Tuesday, June 9

my "blue ribbon" day

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.


Karis said...

Oh Jenny...

I locked my keys in the car one time on my lunch hour and that was inconvenient enough without having to deal with thinking about children being inside.

Kara said...

It's always an exciting day when rescue vehicles come to your house. I called 911 when Abby was 8 mo. old and choking on a dry mini-wheat under the kitchen table. Glad everything turned out OK.

And when you find house numbers that you like, let me know where you found them... I'm having the same problem.

Autum said...

We managed to lock our keys in the van last a week and 1/2 ago at Kroger when I laid my purse down in the van to get everyone out. Everyone was out or I think Tyler could have unlocked the van. My reaction to the lock out wasn't very pretty. So glad we had our phones on us and mom was able to give us a number of a tow company to unlock. Check and see if your insurance will cover the tow companies fee.

I have had several of those "blue ribbon" days recently.

Tim and Richelle said...

laughing with you - thanks for sharing your funny story.

i've never locked my kids in the car, but have forgotten them. the most recent was forgetting mary michelle in the gym at a bball game shortly before I returned to niger.

another time, we were flying home to spend Christmas with our families - the flight leaves at the most ungodly hour of midnight - and elsie mae had been sleeping on our bed while we loaded the car and the kids to head to the airport. i walked back into the bedroom to do a last check, looked down and saw her and realized at that moment that i had almost forgotten her...

the most traumatic was leaving jonathan locked in my parents car while i had a meeting with your mom at the school... in august... for and hour. God definitely protected that time, i cried and cried when i walked back out to the car and saw him kicking and sweating. that was just before we returned to niger after our last furlough.

maybe i can blame both occurrences on temporary (more or less) mental instability due to imminent international travel. watcha think?

Shelley said...

I locked my keys in the car twice in the same day when Eric's grandma johnson died.
I was so flustered and wasn't thinking straight.

I also left my kids in the car for one minute while I was grabbing one item in the store.
A woman balled me out and was going to report me to child services.

I never left them again. I was traumatized by the whole event.

Amanda Irene said...

Gotta love it!
I am sure the neighbors where watching. tee hee I imagine all neighbors are like that mrs. kravits from bewitched. We've locked the keys in the car with it running too only andrew could wriggle out of his seat. When I called 911 I didn't know where I was. I'm yelling what road is this what road is this. yep too fun!

ruth said...

Oh, Jenny, I can imagine how embarassing that must have been for you. You may remember my locked out story from a few years ago--and that was just me, no kids to be responsible for! Thankfully you were home and not at the store and the kiddos were safe and no harm was done!

Definitely laughing with you and not at you in this situation!

Momma Rae and the Deputy said...

oh my soul... we have so many keys and AAA because my sweet locks his keys in the car several times a year. LOL... but with kids in the car I totally would have been crying myself.. :)

The Heller Family said...

Oh my! My heart goes out to you because we had a similar incident and I felt horrible. A few years ago we had a car that only had one key. It was one of those "fancy" computer chip keys and would cost us about $75 to get another made so, of course, we never really got around to it. And so, my kids got locked in. The key was in my purse, which was on the car floor, which I forgot to grab when I jumped out. I was a bit panicky...and so was Gwyn lock inside. But Bryan Paul was cool as cucumber (as always) and after about an hour of coaching he actually manged to unlock enough of his 5 point harness and wiggle out to unlock the door. The neighbors were all there, trying to help. I was so embarrassed! We went right out and had another key made.

dan and cheryl forbes said...

And where is your mom when you need her? So glad you are all okay! love you sooo much! mom

Rosemary said...

I am glad that you are laughing now ... this happens to EVERYBODY at some point in their life. So THERE - your 'keys locked in the car' incident is done and you can get on with enjoying your life. And you are certainly NOT a horrid mom, dear - quit the opposite!
Great Aunt Rosemary
p.s. WHY oh WHY did they send a firetruck and 3 firemen out when you only needed a tow truck guy??? Did they expect to have to use the 'jaws of life' to get the boys out???? When it was my turn to lock my keys in my car, I had one nice and helpful policeman come and use his special tool to unlock the door and I had to give him registration and identification for his report.