So…I locked my child in the car on Monday.
Picture this; a stressful morning, running late. A screaming toddler who doesn’t want to leave his daddy. I fight, like all good mothers do, to get my toddler into his car seat whilst he alternates between lightning rod straight and wobbly toddler jelly and at this point I throw my handbag onto the drivers seat. Toddler safely stowed in car, husband bid farewell, I close the door and then the sound that shall haunt me for at least the foreseeable future; ‘LOCK’.
For about thirty seconds I stood there in sheer disbelief, then I started swearing, quite fucking loudly I might add. I swore at my husband who had not yet left for work, I swore at the neighbour, who until that moment I had completely ignored. I swore at the car who had FUCKING BETRAYED ME AND MY CHILD. I swore a lot and it did not help the situation.
Our first reaction was to break the window and free him but the calm neighbour cautioned us against it and instead my husband dutifully drove to the office where we work to ask for the spare key. In the meantime the toddler and I re-enact a touching moment from many a daytime movie as we cry for each other with our hands pressed against the glass:
“Free me mother!”
“I’m trying! I’m trying!”
The alarm chimes in! HONK, HONK, HONK!!
“YES CAR! WE ARE ALL ALARMED! SHUT THE FUCK UP!”
The neighbour full on thinks I’m crazy and over-reacting by now and is encouraging his son to calm my son down since his mother has clearly lost the fucking plot and then randomly my father-in-law turns up to try and help the situation. He also brings the terrifying news that apparently my spare key has been sent to Birmingham, fucking BIRMINGHAM?! WHAT GOOD IS A SPARE KEY IN FUCKING BIRMINGHAM???? However like a pro my father-in-law announces that we’re just going to break the window and that’s all there is to it.
HONK, HONK, HONK.
“CAR! Seriously mate we know you’re stressed but this is so not about you.”
So firstly we break the teeny tiny window on the rear passenger side so that the damage is minimal, the neighbour and my father-in-law embody the very definition of teamwork to reach the handle with a hammer, they nail it! Nothing happens.
HONK, HONK, HONK.
The car has dead locked. WHY UNIVERSE WHY?!
So they then have to break the rear passenger-side window completely. Glass goes everywhere, I thought that cars were supposed to have safety glass? Look at the unholy mess all over the car and the floor! My child! Glass flew at my child!
HONK, HONK, HONK.
Neighbour – “Right I’ll just climb through and get the key.”
Me – “No! I must be the one!”
So I do, I climb through the glass to get my child, and fuck that was a lot of glass. I mean seriously Seat? Did we not foresee this eventuality? I unlock the car, I clamber out and reach for my child who has, in the meantime, been freed by his Granddad. I hold my arms out. He doesn’t fucking want me.
Great, I feel special. You’re not the only one who wants a hug kid.
Fearing for his hearing we rushed him to A&E and thank fuck I took my father in law because the A&E attendants totally did not speak the high pitched, sobbing form of English I was wailing at them.
Nurse – “So what happened?”
Me – “Ahhhh toddler waaaa, carrr!”
Father-in-law – “The car locked with the keys and the toddler inside.”
Nurse – “Has he been ok since?”
Me – “Waaaaa! Why!!!! Car, sob, why!!”
Father-in-law – “Yes, he’s been fine but could you please check his ears because the alarm was going off for about twenty minutes.”
His ears checked out, the nurse refrained from sending me for psychiatric evaluation, and the toddler even took himself off for a nap when he got in. It had been a stressful morning after all.
The Insurance department were pretty good with me, the Customer Support centre wanted to know why I hadn’t waited for them “Uhhh? Because there was a child TRAPPED IN THE CAR!!”, I refrained from saying ‘moron’ on the end like all good people do. I even drew the below, very helpful sketch on the company claim form:
I’ve since been told that this isn’t really what they were after but no further requests have been made upon my clearly talented hand.
Lots of people have told me that they’ve also done this and apparently it’s quite common for cars to lock themselves if they’ve been inactive for some time. You can also, apparently, have this feature switched off.
The toddler seems fine, mummy and daddy were quite traumatised.
But now it’s over. It’s all over….