It took a few days.
I was saved by a doggy door on Monday.
Sunday night I locked the door to the garage, which isn't typical. On Monday morning I went to throw a diaper in the trash and waltzed out there without a care in the world. I spun around to open the door (it's weighted and swings closed behind you) and realized it was locked. I believe the first phrase uttered was "Oh f*ck" (sorry Mom).
Payne was inside watching cartoons and blissfully unaware that I was locked out. At first I searched the garage for an implement with which to pick the lock, but after several attempts it occured to me that one has to KNOW how to pick a lock to be succesful. Damn.
My next idea was to go around the front and try to get Payne to unlock the deadbolt on the front door for me. I rang the doorbell and he trotted up and was all "Oh heyyyy Mom!" I tried to yell and mime what I wanted, for him to push the ottoman up to the front door and stand on it to unlock the door. After the fifth yell of "Ottoman!" he chirped "Oh!" and ran off purposefully. I was hopeful. However, his cartoons distracted him and no matter how many times I rung the doorbell he wouldn't come back. Curse you Elmo!
My next plan was to trot through the backyard (in my bare feet and pajamas) and try to get Payne to open the back door by yelling instructions through the doggy door. Now, the doggy door is actually a cat door, so you can imagine how hilarious I looked. I was head down, butt up on the patio yelling to Payne through a hole about 8 inches across. I got him to push a kitchen chair up to the door, but I couldn't get him to understand the part about unlocking it. He got confused and started to cry. Mysteriously, my arm projecting through the door Cousin It style and patting his foot didn't soothe him.
At this point I started eyeing the limestone blocks that line our flower beds. But then an epiphany! My phone was on the kitchen counter! Payne was still crying but had been sucked back into the plight of Super Grover, so I had to start crooning to him through the dog door again; "Hey buddy. Will you get Mommy's phone? It's in the kitchen!". The poor thing perked up at the mention of words he understood completely so he exclaimed "Phone! Kitchen!" and started scanning the counter. He found it and (Thank Baby Jesus!) could reach it. Then he handed it to me through the dog door. This made me burst into tears in relief, which of course made him start crying again. Ugh.
I called my Mother, who has a spare key to our house and she came right over. As I waited for her I stood at the front door and watched Payne try to drown his sorrows with PBS, but it wasn't working well, poor thing. Then my savior showed up, let us in, and scooped up Payne while I ugly cried for a little while. Payne's mood greatly improved with a sippy cup of milk and a pumpkin muffin. If only I was so easily soothed!
Fun morning, eh?