05 November 2012

The day the doorknob broke and we couldn't fix it so we chopped the door down with a mattock

Or, the blog post title with the biggest spoiler of all time.

Last week's blog post was sparked by Jessie having tonsillitis, Buzz having asymptomatosis and me having asymptomatata.  ONE of those people kissed Rex and passed it on.  It was the only person who was truly infectious and by the end of the week, tiny Rex had a husky voice, pain on sneezing, a roasting fever and diarrhoea.  Diagnosis: Tonsillitis.

On Sunday after church, we all tried for a rest.  Poor Rex was feverish but still up for a good sleep, and I tried for one too.  Woody interrupted me right up until five minutes before Rex woke up, so my sleep was poor.  But when I finally heard my baby boy crying his husky, pained cry, Woody had fallen asleep to enjoy the rest he'd robbed from me, and I graciously allowed him to live.

Jessie came to me and whispered, "Rex is crying."  I knew this.  I asked her to ask Daddy kindly if he might get Rex but Daddy was very busy killing bad guys with Buzz (I'm still working out if I should be worried when my moral-policeman-seven-year-old-son gleefully shouts things like, "I've lost the cops!!") so Rex continued to cry.

I staggered down the hallway to rescue him, turned the handle of his door and barrelled in.  Specifically, I barrelled into the door.  I smashed my head into it, and momentarily worried about my sanity.  I turned the knob properly the next time, and again smacked my face into the still-closed door.

Certain about my sanity now (Diagnosis: Stupid) I tried the knob the other way.  And the first way.  And the other way.  At some point, I realised the door wasn't opening and I yelled to Mr de Elba mid-slaughter, "Can you come and tell me if I'm not properly awake or if Rex's door won't open?"

He came, and tried the doorknob many times.  In the words of a tradesman who once did work for us:  "Diagnosis: Buggered."

So while Rex cried his poor little lungs out, we grabbed my screwdriver set and took off the screws holding the knob onto the door.  We fiddled with the mechanism.  We turned the square sticky-outy thing that works the openy-closey mechanism: no luck.  We tried to access parts further down the workings to retract the little tongue-thing from the hole-in-the-other-side thing: no luck.  We kicked the door: no luck.

Now at this point, if time hadn't been an issue, we could have called my Mum, who is Tinkerbell Incarnate.  She tinkers with stuff and it falls into place.  We could have called Justadad, the husband of my friend Justamum, who knows how things work.  We could have researched doorknob problems, we could have gone out and bought some magical tools, we could have asked the tradesman who is coming soon to work on some other doors around the house.

But it was a lazy Sunday afternoon and poor feverish Rex had screamed hard for 20 minutes so he was about to burst into flames.  We'd exhausted all the options at our disposal so there was only one option left.  It was drastic, it was destructive, and it was a whole heap of fun.

Mr de Elba chopped the door down with a mattock.

The door was cheap and the knob was rubbish, and recently Mr de Elba has been so busy at work that a bit of door-chopping was a rather welcome and therapeutic distraction.  Also, he'd just been killing bad guys so he was in the mood.

I wasn't joking.
Buzz LOVED it.  Jessie cried loudly and shouted, "Will the police have to come and see what we've done to the door?  Will we get in trouble from The Police?!?" and generally lost her head.  Woody slept through the whole thing in the next room, and Rex cried and cried.

Finally, the hole was big enough for me to crawl through and I went in to rescue my baby who had wriggled himself into a painful position all smashed up against the bars of the cot.  I handed him out to his Daddy who had lovingly chopped his door down with a mattock.

I did this for you, my son.
The cleanup was extensive.  The picture above shows only half of the final destruction, and only a quarter of the final mess.  A wheelie bin was actually brought into the house for the cleanup, the whole area was vacuumed twice with a Dyson (using both the Contact Head and the Turbo-brush) during which one of Woody's socks was sucked up (I can recommend the Dyson's suction ability, by the way) and now there is only one more thing to be done.

Buy a new door.

And a really good quality doorknob.

And get it from the shop to our house.


And install it.


Addendum: Although the Dyson is very good, the door was spread far and wide.  We are still finding bits of door in unlikely places.


Caitlin said...

HILARIOUS! Thanks for sharing. I'm a bit tempted to do a bit of door chopping myself for therapeutic purposes. Explaining it to The Accountant would not be therapeutic so I suppose I'll just have to take up knitting or something more socially acceptable. Glad that little Rex was rescued and now has a story to tell about how his parents loved him so much they chopped the door with a mattock.

singlemumof1 said...

Wow that story is even better than the one where I locked my newborn in the car and HAD to call the police to come help me out.

Sue Ellen said...

Wow. You're going to great lengths to break the Blogging Drought, aren't you?? ;) Just kidding... sounds like it was pretty anxiety-inducing at the time, actually, despite making for a great story later. And poor Jessie, thinking the police would come and tell you off for breaking your door. Haha. :)

Tracy P. said...

Oh no! Those tiny little sobs are almost unbearable, especially when they are for good reason. Glad he has a chivalrous dad who was happy to abandon sensibility for the rescue.

My aunt and uncle had a sticky bathroom door when I was growing up, only everyone knew that they had figured out how to get it open given some time. If you "happened" to get locked in there, my uncle would slip candies under the door to distract you from panicking while they fidgeted. I'm glad they didn't go to such lengths to rescue us and prevent it from happening again.

Andi said...

We had that happen with a garage door once. And our garage door was closed, and both of our cars with all keys were in there...Except the garage door was a sturdy exterior door. So we had to borrow our neighbor's reciprocating saw and cut it down. It was quite dramatic and noisy.

But probably not as stressful as a baby crying on the other side. Great story.

Dawn Castor said...

Poor Rex , poor you. Terrific and dramatic solution! I love it!!

Hippomanic Jen said...

Glad it all ended up okay, with the added benefit of catharsis and craziness added on.

Sorry you didn't manage to get a sleep. I had one for you.

gartcott aka Penny Hannah said...

Poor little Rex. I hope his tonsils have recovered and that he doesn't grow up thinking that a Big Noise is the only way his parents will appear when he's in trouble.

Catherine said...

Dave came and read over my shoulder. Fascinating, nail biting, hilarious. I'm jealous of the chance to hack into a door with a mattock with impunity, from the police especially.
Hope you get a new door soon. Maybe with a sensor-open like the kind they might have in Japan.

Crazy Sister said...

I've been there! Same scenario, except with a CRAWLING baby alone and roaming loose in the room on the other side of the pieceofcrapdoor.

Happily, I'm married to a cop, and he kicked the door in straightaway while I called to the baby through the window. (The window was blocked with metal shutters, and only accessible from a narrow part of sloping roof.)

Pieceofcrapdoors. You're due for a break this week. Here's wishing you oodles of peaceful rest.

Woody SLEPT through that?

Crazy Sister said...

Constable Crazy says forget the new door - you could just install a flap.

Veronicali said...

You now have some great photos for Rex's 21st !