Every Friday morning I take Georgia and Lana to gymnastics. They have both been going to gymnastics since before they can remember. No joke. Lana, since infancy and Georgia, since before she was born. Sonya started going when she was two, so her sisters have just followed suit. They all love it, so that's why we keep going, despite the Hawaiian vacation we could have taken with all the money we've spent there.
When we go on Friday, Georgia has her class first with me, then Lana has a class immediately after, without mommy. Sometimes during her class she decides she needs to use the bathroom. Usually she'll come get me and tell me when this happens, so I can come help her. I guess Friday she decided she was big enough to do it alone. Only she wasn't.
I was chatting with my friend Melissa. Quick aside: This is a different Melissa than the one I've mentioned before, who I've been friends with since college. This is mom Melissa. She has three kids all around the same ages as my girls. Our husbands used to work together too, so we've been acquainted for a while. Now her youngest and Lana are in the same gymnastics class together, so every Friday morning we chat and catch up on the latest with our kids or what's going on in Burbank. Our small town in the middle of a big city. And Melissa reads this blog. (Hi Melissa!) Anyway, back to the story. We were chatting away not paying much attention to our little gymnasts, when teacher Danielle ran over to tell me Lana had locked herself in the bathroom.
I ran back to the where the one room bathroom was and talked to Lana through the door. She was crying and scared.
"Lana," I said calmly. "Lana, it's okay, calm down." More crying. "It's okay girly. Just unlock the door. It's just like the lock on Georgia's door at home."
I didn't think she should have a problem with the lock because she's unlocked that particular door before by herself, and it was the same type of lock as the one door at home. That one she had locked and unlocked quite a few times on her own, so I couldn't see the problem.
"I CAN'T unlock it," she sobbed.
"Why not, Lana? You know how." I encouraged her.
"I can't cuz my hans aw soooaaappyy!!" She started to cry more.
Then I realized what had happened. She went in there thinking she could do this all by herself. Went to the potty, no problem. Wiped herself, no problem. Got soap on her hands, no problem. Then she went to turn the water on... big problem. The faucet in the bathroom has one of those handles that you pull up to turn on and push down to turn off. She can never pull it up, I always help her, especially after already having soap on her hands. And because she had soap on her hands, she couldn't get a grip on the lock to turn it and let herself out of the bathroom, making her stuck.
"Oh girly!" I said. "Can you go get a paper towel and wipe the soap off your hands?"
At this point Melissa had come back to help talk to Lana, but we were both laughing at the same time. Quietly, so Lana couldn't hear us. I mean it WAS funny and she wasn't in any danger, just a bit scared. Plus it reminded me of the time my sister Beth locked herself in our bathroom at home, when she was about the same age. We had a babysitter over and she couldn't figure out how to get Beth out, so she called her boyfriend to come over and take off the entire door handle. I remember pushing books under the crack in the door so Beth had something to do while she was in there waiting to be rescued. The crack under this door didn't look big enough for a book.
Teacher Alex came back with some keys to try in the lock. When none of those worked, he tried a paper clip. I started eyeing the doorknob, trying to figure out how long it would take to disassemble it. At the same time, Melissa and I kept talking to Lana through the door, encouraging her to wipe off her hands and try the lock again.
Then, all of a sudden the door popped open and there stood Lana with a look of shock on her tear stained face. I'm still not positive if it was her or the paper clip that opened the door, but I think it was her.
"YAY, LANA!" We all yelled. She walked over to me and hugged my leg and got a little weepy again. I assured her that everything was alright and she was fine. I hugged her for a couple minutes. Then she pulled herself together and went off to finish her class.
She was fine after that. No harm done. If this was Sonya, I'd say she'd never go to the bathroom alone again until college, but Lana, she tends to bounce back and try things again. We'll see what happens if she tries to go by herself next time. I think I'll put a couple magazines in my backpack, just in case. I'm pretty sure those will fit under the door.