18 December 2007
By special request, the following is the tale of the trauma I inflicted upon my infant son. No, I'm not paying for his therapy for this.
I had just deposited Peawhistle at the preschool that my friends and I teach mutually and was on my way to the bank, but I stopped at our house first to quickly put something in the recycling bin before the recycle guys came to pick it up. I left the car running while I got out, walked the three feet to the bin, turned around, and found the car door magically locked. I tried all the doors, then went to the neighbors' to use a phone, but none of them were home. So I started running to my friend's house down the street (where Peawhistle was) to use her phone to call the in-laws (they have a spare key). I got halfway there and another of the moms was coming back from dropping her kid off, saw me, and drove me back to my house and let me use her cell to call information since I don't know the in-laws' number and my phone was in my purse in the car. Turns out they're unlisted. She said, "When I locked my kid in the car, I just called the cops. It was no big deal, they just came out and popped the lock." Not having the number for the police department, I called 911 and the dispatcher asked for the particulars and then she said she'd send the fire department as well, as if I weren't embarrassed enough already. My friend could hear all of this and started laughing, which only made me laugh too, all while I was attempting to sound like a very concerned and serious parent to the dispatcher. While we were waiting, it came out that my friend had not so much "called" the police, but had walked into the mall to get one, which is an entirely different situation altogether. I accused her of leaving out this very vital information, which only made her laugh even harder. While waiting, I'd get out occasionally to check on Peanut, and he remained asleep thank goodness.
Then, to top off the humiliation, the last preschool mom had her dates confused and she and her husband (and family) drove to my house instead and got a good bit of entertainment before they drove to the correct house. Shortly thereafter, I saw the fire truck coming with lights a-blazing, but it went into the wrong neighborhood. Great. Then a cop showed up and asked what happened. I explained and he said all is well, etc., assuring me that I hadn't done anything negligent (I swore they would arrest me for locking him in the car). "But you ARE parked illegally..." I buried my head in my hands ("I was in the go-position!"), my friend laughed at me some more, now joined by the cop. While he was explaining about why cops can't carry lock kits anymore, the firetruck found us, located the door nearest Peanut, and set to work. My friend had to leave while the cop had me watch the firemen break into the car. They took this airbag-thing and shoved into the side of the window and pumped it up to open the gap so they could shove the hook in and unlock the door. Quite fascinating, really.
After they unlocked the door, the cop left and I opened the car door to check and make sure the baby was all right, which he was. As I was closing the door again, I noticed a fireman directly behind me, who had apparently been trying to get a look at Peanut to make sure he was OK, too, but I'd already closed the door again. I asked if he wanted to check him out, but he said if I thought he was OK, then that was good enough for him. I agreed, got in my car, and drove off, not far behind the cop, who went back to trying to catch speeders off the main road where we live.
TA DA. Responsible parenting if I've ever heard it.