It started out as a very normal September evening and then, 90 minutes later, I looked at my husband and said, "What just happened tonight?"
Around 6:00 one Friday evening I was doing the dishes after supper. Mini Me was using the restroom under my husband's supervision. Little Lady was playing on the porch. I can see our porch through the window above the sink, and beyond that, our backyard.
All of a sudden I saw a group of five teenagers jump over our fence in the backyard and run toward our porch. As I dropped the skillet I was washing in the sink in surprise, they ran into the narrow spot between our porch and garage - the gate leading to the front yard was latched and slowed them down. They pounded on our door... in frustration?... and Little Lady started howling in terror. I yelled, "Hey!" and scrambled toward my screaming baby. My husband rushed out of the bathroom but by this time I had changed direction and was already out the door. The group had ripped part of our fence out of the cement in their hurry to get through the latch and I was furious.
I screamed something profound like, "This is private property! What are you doing? What are you doing?" They kept going, although they slowed down at my yells. I knew my husband was with Little Lady, calming her down, and I kept advancing. "Why are you running in my yard and pounding on our house? I'll call the police!" I hollered. I am sure I was a formidable presence with a dishwashing glove still on one hand and bubbles all over my shirt from dropping the skillet, and barefoot to boot. A girl in the group picked up a handful of our landscaping rocks, turned to me, and yelled an expletive... and the raging mama bear came tearing out of me. Jump our fence? Pound on our door? Rip out the gate? Make my baby cry and have the nerve to swear at me and then threaten to throw a rock? I won't take that.
"Get back here right now." I yelled like an indignant mommy. I don't know why. I'm sure our neighbors were really impressed with my composure at this point.
I then noticed that the last member of the group, kind-of a tagalong guy is carrying a walkie talkie. I realized that he was not actually "with" the group. I wondered if it was some kind of high school game or scavenger hunt (we live close to the high school). I kept hollering at the group to come back... why? So I could lecture them? I don't know, but I was ticked. They were hesitantly walking out of our yard, still yelling swear words at me. The walkie talkie guy looked at me helplessly and told me they are a group from the nearby home for troubled teens and they have escaped. He can't come back here right now. He has to follow them.
In retrospect, I should have backed off at this point. I suppose he was trying to control the situation the best he could but I could still hear Little Lady crying and now Mini Me asking what happened. I spouted off to the guy about keeping those kids under control and why did you let them run through our yard and... all kinds of other angry things... The group kept walking and he had to follow. I guess one guy with a walkie talkie couldn't corral all four of them.
I stormed back into the house and tried to soothe Little Lady while my husband, equally furious, called the children's home. Yes, they knew a group had escaped, and yes, they were trying to stop them, and yes, law enforcement was involved. It took my husband and I a few minutes to calm down after he got off the phone. While it was just a group of kids trying to run away, we felt like our privacy and safety had been violated.
That night my husband had planned to take Mini Me to the high school football game and they were now a little late to meet a friend that was going, too. My husband quickly put Mini Me in his truck as I was still trying to get Little Lady to smile, and they take off. I realized that I didn't give Mini me a kiss goodbye and I dashed back out into the driveway to do so. They were already in the street, and I was still barefoot but I ran out there and gave him a big smooch through the truck window. I headed back to the porch door. It was locked. Little Lady had been in my arms the entire time so she and I ran back out to the street but the truck was already gone. My cell phone was not in my pocket. We were locked out.
I knew I should catch my husband before he got into the football game but I couldn't run that fast with Little Lady on my hip or in bare feet (or, really, at all) so I ran and pounded on the neighbor's door in hopes I could call my husband in time. No answer. I ran two doors down to another neighbor. They were there, and I reached my husband on the phone. Apologizing profusely, I told him I locked myself out somehow - in the frantic moments of our evening - and he had to come back and let us in. He had just parked the truck, but of course he would come back. I thanked the neighbors and walked back to our house, Little Lady on my hip.
I saw the side door of our house... wide open.
Oooooooo my. I thought I had run out of the porch door, and tried to open the porch door to get back in the house. The porch door was locked. The side door was not. I had run out the side door to give Mini Me a kiss and it was still wide open.
And this is where I am not proud to say that my little daughter saw me enact a lie. I went inside the side door and locked it, then went back out into the driveway. I knew by this point my husband had already left the game, lost a good parking spot, and was probably almost back to our house. I didn't want to make his efforts totally futile and frankly, I didn't want to look more crazy than I already had that evening!
Sure enough, he pulled in just as we sat on the step to wait, the door freshly locked. I unlocked the door with his keys, give everyone a fresh kiss goodbye, and they are off. I silently prayed some thanksgiving that Little Lady can't rat me out yet.
It was only 6:27. And I had to finish the dishes.
After that, our evening proceeded normally. The little girl and the mommy liar enjoyed some play time together and we were sitting down for a snack at 7:25 when I hear something at the back door. Of course my first reaction was that group of kids was back again and I ran to the porch, temper ablaze.
I saw Mini Me's red-rimmed eyes and my husband's sad face. They had both been so excited to go to the game... what happened?
The "remascot" happened. Right before the varsity game started, the team mascot got a little too excited a little too close to Mini Me. I'm told that some hysterical crying and severe trembling ensued. Not to be calmed from his fear of the mascot, the boys had to come home before the game even started. They were both disappointed, I think, but my husband thought it best not to push it with Mini Me's fear especially after the chaos of our yard invasion that evening.
Uninvited visitors, a fake lock-out, and a mascot scare was not what I thought our lovely September evening would entail. And now, since I have blabbed my lock-out fib to the Internet, I need to fess up to my husband...
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