Drop the struggle and dance with life!

Jan 4, 2013

And the cop said “…you are a good mother”.

And the cop said “…you are a good mother”.

But he was comparing me to all the crappy examples of parenthood he sees on a daily basis in the course of his work, so not sure if it counts as a resounding endorsement. Then again, many tired, sleepless people go through life without hearing the words “You are a good parent”, so I will take my compliments as they come, even the back-handed ones.

Here is how it happened: I put my baby son & his carseat in the backseat and slammed the door shut.
I placed my handbag and the keys on the frontseat, and slammed the door shut. 
Walked around the car to open the boot and place the stroller in… and IT WOULD NOT OPEN.

Now, to those of you who don’t know me, I do not like shortened misspellings, ill-conceived sentences and all CAPS. I like to be polite, even on paper. So, you can imagine my frustration if I’m using all CAPS. Let me say it again- MY CAR DOORS WOULD NOT OPEN.

Did I mention my baby was inside?

After a moment of stunned disbelief, I checked everything again- yes, the keys were still inside. My baby son was still inside. I was not inside. I was definitely outside.

I always thought when something like this would happen, I would be perfectly calm, composed and poised. I would be a model of controlled adrenalin rush, an exemplary specimen (speci-woman?) of strong, sensible parent, getting things done.  But in reality, I was frozen. Whatever parts of me that were working, were not functioning properly -I was a mess of shivering hands, sniffing nose, teary eyes and babbling mouth, accompanied by burning chest and fire in the belly.

Oh, I did manage to call 911 within a minute of discovering the locked doors. There was simply no way around it. And then I spent what was most definitely the worst ten minutes of my life- making rounds of my car, checking the doors repeatedly: driver side door – locked, back doors – locked, boot – locked, driver side door- still locked. Going in circles, checking, double checking, as if a door would be magically open all by its sweet self.

I had my husband on the phone by this time. Poor guy, too far away to help me, goes “Is the baby O.K.?”
“Yes, he fell asleep!”, I assured him.
“Fell asleep or fainted due to cold?”

Took the wind out of my sails, it did.

The police came exactly ten minutes after my call. The cop was basically there for moral support. He called a working crew to open my car and we waited another 15 minutes for it to make an appearance.

Apparently, many people lock their keys in the car.

Apparently #2, some idiot sued the county police for damage to the car when they assisted someone in distress, so no more opening doors for civilians. Not even the prettily crying kind.

So I leaned in closer to the cop and said surreptitiously, “Do you know how to open this car?”
He replied, “Yes”
“Can you please open it?”
“Like I said, we are not allowed to”.
“I promise not to sue!”
And he rolled his eyes, “That’s what they always say!”

Exactly 40 minutes after I locked my son in the car, I had him in my arms. In a moment of self-deprecation, I told the cop that I have never done such a ninny thing before. He assured me that as long as locking him in the car was the worst thing I have ever done to my children, I was a pretty good mother.

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