Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Turn Around's Fair Play

Did I ever tell you about the time I locked my keys in the van with the twins inside (they were toddlers at the time)? Um, no...didn't think so, allow me to explain.

Rich used to always lock his keys in his car. It was done to the point of annoyance for me. One time he did this, he had taken my van, but out of habit he took his car keys with him too. When he locked himself out of the van, I couldn't just hop in the car to help him, because he had the keys to the other car too. The solution was to carry two car seats, push a stroller and manager two preschoolers and walk to my mother's office (a couple of blocks away) and borrow her car. Let me tell you how mad I was when I got there and he had managed to get in by jimmying the lock. Are you beginning to see how annoying this was?

I have only locked the keys in the car once and it was the worst experience...EVER. I will never, ever tease or get mad at Rich again for locking his keys in the car.

It all began after I dropped Amanda and Anthony off at school. Sarah and Zachary were about 2 years old at the time. I needed to drop my article off at the newspaper office (at the time I was working as a freelance writer for a local newspaper). I drove the half hour to town and when I got to the office, there weren't any parking spaces in front, so I drove around the block a few times. Finally, I decided to park a block away and just walk with the twins.

Then, I did something I had never done before......I have no idea - to this day why I did this, and I have never done it since. After I turned the car off, I put the keys on the floor behind the driver's seat in the van. Why??? I don't know. I got out the van, hit the automatic lock thing and shut the door.

As soon as I did this, I realized what I had done. Shock....Horror...Fear...I just locked the twins, buckled in car seats and my keys in the van and had no way of getting them out. Luckily, it was a nice day. Not too hot, not too cold. All this of course happened, before I had a cell phone.

Panicking, I looked up and down the street, spotted a telephone booth less then half a block away and within eye shot of the van. I ran to it, only to see that it was broken. I ran into this little mom and pop store across the street from the phone booth. I asked to use the phone. I tried calling Rich (which was a long shot, because he was working midnight shift at the time, so he was sound asleep) without luck. I tried calling my mother, my brother, anyone I could think of, but no one was home. So I ran back to the van. The twins were talking back and forth to each other, smiling and happy. I felt scared and frustrated. I had no idea what I was going to do at that point. Standing there feeling helpless is a feeling I hope I never have again.

Finally a good Samaritan pulled up behind me. As he was walking down the street, I asked him if he had a phone I could use (I was going to try calling my family one more time). He said he didn't have one, but there was a gas station down the street that also had a garage that did towing. He told me he would drive over and ask them for help.

About ten minutes later, he came back with a tow truck. The man from the garage managed to unlock my car and then proceeded to tell me that there would be a $25 charge. As if locking my kids and keys in the car wasn't shock enough, now I had to pay a fee for getting them out. Having no money, or credit card on me, I had to beg the guy to trust me, gave him my name and phone number. When that didn't work, I gave him my driver's license to hold until I could come back and pay. I was in tears at this point. I was humiliated, frightened, shocked. I didn't know what else to do.

After getting home and waking up Rich and explaining the whole situation, we went back to pay and get my license back. When I walked into that garage, I felt like I was on display. There were 4 men standing around staring at me and at my license, which was hanging up on a bulletin board. The whole thing was just so embarrassing. I swore I would never again say one word about Rich locking his keys in his car....ever again!


Serendipity Handmade said...

Just stopped over from SITS...what an ordeal! I'm glad that everything worked out in the end.

Corrie Howe said...

I didn't have kids locked in the car, but mine was embarrassing none the less. I was a reporter for a small local paper. It snowed so I got into my car to turn it on and warm it up while I scraped the snow off the windows. I got out of the car and as habit, I locked it. I had to go inside the office and call the police...because the town was small enough the police still break into cars for people. When they dispatched a squad car to help me out, they decided to call out my name and location too. It took awhile to live that one down among my police friends.

Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

That sounds horrific - I love how the "why did I just do that" always comes the split second after the damage is already done.

Sarah said...

I did almost the same thing when my 4th was about the same age. At a soccer game. AND it was hot. I let him climb in, shut the door, and realized my purse (with my keys) were in the car. PURE PANIC...you are right about that! I ended up having someone call the police..after taking about 5 minutes trying to get Andrew to pop up the lock...realized it was hopeless and he had NO clue what I was talking about. I can laugh about it now, but it was SO stressful then!