It all started with the air-conditioner. It was hot and muggy, so I installed the portable in the boys' bedroom. They observed that it was "vewy wowud" and "don' need it mommy", so I uninstalled it and dragged it away. Then I opened the connecting door between their room and ours, as our window unit can manage both rooms in a pinch. I turned on their fan and left them to fall asleep.
A few hours later I checked in on them before we went to bed. The air from the open door didn't seem to be doing anything so I shut it - I thought they might be scared if they woke up in the middle of the night and saw it open.
2:00am. I wake up enough to hear crying, and to poke Daddy with my foot. Then I fall blissfully back to sleep. He heads in to find two very hot little boys. Apparently Mommy clicked on the heat instead of the fan. It was the lowest setting, but still... Lots of water, snuggling and cool facecloths later he tucked them back in and went back to bed, carefully closing the childproof door behind him.
They woke up again a short while later, dismantled the child-proof doorknob, and went downstairs. At this point their stories verge. Max says he was "goin' ouwside," thus providing an explanation for the half-unbolted front door. Vanh was "cweanin," as he found a broom, used it to hook down everything hung up out of reach, and emptied a storage bench. Eventually they headed back upstairs and passed out in their beds. I found them this morning, door wide open, sprawled out and sound asleep.
Okay, so, I understand why this is so bad. Especially after the first time. I would like to point out that the other situation occurred under completely different circumstances... and also to call your attention to the fact that if you analyze the above report you will note that those boys were checked on every two hours throughout the night. What I am concerned about, what makes me have those "Wouldn't a good mother be more upset about this?" feelings, is that imagining them getting the front door open at 3AM doesn't scare me. Maybe it's just that I know them, but I don't believe they would have come to any harm. There are no wild animals on our street. I believe humanity is such that even the sort of person wandering around at 3am would be kind to lost little babies, or at worst ignore them, although the likelihood of them even encountering anyone at that time would have been very small. We live on a very quiet side street, and the idea that they would go out into the middle of it and wait for a vehicle to come along is ridiculous. They would have poked about a bit and come back inside. Even if they had suddenly developed a wandering streak, I'm not even sure that the police would charge us, once they saw the trail of deconstructed child-proofing, and had a chance to learn that we are responsible parents...
Not to say I'm not very, very thankful that none of that happened - and there is a new hook-and-eye lock on the outside of their bedroom door.
And not to say that it wasn't a "bad parent" thing to do - but I feel a lot worse about the sunburns because I didn't follow the instructions on the sunscreen properly. Sigh. I read a mommy blog post a while ago about mommy guilt, and I was all excited until I realized she was talking about isolated examples, not the pretty much daily experiences I go through - anyone else?
3 months ago