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The day I locked my baby in the car.

Posted on: Saturday, August 24, 2013





that time was this past wednesday.

it has to be every drivers worst nightmare.

and it not only happened to one parent, but both craig and i, in the exact same moment.

ten minutes prior i had been pulling out ingredients for supper and staring at the defrosted chicken in the sink thinking “i reallyyyyyy don’t want to cook tonight”- which led to an impromptu trip up the road to our favorite family owned fish & chips restaurant.

we pulled into the parking lot, i pushed off the ignition button & we climbed out of the vehicle.

i can still hear both of our car doors slamming shut simultaneously as i stepped towards corbin’s door to let him out. that’s when i heard it- a noise that has now topped my list of worst noises- the locks engaging on the vehicle.

i tried to open corbins door. “it’s locked!” again i jerked at the handle. again. again.

you see, our car has a push button start so i almost never physically have my keys in hand. i knew exactly where they were; in the side pocket of corbin’s diaper bag, in the floor board of the backseat.

panic set in immediately. i like to imagine that the urgency i feel with everything concerning my baby is all just a part of first time mom syndrome and that this is not really my forever reaction to life events.

craig rushed into the jewelry store that our friends own and had someone zipping him out of the parking lot in less than a minute in search of a spare key and/or hammer.

i called 911- while waiting for them, i made silly faces and sang ‘if youre happy and you know it’ 547384x while i watched the beads of sweat continue to build on his little face.

my constant thought throughout the entire event was “how long is TOO long?” how do you know how much time in a hot, locked vehicle is too much for a baby?

two police cars arrived fairly quickly. a fire truck showed up.

fifteen minutes in, corbin started crying. when you are walking through a fearful situation that has to do with your childs safety and happiness, this all encompassing mom guilt sets in.

i walk through mom guilt a lot. some warranted and some stemming from my own insecurities and self doubt.

this wasn’t one of those times. my baby needed me. he needed out of that car. now.

“break the window! just break it. it’s been too long!” i could feel the hot tears sliding down my cheeks underneath the rims of my sunglasses.

it didn’t take long for them to break the window after they realized that mom and baby were now hysterical. i can still feel myself wrapping his little body in my arms and squeezing. his blonde curls were dripping sweat. the firefighters wanted to look at him to make sure he was ok- letting go of his wet, hot little body for just a second was almost unbearable.

“he is perfect, mam. cute little boy.”

within a few minutes, my little family and i were left standing alone in the parking lot as if none of it had ever happened.

this is a fairly common story.  a lot of parents accidentally lock their kids in the car. but it is just so paralyzing when it happens to you.

there’s something to be said about the anxiety you experience when you feel that helpless- even in a controlled situation, where we knew that push come to shove, we could have our baby in our arms in seconds.

those seemingly simple moments that rock us to our core when no one else is phased.. those are the reality checks that cause gratitude to overwhelm you as you catch yourself checking the baby monitor a few extra times in the middle of the night.

thankful for health and life.




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