Sabine and I visit my sister and her little ones every week or so. She has a five-bedroom house and a huge yard so the kids--Sabine's cousins are William (5 years-old) and Isabel and Aubrey (3-year-old twins)--can run around Lord of the Flies style while my sister and I catch up.
I usually stay with the girls while my sister runs to pick William up from school. A few weeks ago while she was out, I was downstairs with Aubrey, while Sabine and Isabel (the naughtiest duo you will ever meet) were playing upstairs. Suddenly, I heard Sabine banging on a door. I ran upstairs and found Isabel sitting at the top of the stairs, her eyes glued to the ground. I asked her to open the door and let Sabine out. She shook her head no. I asked her two more times, explaining that Sabine is still too little to know how to twist the doorknob and open the door by herself. She continued to refuse eye contact and shake her head no. All the while, Sabine's banging on the door was getting more frantic and her "Maaa" was getting louder and more panicked by the second. Finally, I reached for the doorknob and discovered the door was locked. From the inside.
I whipped around and asked Isabel if she locked the door. She wouldn't answer me no matter how many times I asked her. I tried jiggling the doorknob, willing it to somehow pop open. I told Sabine through the door that it was okay, but her hysteria was growing which meant that I quickly became hysterical. Isabel just stood there. Sabine began screaming and crying (very unusual for the intrepid monster) and yelling my name over and over again. I felt my entire body get hot right before I lost it and told Isabel she was in the biggest trouble of her life. She began crying, which inspired Aubrey to start bawling, too.
I ran downstairs to get the phone and call my sister on her cell. I told her what happened and asked her for the key. She sort of casually told me she was pretty sure she'd given me a key a long time ago. I grabbed my keys and tried every one on the ring. None of them worked. Sabine's cry had crawled beneath my skin and was now inside of me. I had no idea what was on the other side of that door and if she was okay. I pictured sharp objects my sister had forgotten to put away or a wall size mirror that had fallen on top of her. My heart was pounding through my chest and I was shaking and considering kicking the door open.
Finally, I told her to come home RIGHT NOW and open the door with her keys. She agreed, but I had no idea how far away she was and Sabine's terror was more than I could bear. I told myself NOT to kick down the door. It was my sister's door...I'd ruin it...Sabine was on the other side of it...I didn't want to hurt her. But then something came over me and I had to get her out of that room and soothe her and know she was okay AT ANY COST. So I kicked down the door.
My sister walked through the front door about two minutes later to find the three girls--and me--exhausted and sitting on the sofa. She thought I was crazy and was m-a-d MAD about the fact that I'd gotten all Bruce Lee on her door, which she pictured to be in utter shambles. But she took lots of deep breaths--remember, she rarely gets rattled--and eventually told me not to worry about it.
When Kadin came home from work that day, I told him the story. He laughed his a$$ off then told me I was crazy and that he didn't understand why I kicked open the door instead of waiting for my sister to come home.
My mother-in-law called that night and Kadin told her the story. She asked how much it was going to cost me to fix or replace the door. I said I didn't need to fix/replace the door. My mother-in-law's response: "That's why Sabine has such an attitude. She gets it from her mother."
THEN this past Sunday, Kadin met my brother-in-law and his brother at a pub for a few beers. They were talking about their respective wives and somewhere in the conversation my brother-in-law noted he thought I was the "passionate" one in the family, that I analyzed things to a greater extent and was more emotional. His brother's response: "Well, she DID kick down the door."
I've always wanted to be a legend. But not really the crazy kind who hysterically kicks down doors.
PS In the end, the door wasn't destroyed. It only needed some glue and a new knob. But now I know my husband, my sister and my brother-in-law think I'm a total nutbar. Oh and that my mother-in-law thinks I have an attitude.
PPS I don't think I'm crazy. I'm pretty sure I'd kick down the door almost every single time--just in case. I hadn't gone into that room recently so I didn't know what was behind the door with Sabine. I would never have forgiven myself if she somehow got hurt and I hadn't kicked down that door. That trumps fear of looking like the crazy person. Every time.