Thursday, April 20, 2006


I think I have unraveled the mystery of the self-locking doorknob. This was an issue with the bathroom door a couple weeks back and yesterday I couldn't open the cellar door when I was trying to bring a random, useless door screen I had found in the coat closet, downstairs. I was turning the handle but nothing was happening.

Me: "What the..."
David: "What is it mommy?"
Me: "I can't get the basement door open. It's like it's locked or something."
David: "What? Oh NO! Now we can't get into the basement! Now daddy can't play his music! Now we can't use the washer, now we can't..." David inherited the deep anxiety gene from both his folks. Poor kid.
Me: "It's okay. I'm just going to take it off and see what's wrong."
Sofi chimes in: "What you doin', mommy?"
Me: (getting out my flat head) "I'm taking this doorknob off to try and fix it."
I unscrew the knob and remove the trim and Sofia, alarmed, cries: "Oh, you boke it, mommy! It boke now!! Oh nooooo..."
Me: "No, no, it's fine. I'm taking it apart. I'll put it back together in a sec."
Sofia: "Oh, you boke it. It all boked now." She scrunches up her face and does her mock, sobbing sound that she makes when she thinks she ought to find something sad. It sounds kind of like "ooooo, hoo-hoo, heeewwww..." and trails off when she runs out of breath.

Clearly the kids have no faith in my self-taught tool skills. They've no idea that I used to help assemble stage sets back in college and at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Sure, the flight of steps I worked on for that Olympia Dukakis play may not have been structurally sound, but she'd been warned not to walk up them too quickly. Not my fault she couldn't follow stage directions.

Anyway, I take it apart and find that the screw that holds the knob to the spindle wasn't catching on the flat part, so I set it so that it would attach correctly and put it back together. You'd think we'd just won the candy lottery or something to see how happy the kids were.

"Now we can go in the basement!! Yay!" David shouts. Sofia does a little "We Did It" Dora dance. Yes. I'm thrilled, too.

So ends another day for HandyMom. Who knows what amazing adventure awaits our hero tomorrow.

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