It’s SO great when I have a day that writes my blog for me.
This morning I got up and I put on my riot gear to start my weekend taking care of a 15 month old and a sick 31 year old while trying to get through my todo list.
The first half of the morning went off without a hitch until Abraham decided to skip his morning nap. So I made lemonade; we went Christmas shopping together. We had 2 more stops after JoAnn Fabrics and we were on a roll. In and out, slip and slide, shop and drop and other catchy sayings as well. I popped Abe in the back seat, tossed my bag in the front seat, and walked around to the driver’s side door when…
That’s the sound it made in my head.
What’s a “BOMP” you ask? It’s the sound your door makes when it doesn’t open because it’s locked. With your kid in the backseat.
Ok, this has happened before and there’s always a door open. Just walk around calmly to each door.
Every. Single. Door. Is. Locked.
Yep. I’m that mom. I’m standing in Joann Fabric’s parking lot, staring at my son, who locked inside my car. It took a few minutes before the panic set in. And when it did, I ran like I did when I was in cross country in high school. (If you know me at all, you know I was a theatre nerd in high school.)
“Excuse me? Can I call 911? I locked my baby in the car.” It started. I got a million, “Oh you poor mom who’s too busy to make sure her child is safe” looks. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Just let me call.
“Don’t worry, ma’am, we have someone on the way and we’ve called Pop-A-Lock. Just go back to your car and wait for the officer.”
I “cross-countried” back to my car and looked in the back window. Abraham saw me, smiled, and waved. He was clearly in a state of shock.
I stood behind my car pacing, looking, searching. Where in the hell is the cop? Or the Pop-A-Lock car? COME ON. It’s been like 5 minutes. This is Jacksonville. WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE TO DO??
And then, way off in the distance, I heard the sirens. Oh come on, I thought. Are sirens really necessary, officer? As if I’m not humiliated enough? But then I realized it wasn’t enough to send a police officer. That is not a cop car siren. That is a fire truck siren. A freaking fire truck. For a split second I considered hiding behind my car until they left and calling AAA, but I thought better and threw my hands up. For like 30 seconds. It took FOREVER for this firetruck to see me. He just slowly trolled the parking lot, siren blaring, while I jumped up and down flailing my arms. For a moment I thought he was playing a little firetruck prank on me, like something they do to the new guy. He finally did he turned his siren off, which at this point in the little parking lot seemed like a bit much…until the second firetruck pulled in behind him. Yep. That’s two FULL LENGTH fire trucks surrounding my car on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. THIS IS MY LIFE.
As the firemen emerged, a woman trying to get her car out next to me gave me a half dirty, half wtf? look. “Hi. Sorry! Mother of the year!” I said as I raised my hand. Somehow it wasn’t funny to her.
An ONSLAUGHT of firefighters surrounded my car (none of them hot). Abraham thought this was about the greatest thing ever and he waved at all of them. One of the firetrucks immediately left. Even the firemen knew my son wasn’t in enough danger to warrant 2 firetrucks.
Now it’s been about 15 minutes since I locked my only child in the car and I was standing outside of it with a firefighter making small talk about how “this happens all the time” and “one time his wife locked their child in a bedroom…” surrounded by a lot of pissed of Christmas shoppers with their cars blocked by a firetruck. That’s when Mr. Nosey Pants decided NOW would be a good time to come over and talk to me. I don’t know Mr. Nosey Pants. I’m not sure anyone in Florida does.
“What happened?!” He shouted/asked me as if he knew me and I was going to shout, “OH LEN, OH THANK GOD LEN, YOU’RE HERE.”
“What happened? I locked my kid in the car, that’s what happened,” I responded dryly.
“Oh no! You don’t have a key??”
I’ll let you come up with your own witty punchline of a response here. I was a little distracted so the best I could muster was, “Well, stranger, if I had the key…”
“Oooooo!” Mr. Nosey Pants smiled knowingly. “You’d open it if you had the key!”
“You know what you need?”
“Oh please, tell me what I need.”
“You need to hide a key in your bumper! That’s what I do! That’s my car right over there!”
“Ok! Great! I’ll make sure to let everyone know that’s your car with the spare key hidden in the bumper.”
“Ma’am. Pop-A-Lock just phoned. They should be here within 5 minutes,” the firefighter interrupted Mr. Nosey Pants.
“Oh good, ok great.”
“If it’s more than 20 minutes, I’m going to have to break that back window just to ensure he’s safe.”
“Fine, whatever.” I checked on Abe again. More smiling and waving. Smallest emergency ever.
Pop-A-Lock arrived and did exactly what their name describes within about 30 seconds. He opens the door, flips the unlock button, and the firefighter pushes me out of the way to get into the back seat with Abe. This is the best game yet, for Abe, and he begins to clap and crack up. “I think he’s fine,” I say.
“Yeah. I think he’s going to be OK. Have a great day, ma’am. Merry Christmas!”
I got into the driver’s seat and saw my phone had several text messages from my husband, so I wrote, “Just got into the car thanks to the work of several dozen firefighters. We’re on our way home.”
And the first thing he said? “Well, that’s a blog.”