First you need a little background information, which is that the computer room is off the hallway, and the door swings open into the computer room. The frame around that door has been weird since we moved in: it comes gradually unpried, but hammering it back down doesn't seem to help, and some parts WON'T hammer down, and some parts pry up AS you hammer other parts down, so there's always weird gaps and we're aware that something is amiss or warped or something, but neither of us is much of a fix-it type.
So, okay, what happened was that I was very crabby with the constant interrupting (not "We need basic care!" interruptions, but more the "He said I was THREE but I'm FIVE!" and "He's THINKING that I'm a baby!!" interruptions), and I told the children I was going to shut the door so I could finish proofreading, but I didn't SHUT it so much as SLAM it with a SHOVE, and the part of the frame that's been kind of broken suddenly broke significantly MORE, so that the door went a little bit through the frame the wrong way, toward the hallway, and got completely wedged: I couldn't pull it back toward me at all.
I said to the children that this is one of many reasons we don't slam doors, and I asked them to try flinging their little bodies against it. That didn't work either, though they enjoyed it and wanted to keep trying. I tugged on the doorknob some more, but no. Elizabeth said the little gold thing was in the way, and I said "Do you mean the little gold square right next to the door knob?" and she said yes, but I still wasn't confident we were talking about the same thing so I drew a little picture and slid it under the door and she said yes that was the thing.
See how that would be? The door pushed through the frame, and then that little thing clicked across the edge of the frame and held the door where it was, so I couldn't pull it back toward me. I turned the doorknob back and forth, but Elizabeth reported the little thing didn't move. I asked the kids to try pushing the little thing in, but they said it wouldn't move. I tried moving the lock on the doorknob from unlocked to locked and back again; no effect. So I tried taking off the doorknob. First I used the tip of a scissors, but then I thought to check my desk and sure enough I had a little flathead screwdriver I hadn't put away the last time I'd used it, so yay for being kind of untidy.
But after I took off the doorknob, the little thingie was still sticking out, still preventing the door from being pulled back toward me, and still unmovable. I looked to see if the hinges had screws I could remove, but no, not on my side of the door.
I sat back and evaluated the situation. On the up side, I wasn't shut away from any infants or toddlers: all three children would be fine and could understand the situation. I was also indoors, and could talk to the children easily through the door. I would not need to resort to, say, having a child call the fire department, and having firefighters break me out (*CRINGE*).
Also, I had on my side of the door my computer AND the remains of my box of Russell Stover Bloopers. Also, I'd given in to the siren song of the leftover fried rice at 10:00, so I wasn't going to be uncomfortably hungry. I also had a full basket of dirty laundry I could pee in if necessary: the last year or so of dealing with cat-peed bedding has made this seem like a normal thought to have. In fact, it was a little tempting not to even try real hard with the door. "Oops, guess I'll have to play on my computer and eat chocolates all day! Sorry, children!"
On the down side, it was less than an hour until time to start lunch so the twins could go to kindergarten. They would have to miss kindergarten. Cheesing, yes; disastrous, no. But I wouldn't be able to call them in absent, because there is no phone in the computer room.
Oh! I didn't have a phone, but I had EMAIL! I could email my parents! They are right up the street! It would be embarrassing to say that I got stuck because I had a flash of temper and slammed a door, but they DO remember my teenaged years so... Plus, I'm telling YOU ALL, so clearly I'm not THAT excruciatingly embarrassed. And my dad could PUSH the door into the room even if I couldn't PULL it, and he could probably figure out what to do with the little doorknob thingie too. ...Oh wait. My parents are gone all day to an appointment. I could email Paul, but it's more than an hour's drive and then we'd lose half a day of his pay.
This is where I spent some more time yanking with renewed effort on the doorknob, wondering if I could channel panic into some extra strength. (No.) I also fiddled some more with where the doorknob used to be, seeing if I could figure out how to remove or tamper with the mechanism that was keeping the little doorknob thing in its locked position. (No.) I also used the screwdriver and a pair of scissors to see if I could pry the door back in my direction at all. (No.) I also flung myself at it for awhile, to see if I could push it all the way through to the hall. (No.)
I turned my attention to the window. I could easily remove the screen and climb out. But we have a raised ranch, also known as a split foyer; whatever you call it, the gist is that the first floor is 1.5 stories off the ground, not the usual 1. And right under our window is the branchy remains of a shrub: not enough to support a descent, just enough to make it dangerously impaley.
One window over, our ladder leaned against the house. I spent a little time wishing I'd slammed the door to THAT room. Then I told the twins to get on their coats and boots. We spent fifteen minutes with me leaning out the window trying to move the ladder using remote twin-power, but it was a total failure: it was too heavy and bulky for them, and they couldn't really move it using the anti-having-a-ladder-fall-on-them positions I was advocating.
I looked at the clock. It was 20 minutes until I would need to start the pre-kindergarten routine. I had to decide: were we staying home from kindergarten and having a weird afternoon where I would have the children forage for what food they could manage to get for themselves? Or was I going to confirm my long-standing theory that if I REALLY WANTED TO I could break a locked door down just like in a movie---with the understanding that I would do some serious damage to the frame, since I would be pushing the door OUT (the way it doesn't usually swing at all) instead of IN like in the movies.
I tested my theory. Slamming into it worked a little, but not enough. I remembered that kicking was better for those of us with our body strength concentrated lower. I kicked, then kicked higher and harder, then kicked higher-still and harder-still, and I broke the whole frame out of the wall and I was out.
I emailed Paul at work and he asked why I didn't just take the pins out of the hinges. "Pins"?
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