Home from school. Locked out. Stuck on roof.
I take a moment before I answer. Breathe. Try to think of exactly how those first two things might lead to the third. We had been talking about the need for a set of spare keys hidden somewhere for just this situation, but it was a new house and we simply hadn’t gotten around to it. So her being locked out (with my other two children, I assumed. Oh, god, hopefully they weren’t stuck on the roof as well. How did she even get up there?) wasn’t that unusual. Just. Why was she on the roof? The mind boggles.
Why are you on the roof? What does that have to do with being locked out?
Priorities, I reasoned. The locked out bit could wait at this point. Or so I assumed. The next text from my daughter quickly corrected that obvious and grievous mistake.
MOM. IT’S SUNNY WITH NO SHADE. DO SOMETHING TO LET US IN.
Total evasion of the questions I had asked, I noted. Total evasion. Although now I knew that the rest of the kids were with her. Well, I couldn’t be leaving work, not for the third time this week, so it’d have to be a locksmith. One I trusted with my two teenaged daughters and son in middle school… this was going to be difficult.
Are the other kids on the roof with you? How did you even get up there?
I texted her back, unwilling to give up the whole stuck-on-roof issue. This is the important part. Entirely willing to give her a taste of her own medicine, I ignored her quip about the sun. My oldest daughter, you see, has this aversion to direct beams of sunlight for any period of time. Kind of like a vampire, actually. She stays up all night, I know, despite her continual denial of staying up, and while she doesn’t drink blood, I think she worked out some deal where she could replace blood with chocolate. Yes, my oldest daughter is a vampire. No other way about it. I sighed. Probably would have to call some kind of residential locksmith—they’d probably have more experience with dealing with frustrated vampire girls. My phone buzzed subtly—the perfect buzz, really—and my daughter finally gave it up.
Thought I’d left my window unlocked, she texted sullenly (yes, it was sullen, I could tell, I’m a mother), so I moved the soccer net over to the side of the house, turned it up on its side, and climbed up the netting until I could swing up onto the roof. Turns out, not unlocked.
Wow. So many things wrong with that. How had I failed as a parent? (Having said that, wow, that’s actually pretty creative and kind of cool and—totally not safe at all, how dare she. Ahem.) Motherly need to know just why her daughter was on the roof (and, really, this entire exchange took about a minute. Phones these days, man), I did a quick search of emergency locksmiths in the area and sent one post-haste to my house to let my probably slightly smoking daughter (well, at this point, she’d been in direct sunlight for what, ten minutes?) and two other children inside for video games and snacks and hastily-finished homework to cover their tails before I got home. Sneaky little darlings.