Do you remember that episode of Modern Family (I think it was episode 6 of Season 1), where Lily is accidentally locked in the car…and Cam goes into flat panick and has a complete meltdown? Well that was me this week! I totally became Cam (actions, high pitched voice and all!).
This was by far the most traumatic experience I have ever had, since I became a mother, and I thank the Almighty countless times for
a), keeping her safe while I tried to remedy the situation, and
b), for being with my father and sister when this happened.
And the most valuable lessons I learnt from this experience were:
- Do not panic
- Do not panic
- Do not panic!
- Never let go of the car keys while strapping your little one into the car
- Make sure you know where and how to locate the spare keys
- Make sure someone has a set of keys to your home (if the spare car keys are at home)
- And most importantly, remain calm
It was dark and raining, and I was rushing to get Ammaarah into the car. My sister helped me by opening the car and placing the keys in the car. For fear of losing them in the car, I threw them on the front seat so that I could easily find it when I climb into the drivers seat. (I do this often, might I add – but never again after this!)
I strapped her into the car seat (rushing at it because it was raining), and then closed the door and ran to the front. But as I shut the door… click… the car locked! At first I did not realize what had happened, but two seconds later, panic started to creep in as I realized that the car had just locked and the keys were on the front seat.
I frantically tried to open the car doors (all of them, including the boot), but they were all locked. LOCKED! How did this happen?? And she was strapped inside!
Panic. Panic. PANIC!!!
My first throught – suffocation!
My second thought – break the window!
Thank goodness my father was there with me, as he immediately brought me back down to earth. She was NOT going to suffocate, we did not need to break any windows and I needed to take a breathe and calm down. Because we needed think of a plan to get the spare keys. (Spare keys, oh yes, something like that exists!). Crap, but where is it? Where is it??? Think, think, think, where could it be!
But I couldn’t think, because all I was thinking about was how long it was going to take to fetch the spare keys and then return to open the car. And what if Ammaarah started crying, or choking or something?? (I desperately just wanted her out of the car!)
I had to call Zieyaad, who was out of town for the night, to find out where the spare keys were. I really didn’t want to, because I knew he would panic (even though he was miles away), and that I would need to explain what had happened, and I would need to explain our plan, and I would need to make sure he remained calm, and there was just frantically no time for that! But, I unfortunately had no choice, because I needed to find the spare keys. So I called and gave very vague and straight forward answers, being sure to tell him nothing and being sure to reassure him that everything was fine.
My father then stood with her (in the rain!), so as to ensure that she was okay, while my sister and I went to get the spare keys. He assured me that he would break the window if necessary!
Tick tock,the time could not have ticked any slower!! (and of course, Murphy’s law, we had to be stopped by every traffic light!)
But thankfully, when I returned, my little girl was fast asleep, almost as though nothing had happened! (Phew, this could have been so much worse!)
We eventually got home about an hour later, and I was still trembling. How could I have been so stupid? So many scenarios were playing in my head – What if I was alone? What if I had no cell phone? What if I could not find the spare key? What if, what if, what if?
A valuable lesson learnt. I will NEVER do that again. My keys are now permanently attached to me using a Treatmesweetlie Handmade Pacifier Clip, so as to ensure that I never leave them in the car again!
Have you experienced this before? How did you manage to remedy the situation?