I don't know whose idea it was for me live alone with a 2 year old in a foreign country. But it's a BAD BAD idea.
You've heard about the lock-out incident and I will give you the details in this blog, but what you don't know about are the events preceding that event and following that event. I'm about ready to throw the towel in.
Because I wanted life to get back to normal as quickly as possible, I have been throwing myself into my "to-do" list. Since I will be starting classes soon, I wanted to have as much done as possible so I could focus on that. We spent Sunday recovering from the flight, did major grocery shopping and I put the tree up. But for the most part, we took it easy and the day was uneventful. That was our last uneventful day.
I woke Eric up at 9am (tried for 8am - but even I couldn't make it up) to try to get us back on schedule, even though we had been up in the middle of the night. I had lots of running around to do. Eric was tired and cranky It may be the only time in my life where I wake him up and hear him say "night-night!" The day went well and I got some things accomplished. I came home and decided to cook up some ribs. I looked up on the Internet the best way to cook them in the oven and followed the directions to a T. I added some carrots and I was ready to eat! The ribs were not fall-off-the-bone tender, but they had cooked slightly longer than the suggested time, so I figured they were fine. I tried a carrot. The carrot wasn't tender either, but I figured vegetables probably take a little longer to get tender than it takes the meat to cook. I fixed our plates. Thankfully, Eric didn't touch his. I had a rib and a half. I considered throwing them back in the oven to see if I can get them more tender because they were awfully chewy. And even though the carrots were still on the crunchy side, I still thought they were good, so I ate quite a few. It wasn't an hour later, I was sick to my stomach. It only took one trip to the bathroom to realize the ribs were undercooked. I threw them back in the oven, and let my body finish "cleansing" itself! Thankfully I wasn't sick really bad, and my guess is the raw juices had not cooked out of the carrots. I cooked the ribs until the meat fell off this time. Haven't eaten them since - but they ARE done! I wasn't off to such a great start, but it was just a minor setback.
Tuesday I decided to stay in and get as many indoor chores finished as possible. We got up at 9am again, despite the fact that we had been up for 3 hours in the middle of the night before. I spent all day, cleaning, organizing, and unpacking. The house looked great! And I was so sore. I still had a lot to do as far as organizing goes, but I decided anything left could wait. All I needed to do was take trash out. So I managed to sneak out of the house to take the first bag, but Eric caught me leaving with the second bag. I heard him cry as I left, but knew he would be ok until I got back. But I guess he was angrier about me leaving than I realized - because he locked me out. I banged on the door encouraging him to unlock it, but he just cried and cried. I couldn't get him to unlock it. So I buzzed up to my friends and asked if they could break into my house. Unfortunately, while we have turn lock, they turn and lock very similar to bolt locks. It's impossible to get into. Fortunately, we're on the first floor. So we decided to try to break in through a window. Unfortunately, German windows are very different from American windows. There are 2 ways to open a German window. They have handles. It you keep the handle pointed down, it is in a locked position. If you turn the handle to face the left, the window swings wide open. If you turn the handle up, the top of the window tilts down. Since it is winter, most of my windows were closed. Fortunately (don't you love that?) I had opened Eric's window so the top was tilted down. His curtains were open and we could see in. He had given up and was laying on his bedroom floor waiting for me to get in. My friend's husband, got up in the window and tried to figure a way to open it wide enough to crawl through. Eric flipped out seeing this "stranger". He slammed his head on the floor, forgetting that our floors aren't carpeted! So then he was hysterical. In pain, no mommy, and strange ppl standing in his window hollering at him to unlock the door. We tried to call DPW (a service that helps with these sort of things) but they were closed. We were told the fire department would unlock the door, I just needed to show ID. But my ID was in the house! So we had to cal the MP's. Jenny called for me and bore the barrage of questions. "Why is the 2 year old in the house alone?" "How does a 2 year old lock a door?" "Do we need to file child endangerment papers?" I was ballistic by this point, because i didn't know if I was going to be charged with anything or if CPS was gonna show up. But at least someone was on the way to open my door. So we waited. And waited. And waited. The wait got so long we figured we had better try to break in again. Josh (friend's husband) looked at the window again and decided if he had the right tools he could break in. My neighbor from across the hall suggested we just break the window and have someone come fix it the next day. Just before attempting the big break-in, the MP's showed up - almost 30 minutes later. They opened the door, and I went and scooped Eric up who was a basket case, and was shocked to see the big goose egg on his head. He looked so bad. I sat down with him but the MP needed ID, so I had to set Eric down, at which point he broke back into hysterics! It all looked so bad. He filed his report and then he headed out. I learned my lesson! Don't leave the house without my keys!! Eric knows how to lock doors! I checked the first door I came to (his bedroom door) for locks. There wasn't one. Not any in the house that I was aware of. What a relief.
So today was a new day. Last night was the first night we slept through the night! Yay! I was still exhausted from the day before and I decided to take it easy today. Ha. Ha. I got to talk to John this morning, which was great. I had warned him about the whole lock-out incident in an email, in case anything was said to him. He thought it was all very funny. Everyone but the MP's thought it was funny. John's friends joked about how I should get the "Mother-of-the-year" award. THANKS GUYS!
Josh showed up this morning to help move stuff down into storage for me and to do any "grunt work" I needed. SO very helpful! So He took some boxes down stairs for me and then he fixed a closet door that was off track. He asked if there was anything else I needed. I told him I could use help putting loose keys on my keychain. Seemed like a stupid thing to ask for, but I really am not able to do it. He gladly put the storage key on for me and then I said, "and my car key". And I went to reach for my car key, but it was not hanging where it belonged. So I looked in all the logical places. My purse, my jeans, my jacket, the computer desk, the kitchen counter, the bedroom, the hallway drawer.....Nowhere to be found. The last time i was in the car was to get a box out of the trunk. uh-oh. The key must be locked in the trunk. Josh was going to break into the car for me, but I have power locks, and he wasn't able to. SO guess who I got to call first thing this morning? The MP's!!
This was like the worst week of my life EVER. They sent an MP out. She was very friendly and understanding - so much better than whoever got sent out the night before. My biggest fear was that the key was NOT in the trunk and that I had potentially thrown it away, but I didn't know where else it COULD be. Before we headed out, I put Eric in bed and told him to watch the snow and that I would wave to him. The MP said, "That was smart!" I said, "uuh, yeah..he locked me out of the apartment yesterday" So we set about trying to break into the car. Once she pried the door open, our only hope of getting into this car was a long metal pole. If we could just unlock the door, I could pop the trunk. I watched helplessly as she tried and tried to push the button with this pole. I suggested we try popping the trunk, since that would require lifting a button instead of pushing one. But with the angle of the switch, it was impossible to reach. So we attempted to pull on the inside handle with the pole. Close, but no cigar. Josh came out to watch and try to help. He even brought out pliers to manipulate the steel pole into a better position. Poor thing , she worked so hard to open that car and I think we all began to get a little worried, because if she couldn't open the door, we would have to call a locksmith service which would have cost at the very least 40 euro and I wasn't even sure they would be able to get on base. Almost an hour later, the MP was able to push the lock in just far enough that Josh was able to grab the door handle and it came open. Alarm and all! But we were in. So I tried to pop the trunk. It wouldn't pop. The other doors would not unlock. The car was stuck. The alarm stopped suddenly, and I frantically looked for what I was sure John had told me was a "spare key" hidden somewhere in the car. I found a key, put it in the ignition and the car started! Yay! So I popped the trunk, and we frantically searched. No key. We searched the whole car. No key. But i had the spare spare key (yes the SPARE spare!) so I decided not to fret about it. The trash I had taken out the day before was sitting on top of the dumpster and Josh offered to go through it but I wouldn't let him. I thought it worst came to worse, I would buy another electronic key. Josh did a few other things for me (this poor guy!!!) and then left me to try to find the key on my own. We figured Eric must have taken off with it, but even that didn't make sense, because while he would have found it and played with it, he still would have brought it to me. He always does that with things that he knows don't belong to him. And I couldn't imagine that I was SO brain dead that I would actually have thrown the key away but I have been known to do those sorts of things. I told Josh I would NOT be looking for the key, because that's when items actually turn up.
I actually did keep looking though. Just not frantically like before. I looked in odd places where Eric had been playing - just in case. I looked at the ONLY pair of jeans I had on the bedroom floor - the ones WITH the belt on them - which makes them the very LAST pair of jeans I wore, and still no key. I don't know why the thought struck me, but I thought that I had better go look through the jeans I had put in the dirty clothes. And the first pair I lifted out had that beloved key sticking out of the pocket. Ugh.
ALL my keys are hanging in the hallway now. I'm not leaving this house -EVER until John comes home. And one of you reading this blog needs to book a ticket to Germany, because I really don't think I can survive 7 months, much less the rest of the day!!!