Locked in

April 18, 2012

Many families have a story of a kid who gets locked into a bathroom or other small room. While parents worry and work out ways to rescue their child, most can only imagine how frightened their child must be and call assurances through the closed door. Some children are not afraid, however, and try to help. Chuckie tried to help free himself from the locked bathroom while Grandpa John groaned, and true to form, Grandma Beanie got a case of the giggles.

Grandma Beanie was in her last trimester of pregnancy with Tommy and was resting on the couch when two-year-old Chuckie found himself locked in the bathroom. She watched and offered suggestions to Grandpa John as he tried to get Chuckie to unlock the door.

“Unlock the door, Chuckie,” Grandpa John said through the door. “Chuckie, can you see the little button on the door? Push that button.”

“Ya,” said tiny Minnesota Chuckie in his toddler northern accent. Though we were living in Indiana, the older siblings still retained the ya like ma, and about as aboot they had picked up while living in Minnesota in 1961, but they were true Hoosiers before school started in 1962. The doorknob wiggled but there was no click. The door was not unlocked.

“Can you see the little button, Chuckie?” Grandpa John asked, “please push it.”

“Ya,” said Chuckie, and turned on the water.

“Chuckie, Chuckie, please push the button,” said Grandpa John.

“Ya,” said Chuckie, and turned off the water.

“No, no, Chuckie, the button on the door,” said Grandpa John.

Grandma Beanie and all of the rest of us watched Grandpa John as he tried to rescue Chuckie from the locked bathroom, delivering his pleas to Chuckie by speaking under the door and through the small keyhole opening near the knob. After Chuckie had said, “Ya.” and turned the water on and off in response to Grandpa John’s requests for him to unlock the door, Grandma Beanie began to get a case of her involuntary giggles. Once begun, she couldn’t stop. Those giggles had to run their course.

The tension became too much for five-year-old Johnny and he began to cry while Grandma Beanie giggled. The noise that the two were making frustrated Grandpa John as he continued to try and talk to Chuckie through the door.

Grandma Beanie asked Johnny what was wrong, and he told her,

“My little brother is stuck in the bathroom, my Daddy is mad and my Mommy won’t stop laughing!”

That summed everything up very nicely and tickled Grandma Beanie all the more while she lay hugely pregnant on the couch. She could clearly see the ridiculousness of many situations in life.

While Johnny cried, Grandpa John tried one last time to get Chuckie to unlock the bathroom door.

“Push the little button, Chuckie.”

“Ya.” He flushed the toilet.

As Grandma Beanie laughed even louder at the toilet flush and Johnny continued to cry, Grandpa John pulled out his toolbox and used a screwdriver and hammer to remove the pins holding the door on its hinges. As he pulled the door away and leaned it against a nearby wall, out walked a triumphant Chuckie saying,

“Daddy! Me out!”

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