Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So I Locked My Kid in the Car

Just last week I was catching up on The Workout Mama, and reading about how her little boy Caden accidentally got locked in the car.  As I was reading, I thought about how scary that must have been and felt so bad for Tamara having to experience that.  It was one of those nice reminders about how we need to be so careful as parents and make sure to always be conscience of what we're doing.
I read her post on Tuesday.  I even commented on her post.  On Wednesday... I locked my kid in the car.  First thought: "You are absolutely shitting me!"  Second thought: "No way this just happened." I checked all the doors.  Then I checked again, because I really just couldn't believe it!

Let me rewind a few minutes, Liam & I are were enjoying a beautifully sunny day and took a little walk to the mailbox.  Liam knows which box is ours and loves helping unlock it.  We merrily walk back to the house with him still holding onto the mail key which is also attached to my car keys.  My car has key-less entry and start, so I never need to actually have my keys in my hands.  They are usually stuffed deep in a pocket of my diaper bag or my purse.  I figured Liam could hold onto the keys, so he wouldn't have a complete meltdown getting into his car seat; which has been the norm lately.  We were going to make a quick trip to the grocery store before Conor came home from work.  So I strapped Liam into his car seat, handed him one of his current favorite books, Moo, Baa, Lalala, and shut his door.  Approximately 5 seconds later I try to open my door and it is locked.  In that 5 seconds, Liam had pressed the lock button on the key fob...

The feeling in my stomach was awful.  Pure panic had hit me.  It wasn't a particularly cold day and the car was off and parked in the garage, so I knew Liam wasn't in any immediate danger, but still...! I was separated from my child and could not do anything about it!  He was flipping through his book, while I was moving into major freak out stage 3.  First, a quick call to Conor at work to try and help me come up with the best course of action. Then, I called 911, because locking your child in a car has to be considered an emergency, and we knew they would very likely respond quicker than a locksmith or AAA.

After what seemed like an eternity, a police officer arrived.  He did not have an emergency lock out kit with him, so he called the fire department.  I awkwardly waited with the policeman, trying to not absolutely lose it, until three firefighters arrived in a paramedic truck.  At this point my neighbor Mark runs out of house thinking something awful is happening (which it was, just not to the extent that Mark was thinking).  I was so happy to see him;  finally someone I know that can help me through this awful, awful moment.  He asked if I was okay, and I just started bawling!  My baby was locked in the car!  I locked my baby in the car!  

Liam was perfectly fine and just checking out all the people around him.  If he had been upset, it would have made the whole experience ten times worse.  I thought that once the firefighters arrived it would only take a few minutes and Liam would be back in my arms.  Well, apparently my car is incredibly difficult to break into...  All four men were trying for about 30 minutes with no success.  Liam had been holding onto the keys the whole time,  but he finally dropped them onto the seat.  Ultimately, the firefighters were able to snag the keyring with a hooked pole and pull them out while the door was wedged open a bit.

I was so relieved to hug Liam as tightly as possible, and I never wanted to let go!  The whole ordeal took 40 minutes.  40 MINUTES! My heart could finally stop pounding, but I just felt awful.  I felt like a terrible mother.  I know that Liam was unharmed, and honestly, he probably enjoyed all the commotion and getting to see the police car & paramedic.  But it was one of those moments that I just felt like I failed as his mom.  That whole evening and the next day, I was a little rattled.
Liam quickly forgot about the event, so I figured that I needed to as well.  I know that as parents we need to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we make and move on.  I also know this isn't the last time I'll mess up, but hopefully I have learned just a bit more from this experience and will be more careful in the future.  Also, wine.  Wine helps just a little bit!

And since I dare not write a post without a picture of the little man, 
here he is in one of his favorite cars...the one attached to the grocery cart!
Thankfully.. this one doesn't have locks!
"Vroom vroom, beep beep!"


  1. Oh my goodness! I am so sorry this happened to you. I can't imagine having to wait for 40 minutes. You totally did all the right things, I can't believe the 911 operator didn't dispatch fire to you right away. So glad Liam was ok and that he stayed so calm during the entire process. Hugs to you sweet girl! Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. So scary! I've walked out of our apartment without keys (thankfully Noah was with me and not inside) but it makes me think that since I've been more forgetful since having Noah that it would be easy to do something like this as well. Glad to hear everyone is okay!

  3. My husband is a fireman! He loves to come home and tell me about these occurrences because the kids end up thinking it was the best thing ever having fireman come to THEIR rescue! Its us mommies that have the worst time with it. Just be glad your kid didn't lock themselves in a gun cabinet for sale at a trade store like one did the other day for Mr. Redneck as that would be a bit more frightening.

  4. Oh, my! I hate that you went through this! I know it had to freak you out. I try so hard to be careful but stuff like this just happens no matter what! Hope you guys have a calm, easy rest of the week!

  5. Such a scary story! We laugh about this now but at the time I'm sure it was mother in law locked my husband in the car when he was a baby and there were bees in the car! We always laugh and say it sounds like a made-up story.

    1. Oh my, I would have LOST IT if there were bees in the car! I know we will laugh about this too, but not quite yet... :-)

  6. Wow, how scary! I would have absolutely freaked out. And I'm sure there's no way that my little guy would have been as brave and calm as Liam. Glad it all worked out!


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