When I was about ten or eleven, my Mom went back to work. She felt like my sister and I were competent enough kids to not set the house on fire while she was gone, so she gave up her in home babysitting and went to work.  I think she just got bored.

So, here I am, a Responsible Kid, spending most afternoons alone because my sister was a Social Butterfly.  The Responsible Kid stayed at home, did the dishes and my homework, and alternated between watching The Secret of Nimh and Robin Hood.

Every day.  I probably still have them both memorized.

I was a weird kid. Oh, who am I kidding, I'm still just as weird, just.. in different ways. So anyway, it was a cold day in winter, and there was about a foot of snow on the ground. One of my responsibilities was to crush down the aluminum cans, bag them up and take them to the garage so my father could recycle them.  I was attempting to do that one day after school, being the Responsible Kid, when I did something really stupid.

A kid thing, you get it.  I thought I could just run out in the garage with no shoes, and that it would be fine. I started out, doing my best skipping, out the back door to the garage.  However, my stupid little kid brain had shut the back door.

Which then locked behind me.  When I got back to the porch, with my cold bare feet and no recycling, I realized I couldn't get in the door.  Mom had always told me to leave the doors locked until one of my parents got home.  I did that, alright, and locked myself right out of the house.  Now what to do? I couldn't call anybody, we didn't have cell phones then.  I didn't even have a jacket on, because, well, kids are stupid. It was getting pretty cold.  I couldn't get in the front door, either.   I couldn't reach any of the windows, but they were probably locked, too.  Then... I had an idea.  I could get in the house with this ingenious plan.

The basement door.

I went down the little stairwell to the basement door. The basement door was not like the back door or the front door, it was an older "came with the house" door. Our front and back doors were solid, made of solid wood and metal. Not like the basement door.  It had a grid of little panes of glass along the front of it.  I thought to myself, well, this is your best shot. You gotta break the glass and get in the door. But can I really do this? I'm going to get in so much trouble!  It's so cold, I can't stay out here til they get home. I bet I'd get in trouble for being outside in the cold anyway.  I don't have much choice.  So, I got a rock.  I broke the glass right next to the door handle, turned the lock and got back inside.  Success!

Oh, but what happens when Mom gets home?  I panicked.  I couldn't tell her I'd locked myself out, that would mean I'm not the Responsible Kid. She'd be so disappointed in me. I would look so stupid! There's got to be a way to solve this. I couldn't glue the glass back in the door, Elmer's just isn't doing the trick. There has to be another way.  I just wouldn't say anything.  That's the ticket!  They don't go down there much.  Maybe they just won't notice!

Well, they noticed.  They noticed immediately.  They asked me if I'd heard anything, and I said no (which was kind of true?). My little brain was racing, trying to come up with a good excuse for the glass to be broken.  They speculated that it might have shattered from the cold, it was an old door after all.  I hoped they'd just go that route. I might get away with it!  They hadn't even noticed that I'd cleaned up the glass from the floor. But then, my Dad started Dadding and said we had to err on the side of caution. It could have been an attempt to break in the house, and he had to protect his family.  He wanted to call the police.

NO. NOT THE POLICE.  They will take me to kid jail! I'll be in juvy until I graduate! Finally, I fessed up.  I told them I broke the door because I locked myself out.  And yes, I got in trouble, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  In fact, I got more in trouble for lying than I did for breaking the door.

So there you have it, my embarrassingly stupid story about being a dumb kid. What are some of your "dumb kid" stories? Did you ever tell a lie to your parents and get away with it?

Dooringly yours,


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