The pink, loosely knit v-neck seemed like a good choice when I had .3 seconds to get dressed for morning Mass. It was heavy enough to keep me warm during the winter that will never end, but its spring color gave me hope for bulbs and flowers before June. It suited me well for most of the day, including the battle for the teddy bear socks between Josie and Rita during the Consecration of the Eucharist as well as the family of five trip to Sam’s Club during which Josie managed to make an avocado explode.
Following dinner, a Sunday night meal of sweet spring flavors: risotto with honey glazed carrots, sweet peas, and balsamic chicken, JIm took the “big” kids to watch their big cousins championship hockey game. “Take an easy night playing with just Rita,” he said. I happily obliged and began to finish the dinner clean up while Rita played the game that seems to never end: peeling an onion in the middle of floor. Before I sound like a worse mom, I didn’t give her the onion, she found it on the floor after it fell and I didn’t take it away mainly because everyone was happy. As I saw her concentration in removing each layer of the onions skin, I thought maybe I could use the facilities with the door closed before she began the ugly onion cry. I’m not sure why I choose this time to close the door, but I guess its something I sort of miss about a life of privacy before kids and she had at least 5 more layers to peel through. Seconds later, as I washed my hands, I heard the pitter patter of my baby following me. Happy to have had the entire half minute to myself I went to open the door only to find it stuck. Like a full blown idiot, I tried nothing skillful or smart and just twisted it as hard as I possibly could. Then, just like in the sitcoms, there I stood with a door knob in my hand but not attached to a door and a now crying baby on the other side. My hands frantically felt my back pocket for my cell phone. “Its still sitting on the kitchen table playing James Taylor dinner music. Expletive,” I thought. “Swear words,” my interior thoughts continued.
A few Hail Mary’s later I realized my only way out was through the window. I peered out my head to the sound of Rita’s cries. “Daddy!” she called out to me because he is her favorite and all she asks for even when I’m the only option. Maybe when she grows up and learns that her mother jumped out of a window to reunite and calm her tears she will like me more.
I calculated the risk. If I stayed and waited for someone to come home Rita might eat poison or my makeup or give herself a bath in the sink and drown. If I started screaming Child Services might take the kids away. Even though Rita may have also just stayed there and cried while trying to jiggle the doorknob while her mom sillily requested her assistance to open a door she can’t even reach, that’s not what a mom thinks about in a moment of very low risk and overly dramatized crisis. Instead, she uses all sense of crazy to determine that the window is the only way.
“I can do this!” I said not at all confident in anything other than at least a mild ankle sprain. Since its a first story I knew I probably wouldn’t die or anything unless I choose the head first approach. But, since its a high first story window and I’m a total of 60 inches tall, its still a fall for a girl like me. So, I took a deep breath, and pretended I was Josie escaping from her crib for the first time. As I hung from the window pane, I encountered a problem of fashionable proportions. The pink sweater. The perfect for a winter’s day during spring, $7.99 Forever 21 find. “This is why there is an age limit on that store!” I grunted. There its knit hung caught on the shudder’s nail, perfectly deterring me from a pretty safe, but still very scary for a big fat wimp like me, jump. With a significant amount of all of my might, I performed a belly-button- to-window- pane strict pull up and broke free from the confines of cheap material that snags when jumping out of a window vowing to have some strong words upon its return to the store. The brief moment of free fall contained 5 billion dramatic thoughts including “thank God for CrossFit and all those pullups I always complain about.” Seriously, thanks for those. My sweater would be seriously ruined without them. Also, I think I would have had a really difficult time explaining why I was hanging by a sweater when the fire department came to rescue me.
I then scared sweet Rita nearly to shock when I returned to her unneeded rescue through a different door than she last found me, muddy and hysterically laughing. She sat picking apart dryer lint from the filter, happy as a baby with free reign to dryer lint.
And the biggest mistake in all of this, in my experience, is not shutting the door or forgetting my cellphone or any of that. Rather, it was telling this story to my husband while neglecting to notice of my being on speaker phone. So with two small children obsessed with the non perilous tale of “mommy jumping out of the window,” I beg for your prayers that neither of them try and recreate it.