Well I did it. It happened. I had my first of I’m sure many screw ups as a new mom, and it was awful and traumatic and scary and horribly upsetting…. for me. Thank God, Arthur was completely wonderful, safe, asleep, and none the wiser.
I actually considered not posting about this, as I’m sure it may open me up to criticism and judgement, but given the outcome, I welcome that, and hope others can take away a lesson of ‘what not to do’!
On Tuesday evening Arthur and I arrived home after over 3 hours in the car. We spent a few days visiting friends and family while staying at my parent’s home in the town where I grew up. When I pulled in the driveway Arthur was still sleeping soundly in his car seat. We use a convertible (meaning it stays in the car) and the mosquitos were so horrible that I decided to get out of the car and unload the trunk before waking my baby and exposing him to the millions of biting, blood sucking bugs swarming in the air!
I backed my car up nice and close to our door and popped the trunk. I carried in countless bags and a giant suitcase in 2 trips totalling less than 5 minutes. You can see from the photo below how close the car really was. Keep in mind we live quite rural, so the risk of ‘dangerous people’ being nearby is close to zero. That didn’t even cross my mind at the time honestly.
Although it had been a wickedly hot day, the weather cooled right off at dusk, bringing with it the swarms of insects. Although clearly not a bright idea, I wasn’t concerned about the heat from being in the car at this time, this was something I did take into consideration before leaving him. (I did read something after the fact about the temperature inside a vehicle increasing drastically in a matter of minutes, thankfully it didn’t heat up inside my car in the time I was unloading, but in the future I will not be making the same choices)
As I moved the last of the bags inside I put my car keys down on the floor without realizing it. I got out to the car to bring Baby Bumpkin inside and found his door to be locked. No biggie. My car doesn’t automatically unlock the rear and front passenger doors when you stop, so I ran around to the driver side door to hit the button that unlocks the rear door. I pulled on the door handle and immediate panic set in.
My baby was locked inside my car! It was a sickening feeling. In all of 10 seconds I desperately searched through the car window for the red lanyard my keys are attached to. I didn’t see it, but I had no memory of putting it anywhere else, I scanned around me, focusing on the flower bed (below the window I took the above photo from) that is lined with cinder blocks. I was honestly a moment away from smashing the front window to get to Arthur, when it hit me that Hubby Bumpkin doesn’t carry my spare key with him, and it was hopefully sitting just inside the door.
I dashed up the steps and began bawling when I saw it sitting in the ‘junk’ bowl inside our entrance. I repeatedly hit the unlock button as I sprinted back to my car, swung open the door and unbuckled my peacefully sleeping baby. I held him close and cried and cried until he eventually woke up, content and wanting to nurse.
As I sat inside with him, I realized how lucky we were, and exactly how stupid I had been. What is done is done, but I will learn from it! And I am eternally grateful that the outcome was a positive one. Baby Bumpkin was not hurt in the slightest, but it might take some time before I feel better about what happened.
Needless to say, Arthur will now be safely placed in his crib or play pen, inside the house, or worn in one of my carriers while I unload from any future trips to the city!
Have you ever had a mommy ‘fail’ that left you feeling horrible, but your children never knew about?