I Locked Him In the Car :(

It’s always been a fear of mine, and today it finally happened.   I pulled into the driveway at daycare and saw that his hat was on the seat next to his carseat. When I tried to open the door, it was locked. So I opened the driver’s side door and clicked the unlock all button and closed the door. Only it wasn’t the UNlock that I hit, but rather the lock. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sinking feeling of my stomach falling through my feet onto the pavement when I realized what I’d done.

I RAN into the daycare building screaming like a banshee for the phone and the daycare director went out to stand by the car window and keep Jasper company.  I called AAA and went through the tortuously slow process of giving them my information and completing the request for assistance, and nearly had a heart attack when they said it could take up to 30 minutes for someone to arrive even WITH the red flag they put on the request.. 30 minutes is not a long time, but when your baby is locked in the car 30 minutes might as well be 30 hours.

As soon as I hung up the phone I went out there to stand with the car, which of course I had to do, but definitely made matters worse. Before I got there, Jasper had his paci, his bear and was playing with my iPhone contentedly and laughing at the daycare director as she played peekaboo with him through the car window.  As soon as he saw me he thought I was coming to get him out so one by one he dropped his paci, his bear and then my phone as I watched horrified but unable to stop him or make him realize he shouldn’t let them go.  From there on out things deteriorated rapidly and he started crying hysterically for me to get him out.. all I could do was put my face at the window and try to get him to stop crying long enough to get him to listen to me, but by then he was at the meltdown point of no return. So I watched helplessly as he sat there pulling at his car seat straps, reaching his arms up towards me crying for mommy to get him out.

I think it was probably only about 5 more minutes until the tow truck arrived and within 30 seconds he was out, but it felt like an eternity.

I will NEVER let my AAA membership lapse. I will ALWAYS pay for the plus membership that includes locksmith assistance and I will NEVER lock (or attempt to UNlock) the doors and shut them without testing it first!

What a crappy way to start the week. Is 10:30 too early for a drink?

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Staci says:

Just catching up on my blog feeds. Oh. I’m so glad that everything worked out. I did that once when I picked my son up from daycare. I was fumbling with getting my son in the car seat and accidentally hit the lock button on the remote. I laid the keys on the front seat (at the time we only had a two door) to get him buckled up and everything. Closed the door. Walked around to the drivers side to get in and the car was locked!!! I know that sinking feeling all too well. It was God’s grace that an amazing calm came over me. I remembered the car has a number pad to unlock the door. However, I had not punched in or even thought of the code in probably 5 years. Even then, I didn’t have it totally etched in memory. By God’s grace, on the very first attempt at the combination the lock popped open!!! Now I make a point to punch in the code every once in a while just to etch it into my memory. …Which reminds me, it’s been a while. I’ll do it today. I’m glad it all worked out!

Crystal says:

Oh – how horrid for you both! I too am terrified about this, and very nearly was in the same boat just the other day. For numerous reasons, AAA rocks. Rest assured, Jasper has probably forgotten about it already, though you may never!

Meggan says:

I’m sure someone else already said this but the police will unlock your car for free and maybe even more quickly if they understand your child is in it. You are a great Mom, just human like the rest of us.

So glad to know I’m not the only one who had a crummy baby day. I have that exact same fear, so I’ll definitely keep that in mind when getting baby out of the car.

I woke up to a baby covered in vomit and it continued today while ending the day with massive diarrhea. awesome. that’s all I have to say. I never even brushed my teeth today nor combed my hair, but I got some great cuddles in.

Victoria says:

Mommy brain only gets worse…add two more kids to the mix and be happy when you get them all in the vehicle in the first place and don’t forget one at home! That hasn’t happened to me yet but I have locked all three of them on interstate…during the summer. Thankfully the a/c was on and I too have AAA. I keep telling myself I need a dictaphone to speak all my reminders into; however, I’d probably forget to even listen to the dog-gone thing! Such is life! Maybe for Christmas us mom’s should ask for some ginkgo biloba in our stockings! ;)

Farah says:

So glad that everything turned out fine! Luckily, he won’t remember a thing about it when he’s older! ; )

Alexandria says:

and by the grace of God this has not happened yet, but its something i always worry about. whenever i leave the car without my keys i roll down the window just in case. so sorry this happened, but i’m glad it wasn’t any worse.

ariana says:

Thank you all so much for commiserating! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my mommy misadventures ;) Isn’t mommy brain supposed to go away by the time your kids is almost 2.5??

Oh, honey! I’m so sorry that happened to you and Jasper. Accidents happen, and I’m so happy that you were outside of a place where you could make your call to AAA quickly while someone else watched over Jasper. You’re even luckier that it was someone who you and Jasper both trusted that was there with you!

I’m an absentminded sort of person, and it’s good for me to get little “wake up calls” like this one to remind me to pay attention!

Brandi Lee says:

What a way to start your Monday! So sorry for you and Jasper. We all have our fears and that is one at the top of our list! I will make a mental note and do my best to not do it!

priscilla says:

I’ve locked my son and my dogs in a running car(different episodes). Much harder on me than my prisoners, I’m so sorry you had to endure it.

Bridget says:

Bless your heart! I’m sure it was much more frightening for you than him.. I haven’t done this yet, but I’m sure my time will come and I’ll feel the same heart wrenching guilt too.. Big hugs! ?

Cole says:

OMG, I *just* posted about Mommy doing the EXACT same thing on Friday morning! Luckily the AAA guy came in about 5 minutes, but Mommy was flipping out. I’m betting you and she will *never* close the dorr without double checking that you have the keys again!

Liz says:

I’m terrified that the day will come when I do this. I always try and make sure I have an extra door open or the keys in my hand to try and prevent it.

FYI, Pop A Lock will open a car door for free if a child is inside. http://www.popalock.com/emergency_door_unlocking.php

Kristy says:

Oh no! Poor you! Glad he got out quickly and safely!

Fiona says:

Poor you. Poor, poor you. That feeling of dread…..you describe it so well. My heart as in my mouth reading this. Sounds like you handled it well….so glad it’s over for you….

10:30 too early? Never!

Hope tomorrow is better than today was. Also – forgive yourself. It happens to us all…..

Fiona x

Oh my! I’ve been SO close to doing this. I put my son in the car and I accidentally hit the key fob in my pocket. I closed the door before I realized what happened. I WAS so glad that I had the key in my pocket and didn’t put it in the car which I do from time to time.

jbhat says:

I can completely identify with having a pefectly content kiddo who all of the sudden loses after catching a glimpse of mommy. I’m glad your tale has a happy ending–for you and for Jasper and Bear.


Nina Designs says:

Oh no! I felt so bad reading it. Thank god it’s over and it didn’t take the 30 minutes. Poor baby.

jacqui says:

Ariana ,Ive just recently started reading your blog. I have six kids and want to assure you that you are not alone in locking kids in the car .Ive had my kid trapped in a vending machine and had to call the police to get her out, she was feeling around for loose change got her hand stuck,I had four other kids in tow panicking and shouting at the top of their tiny voices and attracting every person within a mile radius. I can laugh about it now cause they all survived and it was 16 years ago.
Take heart that this is all part of being a mother and from what Ive read through your blog you are indeed a wonderful mother Ariana.

GiGi says:

(((((HUGS))))) this road we walk called motherhood has a LOT of bumps along the way. And while I know your pain all too well, don’t let it get to you too much. The scars we moms carry last a lot longer than the ones worn by our precious little ones.

(((((((more hugs)))))))

one day you’ll laugh about this … or at least, Jasper will laugh about it and make fun of you for it. :+)

Erika says:

I’m sorry! Yes, I’ve not done the car, but I did the house, when my daughter was 6 weeks old! I’m glad everyone was safe!

Aimee says:

Cole has been locking the door with his feet and I always leave my keys in my car (the bonus of living is a rural area) so I leave the drivers side door open until his door is open and then I am good to go.

ariana says:

Oh Susan, that sounds HORRIBLE! How awesome of Violet to take it all in stride..

And what an asshole who would sue the police for such a thing and ruin it for everyone else! They should just make you sign a waver instead of not helping, that just seems wrong. But that’s why I figured the daycare director said the police couldn’t help.

Anyway, glad we both survived our mommy meltdowns!!

Susan says:

I actually shed a tear reading this post and remembering when I locked Violet in the car this past May…and it was HOT and I was very pregnant and already emotional. We don’t have AAA so I completely FREAKED OUT!

I locked Violet in the car with my keys and my cell phone in a Target parking lot. Luckily, a very nice lady who stopped to help the wailing pregnant woman let me use her phone. I called the police who showed up but were unable to help (at first) because they no longer have the device that opens car doors (after being sued by someone who asked them to open his car door because they ended up scratching his car).

So, the firemen were called because they can smash open the window (lovely). Luckily, before that happened, a policeman found a wire hanger at Target and did some handywork on the lock. AMAZING.

I won Worst Mother of the Year that day. Oddly enough, Violet never cried…she must have always known I would mess things up eventually. haha.

ariana says:

Oh Jill, I did that too!!! He was like 4 months old and THANK GOD He was in the exersaucer so I knew he couldn’t get into anything dangerous. Waiting for my dad to come over with the keys was TORTUROUS!!!

Jenny, that’s so smart he let himself out!

Thanks Maria :)

David, that’s AWESOME that onstar does that.. I will seriously consider that when purchasing a new car! I thought about calling 911, but the daycare director said something about the police not doing that even though they used to.. not sure how she knew, maybe I’m not the first daycare parent to do this! I’ll have to ask her. But seriously, the guy’s equipment consisted of a rubber wedge with a hand pump to pull the door away from the car and a long rubber coated wire to press the unlock button – so simple! Everyone should have one.. the problem is, where would you keep it? In your trunk? Doesn’t help much if you can’t get in the trunk LOL!

Maria says:

Reading this brings tears to my eyes! So sorry you had to go through this but glad it didn’t last any longer than it did!

David schloss says:

Ugh. That’s one of the many reasons I like having a car with onstar. They can remote unlock.

Btw, most cop cars have lock jimmying tools. After you call AAA call 911. Whoever gets there first can unlock the door.

Jenny says:

NO, 10:30 is not too early!
bless your heart.. I know the feeling as well as I have done the same! Thomas wasn’t in his seat yet, think we were all getting into the car. I was able to coax him into the front seat and allow him to start pushing his favorite buttons!
Well, your day can’t get much worse.

Oh no!! That is a terrible feeling :( I haven’t locked K in the car, but I did lock myself out of the house with him inside once. It was an awful, helpless feeling. So glad you were able to get in a quick as possible.