When Karen Kilgour decided to spend a day at home tidying the house and playing with her infant son, she got a lot more than she bargained for.
Mrs. Kilgour, from Mt Eden in Auckland, New Zealand, had to be rescued after spending seven hours trapped inside a tiny wardrobe after her 14-month-old son Harry shut the door on her.
“I’m slowly starting to see the funny side,” Mrs. Kilgour told The Times, after recalling her household ordeal.
The 32-year-old antiques dealer was tidying up the clothes in her son’s bedroom wardrobe at 9.30am on Friday morning when the toddler, playing on the bedroom floor next to her, decided to play a game of hide and seek.
“I could see him at the door and he was closing it ever so slightly, but it was just like a game,” she said. “But the next thing I know he pushed the door to and I suddenly I thought: ‘Oh my god, I’m locked in here by myself’.”
The wardrobe was about 16in (40cm) deep and unfortunately for Mrs. Kilgour, unlike the others in the newly built home, it did not have a magnetic lock.
Mrs. Kilgour spent about three hours trying to open the door. First she tried to bang it open with her hip. Then she pulled a shelf off the wall and tried to wedge it in the door crevice, and even tried to pull bits of metal off an ironing board in the wardrobe to break the door frame – to no avail.
Screaming for the neighbors did not help either as every time Mrs. Kilgour screamed, her son became distressed and began crying too.
At one point she put her fingers under the door and called out for Harry, who came over and played with them. But he grew bored and crawled out of the bedroom.
“I could hear him bashing and screaming and crashing and crying all over the house,” Mrs. Kilgour said.
“For a few hours he wasn’t in the room and I was very worried about what he was doing, I was very concerned for him because he’s only 14 months old. He can’t walk but he’s definitely into climbing. I was just thankful the back door was closed so he couldn’t go out into the garden.”
Eventually Harry came back into the room, and as Mrs. Kilgour began to sing to him, he eventually fell asleep on the bedroom floor. “It was only then that I was finally able to totally relax,” she said.
At about 4.30pm – seven hours after she became locked in the wardrobe – Mrs. Kilgour’s husband Jason came home from work and let her out. She was lucky – Mr. Kilgour was supposed to have been out until midnight but had come home between work functions because of heavy traffic.
Mrs. Kilgour was unharmed apart from being dehydrated and hungry. And Harry seemed to have survived his day at home by helping himself to food left over from breakfast, and playing with his favorite toys.
As for the wardrobe door, the family is planning to get builder back to put a handle on it.
“Harry is actually quite scared of the wardrobe now; he bursts into tears every time we go near it,” Mrs. Kilgour said.
“It will be a funny story for his 21st, but I’m just happy he was ok.”