So I have a confession. It’s one that, until now, I’ve only told my husband and parents. In fact, I’d be okay if no one else EVER knew this embarrassing (and scary) mommy failure.
I locked my keys, my phone…oh, and Gideon…in the hot car last Tuesday. It was the sickest and scariest feeling in the world. To say I lost it, would be an understatement.
Allow me to explain away my failure by start at the beginning…
Laynie and I dropped Gideon off at therapy and then headed to our favorite restaurant, Chiloso, for breakfast. My parents met us (which is not the norm) and upon finishing, Laynie begged to ride home with them. No problem I thought. I would go pick up Gideon by myself, and meet them all at my parent’s house.
(Now understand this, Laynie is with me 99% of the time when I pick up her brother from therapy… you’ll understand the importance of this in few paragraphs or so.)
Upon arriving at the therapy center, I left all my personal belongings (except my keys of course) in the car. Why only my keys you ask? Well, after therapy, Gideon is NOT happy and in much need of a nap. When they hand him (and his bag) to me, he’s usually fussing and throwing himself about. His bag weighs just as much as he does so as you can imagine, carrying a 20 lb diaper bag on my shoulder and a life size wiggle worm in both arms, I only have two fingers left.. and I use them to hold my keys.
As I fought to hold onto everything, I clicked the unlock button on my keys and opened the side door. When I tried to sit Gideon in his car seat, he began throwing this body around worse than usual. As I tried to hold him tighter, my keys were still in my hand and I accidentally hit the lock button. Once I got him in his seat, I threw my keys over the drivers seat and hurried to sit his bag down so I could grab his bottle. Maybe he was fussing more because he was thirsty I thought. While getting out his bottle, I even thought to myself, don’t forget to unlock the drivers side door. But in the process of getting out his bottle, I heard his hearing aids buzzing in his bag. They forgot to turn them off. So while he fed himself (yes, he can do it when he wants to), I quickly grabbed his hearing aids and turned them off.
It only takes me one distraction to forget something important. So as soon as I pushed the door shut, I remember the car was locked. Everything inside me knotted up. I thought I was going to vomit. Like an idiot, I wasted 2 seconds by pulling both door handles and banging on the window (as if either of those were helpful). I then sprinted inside to use the therapy center’s phone (mines in the car, remember?). I pushed aside a very sweet woman at the check in window and calmly (yeah right) demanded that the receptionist call 911. As she spoke with the 911 operator, I was already on my way back outside. She hollered to me and asked about my vehicle information. I believe my words were, “I’ll be the woman panicking beside the black jeep.”
I ran back outside and pressed my snotty face against Gideon’s window. As I apologized over and over, this was the first & only time since his diagnosis that I was glad he was blind and deaf. He couldn’t see or hear the panic coming from outside the car. Unfortunately, Gideon was crying; not because he was locked in the car, but because had dropped his bottle.
The cops were there in less than 90 seconds. (I’m not surprised, I only counted SIX of them on my way into town…apparently Rockwall is cracking down.) One of the two officers firmly told me to move and then demanded to know the length of time he had been locked in. Feeling so shameful and guilty, I sobbed “Two and half minutes!” Thankfully that sweet woman who I pushed aside earlier had come out and wrapped her arms around me. She sweetly told me that everything would be fine.
It took them about 30 seconds to unlock the doors. I immediately started my car and pushed by the officer to tell my deaf-blind kid I was so sorry. After I gave him his bottle, I threw myself onto the officer and apologized to him for being such a negligent mother. He must have felt awkward. He quickly peeled me off, and said I did the right thing by calling immediately. Apparently most people spend 5 minutes or so trying to handle the situation themselves because they think they’ll be in trouble. Not me. I’ll go to jail, pay a fine..just get my kid out.
I thanked the officers again and Janelle (the sweet woman who held me and didn’t make me feel like a horrible person). Then I got in the car and left.
Driving home I couldn’t believe that had just happened. I started to rationalize, well if Laynie had just been with me like she normally is, then this would have NEVER happened. You see, Laynie loves to start the car and so she ALWAYS does. That’s why I habitually throw my keys over the drivers seat…because Laynie grabs them and starts the car. But this wasn’t her fault! It wasn’t my parents fault. It certainly wasn’t Gideon’s fault.
It was my fault.
I’ve always thought to myself, that would NEVER happen to me! And yet it did. I like to think I’m a pretty good mom…you know, responsible and what not. But the truth is, we’re all capable of mistakes. Sometimes scary mistakes. And I think the most important lesson I learned from all of this is that I need to own my mistakes. So I called Kevin, owned up, asked for forgiveness. Not because he would expect me to, but because I felt guilty about it. As always, he was quick to forgive and in doing so, his words lifted my spirits.
And so that’s my confession. My most recent mommy failure. Maybe you think it’s silly. Maybe you can relate. Either way, I feel much better getting it out there.
Anyone else ever done this?
Or am I the only one?