Lesson Learned : Baby Teething on Keyfob = Stolen GPS

I may look like an Angel...

I may look like an angel but...

Ok, I admit I may have been erm.. a little too lax about letting Jasper teethe on my keys. Ok, maybe I regularly let him go to town on them, partially to avoid the temper tantrum that inevitably ensues when I take them away from him  (hey, this was before yesterday’s enlightening duscussion okay?)

Unfortunately, he seemed to have a particular taste for the key fob, you know the keyless entry thingy that opens and closes your door with one convenient push of a button?  Yeah, well mine suspiciously stopped working completely right about the time when Jasper started getting his first top tooth last week  and the drool was unusually copious.

WOW, you never know how much  you rely on that little mod con until it goes away!

Even more so when you are being mommy/pack mule, toting baby to and from daycare with baby in one arm, pump and diaper bag in the other.. finding the actual KEY and inserting it into the lock becomes quite annoying. Even MORE so because cars made with keyless entry systems don’t even have a lock on any door except the driver’s door! Did you even know that? I never even noticed until the keyless entry stopped working. But I sure did notice when I would have to run back to the car for the bags I left in the passenger’s side and then have to run AROUND to the other side to manually lock the doors. (As I’m writing this I just realized I could maybe have done it from the switch inside the door? Doh!)  Anyhoo, All this is a rather long excuse for what I did yesterday..

I am usually (when keyless entry system IS working) scrupulous about locking my car doors.  I have had things stolen or riffled through in my car too many times to be anything but.  But yesterday while grocery shopping with Jasper I looked around inside the car and for some reason thought to myself we’d only be a minute, and there isn’t anything valuable in there anyway.. completely forgetting about the GPS in the glove box.

Crap.

Here’s the thing, we had a love/hate relationship with that GPS anyway.. it was an older model Magellen and it was pretty big compared to the smaller thinline versions today. But even more annoying was that it sometimes took upwards of 5-10 minutes for it to get a lock on our location. It drove me crazy. And don’t even get me started on how many times it got us lost in Brooklyn..

But I still consider it an essential accessory, particularly for one as – um, “geographically challenged” as I am.

So here’s where you come in. #1, don’t let your baby suck on your keyfob! and #2, if you have a GPS system that you LOVE, please recommend it in a comment below.

Thanks, and have a great weekend!

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Sherean says:

I’m new to the cell phone as GPS thing, but yes, you do have to type in your destination. It’s helpful if you have a phone with a keyboard, which many of the newer smartphones now have. This really only makes sense for you if you’re close to getting a new phone and are considering a PDA phone.

The Palm Pre does allow you to have multiple programs running at once, which is unique to it, so technically, you could talk at the same time the phone is running the GPS. Not that I’m advocating it, mind you!

The Navigator in the phone “talks” through the speakerphone, just as my Nuvi did, so I don’t have to look down at a small map. I can also bring the phone up to my face and zoom in (stretch the map out) much like you can with an iPhone, if necessary. It’s not as loud as the Nuvi, however.

Another thing I like about it is that I can check traffic on the route, something that is VERY helpful here in Atlanta!

It’s not a perfect solution but would work well for someone who uses their phone a lot for things other than calls (me) and who’d rather have one less device to keep up with. I just Googled it and this guy explains it better than I do: http://jkontherun.com/2009/08/06/sprint-navigation-on-the-palm-pre-my-new-bff/ But it does sound like a Nuvi is a better fit for you.

All this talk about phones is inspiring me to do a Tech Tuesday post on smart phones and which ones are better for which purpose (like business use vs fun for watching videos).

Shane says:

My iPhone does navigation, but I didn’t like it. It’s fine for an occassional directions type where you look and then know where you are going. but trying to FOLLOW directions and look at the small map while driving got a bit dangerous. So i went w/ a 2nd Nuvi for my car. I bet the Palm Pre probably handles it better. But another thing, I didn’t try to use navigation AND talk on the phone (hands free of course).

ariana says:

Oh, I almost forgot – the end to the story!

I called the dealer and the guy who picked up the phone told me a new keyfob costs $105, and the programming of the keyfob would be $65, but that he wouldn’t charge me for it.

But when I got to the dealer and I told the kind man behind the service counter what happened he took pity on me.. turns out his son ruined his cell phone with drool the week before!

He looked for an extra, but they didn’t have one that worked with my year car so he gave me a great tip instead.. he told me that you can buy a key fob on ebay for under $20! Oh wow, that’s great I said, but what about the programming? Well it turns out that the “programming” is just a series of events you do like put the key in and turn it six times, then hit the door unlock button or something like that and that the ebay sellers give you the programming instructions!

I just wanted to add that here in case anyone else’s key fob kicks the bucket :)

ariana says:

Sherean, (and anyone else who uses a cell phone for GPS) don’t you have to type in your location using the keypad though? That would take me forever.. but then again, I’m probably the only person left using a cell phone that doesn’t have some sort of easy to use keypad for texting right??

Sherean says:

We have the Garmin Nuvi and it’s o.k. But what cell phone provider are you with? And what type of phone do you have? Because a lot of smart phones have built-in GPS capabilities now. My new Pre has one and I started using the Sprint Navigation on there and like it just as well as my Nuvi. And no getting the GPS out of the glove box, plugging it in, waiting for it to find a satellite (which does sometimes take a while). The phone is small and always with me so it’s a breeze. Bonus, I can pull up Google maps (it locates me) and do all usual zooming out and in and around to get a feel for the neighborhood.

Just my two cents, but if you’re near the end of your phone contract, consider getting a phone with the capabilities.

Alicia says:

Hmmmm….that’s funny! No GPS for me. Heck, I don’t even have a dishwasher! I usually have pretty good results using MapQuest.

Love that pic of Jasper, btw. Have a great weekend!

Io says:

Ack – sorry to be the crappy alarmist – but try and get him to chew on something other than your keys – they often have high levels of lead in them.
In terms of GPS, most of the cheap systems are pretty good anymore and you don’t need all the bells and whistles with the expensive systems.

Shane says:

In addition to a new GPS and new car remote… I think you should get something off of this list:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_ba?url=search-alias%3Dbaby-products&field-keywords=keys&x=0&y=0

I think we’ll add this to G’s bday list too.

Melanie says:

can’t go wrong with a Garmin Nuvi! i love mine!

Heather says:

Jake has zeroed in on MY keys (no others are good enough), and I am so guilty of this! I almost think that some of the things that are mine, and that I use regularly have become almost transitional objects for him…my brush, my keys, my pocketbook, my shoes…etc. (unless maybe he’s going to become a cross-dresser…)

lelu says:

We have a Garmin nuvi and love it. My son did the same thing to my keyfob. You can find new ones online way cheaper than at the dealer. I can’t remember where we got ours, just did a google search.

chantal says:

Highway robbery. Ridiculous.

Stacy says:

I used to let my daughter teethe on my cell phone and the speakers on it stopped working last week. I can dial a call but can’t hear anything and the person I called can’t hear me. Bad bad mommy!

We have a Garmin Nuvi that we love.

Keri says:

We have a Tom Tom and I LOVE it. It is absolutely essential for me to have as I am “geographically challenged,” as well. Sorry about your keyfob. I know that must be annoying!

ariana says:

Ok, I just got off the phone with the Dealer.. new keyfob = $104!!! Programing = $65!! The service guy I spoke to said he wouldn’t charge me to program it.. but damn, I didn’t get his name, what if someone else is there when I go?

Chantal, I’m glad I saved you from this similar (and expensive) fate!

ariana says:

Hmm, lots of Nuvi lovers!

Michelle, thank you for letting me know that I’m not the only one who has suffered technology casualties in the battle for teeth! ;)

So many of you use your phones.. I’m due for an upgrade in that regard too. God I want an iphone someday..

Shane, I should have mentioned that I did try the battery. No go. Well, actually, there was a go until I realized in a total mommy brain moment that I switched the battery in Jeffs WORKING keyfob. What a let down THAT was! (In my own defense they are both nissan keyfobs and look almost identical).

Of course all the good stuff is in the comments! Who wants to hear/read just me blathering on.. as such, I have added a link to the comments RSS in the footer. Should have done that a long time ago, thanks for being the catalyst.

JB, you ARE due for an upgrade.. keyless entry should be one of those things they send you home from the hospital with, particularly for (about to be) moms of more than one like you!! On a serious note, I also think of it as a safety issue because if someone were to follow you to your car it’s much quicker to get in and lock the doors with keyless.

Hami, LOL, he’s smart, but not THAT smart! :)

chantal says:

I don’t have a GPS, but I do let Annora chew on my keys in order to avoid a tantrum. I am learning from your experience and won’t let that happen anymore! :)

HamiHarri says:

Hehehe…I thought you were going to say Jasper was playing with your keys in the house and somehow unlocked the car door…thus having your GPS stolen!  We have a $100 TomTom purchased from Walmart.  It does the trick – but we’ve found that it’s really important to keep updating it!

jbhat says:

I don’t have any of that stuff. I think I am due for an upgrade!

Shane says:

We both have Nuvis as well. Got the recent one from Costco online. And I’m with you on the fumbling w/ keys. Now that G’s carseat was upgraded and we have to carry him in/out of the car, I’ve been fumbling. I put a caribiner on my keyring and now clip it to my beltloop or pocket so it’s in reach to lock/unlock — but i guess that’s only good once your remote works again.

Also check and see if the battery just went dead. If J was pressing buttons alot he could have just drained the battery.

Now i’m going to search for an RSS feed for your comments since so much discussion takes place in the Comments.

vedjen says:

It’s not a GPS per se, but I’m a huge fan of the gmaps application on my GPS-capable Nokia n95-3 cell phone. It allows me to find my location (usually within several 1000 feet), get directions, and save points — all in one hand held device so I can still carry baby in the other.

Michelle says:

Oh the things we let babies teethe on! My husband is carrying around my old hot pink razor since Jack decided his preferred teething ring was Daddy’s phone and it died from all the slobber!
Michelle

Megan says:

I learned that about my husb’s car when I would take his with my keys – I don’t have a fob for his car. And then the driver’s side door lock broke! That was fun. Sorry about your GPS, we don’t have one. My blackberry does maps, but I haven’t ever tried the VZ navigator.

Jen says:

I hear you on the Magellan. We got one when GPS first came onto the market and it’s a dinosaur. Luckily it died on it’s own a while back and my husband upgraded us to a TomTom. I was skeptical at first but it’s light years ahead of our Magellan. Not to mention it can lock in your location quickly AND find the nearest Starbucks. And actually, I was at a wedding last weekend where the location is notorious for losing GPS signal so that none of the guests make it there on time, but TomTom knew right where to go and still had full signal!!

kate says:

Our old GPS took SOOO long to connect. We don’t have a specific GPS now, but I have to say my work phone is the BEST. My personal cell phone is an iPhone which I certainly don’t intend to give up, but for my job I have a Casio phone through Verizon, and it is quick and PERFECT. Plus indestructible!

Katie says:

Husband broke the old gps. We recently got a garmin nuvi (270 I think) on sale from Amazon. Love it! It is a little different than the older Magellan’s, but you get used to the format/screen changes and figure out the new buttons quickly. I’d say its user friendly! and locks on a location in under 2 minutes.

Pamela Levis says:

I am sorry. I have a garmin nuvi and I love it.