Sunday, June 29, 2008

Friday Freakout

I took the kids out for a drive Friday afternoon. H was having one of those days, and I hoped the change of scenery would do her mood good. We brought the dog along (we're babysitting) and set off. Our first stop was the gas station. We're weren't going to get far otherwise.

When I finished pumping and went to hop back in the car, I made a horrible discovery. The dog had jumped up on the driver's seat to watch out the window and pushed down the lock on the door. My 2 kids, the dog, my purse, my keys, and my cell phone were all locked inside. All the windows were up and it was smoking hot that afternoon.

Panic immediately took hold of my brain. I had visions of my children sweltering in the car, crying, and me being helpless watching them through the window. They'd have me on the evening news to show the world the horrible mother who was so irresponsible as to lock her children in the car on such a hot day. None of that was happening yet, mind you. The kids were still pretty happy from the m&m's I had found for them in the glove compartment before we set out.

I wasn't quite sure what to do, but whatever it was, apparently thinking was not going to be a big part of it. I ran inside the gas station (hoping the kids didn't get upset when I went out of sight). There was a huge line of people at the counter, but I cut to the front and told the attendant my problem. She quickly sensed the urgency of the situation and paged one of the mechanics to come up.

Ah, yes, this station had a garage! It hadn't occurred to me that there were mechanics right there on site! I thought I would have to be waiting for AAA or the police or someone to come out and rescue us.

I ran back out to check on the kids, who were still sitting happily in their car seats. Whatever else I had done, at least I was doing a good job of hiding my panic from them.

The mechanic came out to assess the situation. He started muttering something about this car being designed to be "break-in-proof." That wasn't helping me feel any better. By then, the gentleman waiting behind us for the pump realized what had happened and came out to see if he could help.

It was about then, with the little audience to watch, that my brain starting working again. I looked at J and said, "Oh." The kid is 4 and a half, after all. He's not completely helpless anymore. He's been able to get himself out of his car seat for at least a year. For half a second, I considered how I was going to save face in front of the helpful gentlemen next to me, but gave up on that pretty quickly.

"J, would you get yourself unstrapped?" I called through the window.

"Sure, Mom!" He hopped down from his seat.

"Good, now would you open the door, please?"


Now why didn't I think of that 5 minutes earlier? Before the crowd had started forming and all. I felt a little sheepish about having created a bit of a scene. Oh, well. I thanked the gentlemen (without making eye-contact) and climbed back into the car.

I gave J a high-five and told him he was a super hero for saving the day.

"Thanks, Mommy. Your pleasure is my work!"

I'm not sure exactly what it meant, but it gave me the warm fuzzies inside just the same!


Jenny said...

Too funny!

Lori said...

Awwwww, Your a good Mommy SJ. I would have freaked out too!

I do have to say, I loved little J's line.