I’m not sure when exactly it happened. Maybe it was when my son was clinging to my leg as I was holding his little sister on my hip and trying to unload the dishwasher. Or when I was hurrying through a shower with a wailing baby leaning up against the glass. But it dawned on me, mommy needs a panic room! Not because I’m afraid of burglars, but because I could really use a private room with a lock that can’t be picked by a three-year-old (which by the way is harder to find than you’d think!).
What Is A Panic Room?
Well, a panic room is typically a secret room within a home where the owner can hide in case of an intruder. Maybe you’ve seen that Jodie Foster movie PANIC ROOM, or heard the news about Sandra Bullock hiding in hers when an obsessed stalker broke into her home (scary!). Or maybe you read this feature about the guy who builds panic rooms for rich folks behind moveable bookcases and stairs (so cool!). Basically, it’s a room in your home that has an unpickable lock and enough supplies inside for you to live on for a while until it’s time to come out. Sounds awesome right?
Where Is Mommy’s Panic Room?
It’d be pretty hard to hide a secret door in our house with a child who is a master player of hide and seek. That said, I’m pretty confident that if I put it in the laundry room, specifically behind that pile of dirty clothes that really needs to be put in the wash but has been sitting there for almost a week, no one would ever discover it there. Perhaps I’d even hang a poster on the wall to hide the door à la SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, but instead of Rita Hayworth it’d be a picture of Martha Stewart crafting a wicker basket or something. My husband and kids would never give it a second glance!
What Would Mommy Put In Her Panic Room?
This is where it gets fun. For starters, I’d put a big comfy couch in there, something totally impractical for a home with kids and cats, like white twill. And I’d have a bunch of chenille throw blankets artfully strewn across it, the way we used to decorate before having kids that immediately pull them off to build forts with. Maybe I’d even add a couple embroidered pillows without crayon marks or dirty fingerprints on them! Ahhh heaven.
Then I’d have a coffee table with lots of sharp angles that’s made out of glass and will tip over if you lean on it a certain way. On top, I’d carefully stack several piles of cooking and home decorating magazines, the kind I used to read back when I had time to cook a two-hour meal and before my son began to make every piece of art now hanging on our walls. The stacks would be perfectly aligned and never toppled over by small curious hands.
I’d also have some sort of music system in there with wires that don’t need to be tucked away for fear of being pulled out of the socket. I’d let those wires just hang out in a long tangle from one end of the room to the other. And the music on my panic room playlist would be ONLY songs that have profanity. Absolutely NO Raffi or Disney (though I do love ’em). My speakers would blast all Lil Jon and Tupac and especially that Bun B song Some Hoes which I don’t even like but would listen to just because I can!
What If Mommy Needs Help From The Outside World?
I’m mommy, I am the one with all the answers not the other way around. Besides, I’d never get to be in my panic room long enough to need help doing anything anyway. Next question.
What Will Mommy Eat In Her Panic Room?
Excellent question. Instead of having a late night snack while standing in the dark of my kitchen like a raccoon, I could do it in here instead. I’d have a mini fridge which I wouldn’t have to put a lock on to keep curious hands out of, and stock it with lots of bubbly rosé which I will drink out of thin stemmed champagne flutes instead of a chipped dishwasher-safe mug which is my usual beverage container of choice. Then, instead of washing the glasses afterward I will simply throw them out the window because this is my fantasy room and there’s no dishwashing allowed.
I’d also have a little pantry of snacks that are just for me. All the things I tell my kids we can’t buy at the grocery store because they’re bad for you: oreos, cheese doodles, chocolate-covered donuts. And I’d eat them while sitting on my white couch and binge-watching Younger/Outlander/True Blood on Netflix like a boss.
I could go on in this fantasy, but as I write this in my very non-panic room, AKA the living room, my son is putting a handmade crown on my head, my husband is asking me where to store the salsa, and my wailing baby is telling me it’s time to go nurse. Sigh. Back to reality!
What would you put in your panic room?