Yesterday, our neighbor invited us to come over in the afternoon and play in their backyard.  She said that she’d put out the water table and the sprinklers, so I dressed Elizabeth in her swim suit and we walked over.

The kids had a great time.  They played together very well, they didn’t really fight at all, and the other mom and I were able to talk to each other and have actual conversations without getting interrupted too many times.

I told Elizabeth that we had fifteen more minutes before we had to leave.  I told her we had ten minutes.  I told her we had five more minutes.  After I told her we had one more minute, I told her to say goodbye to everyone and tell them thank you for having us over to play.  She did.

Then she walked into their back door and turned the key in the lock.

The rest of us were still outside.

Elizabeth and their dog were locked on the other side of the door.  We didn’t have a key.  We coaxed her to open the door.  She laughed (this was the funniest thing she’d seen in a while).  She patted the dog.  She jumped up and down.

We walked away from the door.  The neighbor went to check if she’d left the front door unlocked when she let us in.  She hadn’t.  We played with her two boys in full view of Elizabeth so that she’d get jealous and come out.  We offered her treats.  We ignored her.  We hid on the other side of the yard.

Meanwhile, I am starting to think about what happens if she doesn’t come out.  This is the first time she’s come across a lock with a key in it.  What if she can’t turn it the other way?  I know this neighbor pretty well, but not well enough to break one of her windows.  (Barb, I’d totally break one of your windows.)  Are we going to be calling a locksmith while Elizabeth cries because she’s stuck and the neighbor’s two boys cry because they want dinner?

Eventually, Elizabeth turned the key and opened the door a crack.  You’ve never seen me move so fast to get my foot jammed in that doorway.  I had to pull her out, I think she was planning to go play in their playroom next.

Despite living there their whole lives, my neighbor’s boys have never been able to turn that key.  (They put in the key lock because one of their boys learned to open the bolt lock.)  Elizabeth locked us out the first time she tried.  I am dealing with a Houdini child here.