you think the person is not going to make it, but for the love of GOD, why would they put it on the show, if they weren't going to survive!!!

7/10/2006 12:25 PM  
Anonymous desertjade said...

Wow! I am glad everything is ok! Now that my heart has stopped pounding... you really know how to recall these situations. It was like watching a rescue 911 show, and every time, you think the person is not going to make it, but for the love of GOD, why would they put it on the show, if they weren't going to survive!!!

7/10/2006 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wait til Baby Nice Guy learns to turn the doorknob by herself (major coronary and sooner than you think). My nephew was doing this when he was two. On the knee front, where the heck is Vinnie Three Fingers with your replacement kneecap?

7/10/2006 1:40 PM  
Blogger Waya said...

My heart was in my throat while reading this until the end. Glad everything's fine, thank goodness for YOU!! Or mrs. nice guy would have you for lunch!! ;-)

7/10/2006 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That makes me very worried about having babies...

7/11/2006 5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HIDE A KEY! - even if it is in the ground outside. Once is an accident. More than that???? Good lesson for everyone. Thanks.

7/11/2006 1:34 PM  
Blogger Sadaf Trimarchi said...

I know good childcare is hard to find, but are a more forgiving soul than I am. And trying to console the nanny afterwards too...I really think I might have lost it.

I didn't quite catch what caused the lock out in the first place?

7/12/2006 11:26 AM  
Blogger bernalgirl said...

In reality I come here mostly for entertainment because I find you such a fabulous writer and story teller. But I am so sorry you had to go through this. I once got a "your daughter"-through-tears call (it all turned out fine) and the five heart attacks? Not funny. You so need a drink.

7/14/2006 12:46 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Maybe you should add a locksmith to your speed-dial ;-)

7/14/2006 9:59 AM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Between the blueberries and the break-in, you just gave me major flashbacks.

We locked our older daughter in the apartment one evening when both of us took the garbage to the chute. Couldn't interrupt our precious conversation long enough to let ONE person take out the trash. The door slammed shut and locked. Thankfully, our doorman helped us break in, and our daughter was asleep in her crib. Not nearly as nerve-wracking as the situation you faced.

So your neighbor can break into your apartment. Good to know.

7/14/2006 11:04 PM  
Blogger The Laundress said...


can me and my daughter become your alterna-nannies?

She is very responsible and I never misplace the keys.

7/17/2006 10:06 PM  
Blogger jess said...

wow. things come around full circle, huh? this was the first (f-ing hilarious) post i ever read of yours was when you did the same thing. its like you'd almost be better off undoing the automatiic lock on yoru door. athough it does give you such good material for your blog...

7/21/2006 3:44 PM  

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