This morning I won the imaginary prize for horrid mom of the day. I locked the kids in the running minivan.
We were heading to the store. Actually, two stores. Which is a big deal for this mom of two busy boys. I had coupons and deal scenarios all written down and categorized and envelope-ized. Boy was I feeling organized.
Step 1 is always to get the kids in the van. I usually settle Aaron first, and let him help with the unlocking. So that's what we did, and he climbed up into his car seat and got all strapped in, then I went back for Evan, who was in his car seat and ready to go. Snapped him in just fine, then got in myself and turned on the van, preparing to back down the driveway and go on my merry way.
Then I thought, "I'd better check to make sure that I grabbed the reusable bags," and stepped out to check. The van door shut behind me and I heard the click of doom. The kids and my keys were locked in.
Our back hatch doesn't always latch completely, and you had better believe I was hoping today it would be loose. No soup. I called Michael, and he was working 1 1/2 hours away. So I asked him if he knew of any spare van keys. No soup. I jiggled the back hatch some more. Still no soup. I tried getting Aaron to wriggle out of his 5-point harness. Definitely no soup. Which is, honestly, fantastic.
So I did what my rising panic told me to do - called 911. Isn't that just how it is? I'm all in a tizzy and the kids are hanging out having a great time. Ha! A fire truck and a tow truck arrived, with 3 uniformed fireman and a cheerful tow truck dude. Humiliated and feeling very much like a neglectful mother, I listened to the firemen tell me how important it is to have house numbers in case of emergency, and that I should never leave my children in a running vehicle - especially an old model Dodge Grand Caravan - because the toddler could shift the car into gear easily and it could end in tragedy. (I wasn't particularly worried about this as my toddler couldn't get out of his car seat)
"Yes, sir," I said, nodding and vowing to get house numbers...just as soon as I find some that I like, that is. And I was thinking, wouldn't they be able to find my house if it was on fire? Would they really check for house numbers? I guess it would be good in a non-fire emergency to have a house number.
So while I'm still slightly embarrassed, I am thankful that I did not lock my cell phone in the van - our land line is not working yet - still! And going next door to use the phone and admit I'd locked my keys and kids in the van would have been even worse.
But I'm laughing now.