Monday, June 20, 2011

Been locked out, been locked in

Our trip to Portugal had a very strange theme. Locking ourselves in and out of places. Not THAT big of a deal.

Except, of course, when your child happens to have type 1 diabetes.

The first incident happened to Fred. He was getting Elise into the car after visiting one of his many, many relatives (seriously, I think I met 30 "cousins" while I was there). Elise was strapped into her car seat and Fred threw the keys onto the driver seat, then shut the door.

Only then did he realize that the doors were locked. Crap.

What made this situation so bad is that lunch time was fast approaching. Elise is on NPH, which peaks around lunch time. So what we had was a child locked in a car, with insulin active and NO FOOD.

Fred tried to get Elise to unlock the door with her toes (she inherited my monkey toes). She couldn't quite do it. Fred started to panic a bit, which for anyone else is a full-blown freak-out. At home, Elise can unbuckle herself from her car seat, but this one wasn't so easy for her.

Finally she was able to Harry-Houdini her arm out and unlock the door. Whew, crisis averted.

The second incident happened at the condo we stayed at in the Algarve. For some reason, pretty much every door inside a Portuguese house has a key (think cool, olden-times looking key. I guess it's the equivalent to our push-button locks). I was running Elise's bath and walked out of the bathroom the get something. She shut the door and managed to lock herself in.

This situation wasn't as bad as the first, but I had just given her her bedtime shot, which meant she needed to start eating her snack in the next 45 minutes or so. Elise tried and tried, but couldn't unlock the door. And the space under the door was too narrow to pass the key through.

I was starting to freak out, wondering where the hell we would find a locksmith at 8:00 at night in the teeny tiny town we were staying in. We told Elise that she HAD to get the key to turn and after about 15 minutes, she was free.

The final incident happened at the same condo. Portuguese front doors are funny things. If you close them... they latch. It's not locked, you still have to turn the key something like 4 times to lock a Portuguese door (as well as mutter some incantations, I think), but it is latched And if you don't have the key, you are up a certain brown creek with no paddle.

What happened to us is, I thought Fred had the key, he though I had the key, I shut the door, locking us out of the condo at 8:00 at night with the kids, the clothes on our backs, our wallets, the insulin (thank God!), and Elise's snack.

At this point I'm wondering if we've pissed off whatever diety is over locked doors.

We placed a panicked call to the owner who told us the closest keys are in Lisbon, about 3 hours drive (one way) away. But she does have a caretaker who might be able to break into the condo. It's not a crime if the owner tells you to do it, right?

After about 30 minutes, we were back inside, and the condo only had some very minor damage.

The rest of the trip, I lived in fear of closing a door. I even made up my own pithy saying:

Never close a Portuguese door if you don't have the key.


  1. Good Hell, woman! I think you need a necklace to keep your key around your neck! Hope your trip was awesome!!!

  2. Good Gravy! I can't imagine the frustration level by the time you left. Like traveling with kids, not mention D, isn't bad have to deal with DOORS! Um, that should be the easiest part!!!

    OK, this is word verification is 'explores'....said in a totally thick spanish accent (close enough!) makes this post even funnier to me!!

  3. oh wow! I am so glad everything worked out!

  4. WOW! That is insane! That is so crazy...maybe the kids need a lesson on locking doors LOL

  5. Who needs a key? You have your own little locksmith, Elise. Smart girl.

  6. my, oh, my...what a trip! I am sure you guys had an amazing time, but I can't imagine the frustration of locking yourself out/in like that. I would have been absolutely terrified especially with the bathroom one, something about kids locked in bathrooms just freaks me out! Glad you're back where you know how to lock the doors when you want them locked!

  7. Loved the Crowded House title but my stomach knotted reading this today! You must have aged more each time this happened. It's one of my on going nightmares. Frank locked somewhere and me unable to get to him.

  8. Omg! I was here with racing heart for you just reading that!

  9. a Crowded House song is in my head! I am wicked paranoid about doing what you did..closing the car door and locking the keys AND addison inside! Same with our house! When are playing outside i always double and triple check the doors to make sure they are unlocked in case the wind blows them closed. Oy! Glad it all worked out!!

  10. Oh my word. That's insane!

    Maybe if you sleep for a week, the adventures will slow down.

    Ummm...then again, maybe they would triple when you wake up!

  11. crowded house lyrics ftw!

    also, eeeeeeeekkkkk! glad you all survived!


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