There are very few things that can send you gut plummeting through the Earth’s strata quicker than the realization that your car just got locked. With the keys inside. And your child.
Yep, that happened.
I was pretty proud of myself when I managed to shower, get both the babe and I dressed, fed, and out the door before 10 am yesterday to knock off a few chores. I don’t usually do errands in the morning- there are too many things that have to be done prior to leaving that by the time I have everything ready it is almost nap time again. Nevertheless, I managed to get us out the door and to our second errand destination; the fabric store. We picked up zippers (thanks to Susan, Eileen, Carolyn and Marie for your recent orders!), Fray check, and a few other novelties. A little disappointed in myself that I didn’t remember my coupons, I was pacified when the cashier found a one I could use and finished checking me out. I was in autopilot as I left the store and unlocked the car doors. Placing Baby Bunny’s diaper bag in the back seat, I re-locked the doors to safeguard us against rouge parking lot robbers (enter recent news reports) and left her door open as I was strapping her into her car seat. I usually do this little routine, so I didn’t really think about the doors being locked when Baby bunny threw her shoe, right out of the open car door. I decided, yet again in an effort to save us from rogue attacks, it would be safer for the car door to be shut while I picked up the shoe. (How it wound up all the way under the front bumper is a mystery- that girl can throw a curve ball!)
Shoe in hand, I reached back for the car door handle and gave it a pull. The handle didn’t do a darn thing though. ‘Hmm.’ I thought, ‘that’s odd” as I pulled even harder.
“Oh. My. Gosh”.
I realized in an instant what had happened. The car was locked- and thinking I had the keys still in my pocket- I was nervous, but relieved that I wasn’t so careless to leave the keys in with her. Oh- but no. I was that careless. In an effort to keep the keys out of Baby’s mouth- I had stashed them in the shopping bag. Which was in the back seat. With my daughter. In the locked car.
I really have no idea where the car behind me came from or when they pulled up. But we were the only two cars in that parking lot at 10:30 am. I was frantically looking around (my phone was in the car too) and was trying to figure out how I would relay a message to someone in the store to call help for me, so that I wouldn’t be leaving the baby in the car, outside, alone. Looking in the windshield of this neighboring vehicle- it was two older ladies whom looked to be compassionate enough to help me out. I knocked, explained what happened and (pitifully) begged to borrow their phone. I don’t think they quite understood how borrowing a phone would help get the kiddo out of the car, but they obliged. (Enter perfect marketing campaign geared at older adults)
I called On-star and literally within about 90 seconds, the car doors were all unlocked! Baby Bunny didn’t even notice what had been going on and handed me her book while I rummaged to find the keys and grip them tight. I profusely thanked my phone angels and offered to pay them for their help (should they have taken me up on it I might have had to pay in a few forms of restaurant gift cards)- but they declined. Selfless good Samaritans!
I retreated back to my car, keys gripped ever so tight, and started to cry from relief. I know it sounds like a commercial, but what if I hadn’t had On-star? The husband and I occasionally talk about cancelling our subscription; I don’t drive as much anymore, we aren’t even in the car very often, and it is an extra expense. I can honestly say that I would have paid a small fortune in that moment to just gain access to my locked kid. I can’t imagine if I would have had to worry about the summer sun beating on the car or other bad weather; On-Star gave me almost instant access to my car. I am so glad we kept our subscription up and know for certain we will always have that safe-guard in place.
Many times parenting results in gut wrenching ‘oh my gosh’ moments- I am just glad this one was short-lived and was easily fixed, and hopefully reminds some other’hands full, busy, preoccupied mom’ to verify where your keys are before locking the door. (After all, how many rogue people are out there patrolling fabric store parking lots?? I think we’re pretty safe)