For a while now, I've wanted to start a category to document the little things that happen to us moms each day....the memorable moments such as the first words, the first steps, first tooth...but also the crazy and unexpected moments that seem to arise daily for busy moms like me. Well, an incident that took place last summer sparked my first entry! I had the scare of my life and one I'm sure will not be my last! It was 103 degrees in Los Angeles and I accidentally locked the keys in my truck... with my daughter inside!!!!!!!!! Let me back track and explain how it all went down before you brand me the worst parent of the year.......
First, I have to start by adding that, the week it happened week, my husband and I traded cars. Mine needed an oil change and some work done so he took it a few days this week in order to work on it on days he gets off of work early. So, I drove his truck to work. We're the type of couple that rarely, if ever, switch cars. Mine is mine and his is his. So, needless to say, I'm not so used to his and all of the bells and whistles that come with it. I got off work and went to m y mom's to pick up my little one. As we were leaving, I put her in her car seat, buckled her in and closed her door. I then noticed she was wiggling around and realized that she didn't have her pacifier....we cannot leave anywhere without the paci because it's her "I'm tired and sleepy" security blanket. A day at grandma's makes her very tired and sleepy! So, I told my mom, who was standing next to me to please run in and get the paci while I wait outside with her. I didn't want her sitting in the car in the heat so I turned the car on, turned the air on and closed the door. I then walked around to the driver's side and was going to get in the driver's seat as I waited for my mom to bring the paci from inside the house.
Well, low and behold the driver's door is locked. In my head I thought, "Oh it's just the driver door. All of the doors in the truck must not have unlocked when I hit the alarm. The passenger door (from which I turned the air on) or the back door next to the baby's seat will still be open." When I went around, instant panic set in. ALL DOORS LOCKED!!!!!! OMG, what do I do now?? Baby's in the car, it's 103 degrees outside and my husband (who's in a meeting 20 miles away at rush hour) has the spare! For a minute, I ran around like a crazy woman just holding my head saying, "What do I do, what do I do?" My mom started to freak out too telling me, "Call the police, call the police." Well, considering I am the police (I work in law enforcement), I hesitated.... I can't do that. They'll think I'm the worst parent ever. How embarrassing. I'm supposed to know better. I thought, I could smash the window in but, it's a truck, the windows are all virtually surrounding the baby and I'd risk the chance of glass falling on her. She could grab a piece, eat it, cut herself with it, damage her eyes....that wasn't an option...at least not yet.... After a few seconds, I ran inside (while my mom stayed by the car), dialed 411 and called AAA! Thank goodness I have AAA. Just the other day I was wondering why I'm still paying the dumb $45 a year fee when I never lock myself out anymore and "don't really need it because my car's reliable." Well, this is why!!
The AAA customer service representative on the phone was incredible. She heard the panic in my voice and immediately calmed me down. She assured me that baby in the car calls are top priority and never take longer than 10 minutes for help to arrive. In my head I thought, "Yeah right, I've waited for AAA in the past lady, and 10 minutes really means at least an hour." She assured me that it wouldn't be any longer than that and even agreed to stay on the phone with me until the tow truck arrived. Well, after a few minutes, I calmed down and thought, "The AC is on and she's sitting in there as she would if we were driving somewhere. She's going to be fine. Ten minutes in the car with the AC on is not a problem." THANK goodness I turned the AC on!! So my mom and I were both outside, next to the car window, waving, talking to her and basically doing whatever we could to keep her entertained so she wouldn't freak out. Luckily, she was exhausted from the day at grandpa's (and playing on her new swing set) that she just sat there and looked at us as if we were complete and total fools! Within 7 minutes, AAA arrived. The driver ran out of the car and immediately began to work on the car. He unlocked it within a few minutes and the saga was finally over.... I felt like I owed him my life. What a savior. AAA came through and boy did they do it quickly.
Now, to rant about why this happened!! My husband's car, a Dodge Ram, locks immediately once the ignition is turned on. My car, a Chevy Yukon, only locks once the car is put into drive (which makes much more sense). So, lesson of the day, know the car you're driving and it's locking functions.....especially if you're the type that likes to turned the car and AC on when there are hot summer days to make it comfortable for you and your kids. If not, you could make it not only uncomfortable, but down right dangerous for them if they get locked in. This was a lesson that I will never forget and I hope at least one other parent out there reads this and learns something from it too... Now let's see what my next installment of "Another day in mommyhood" entails!