Friday, August 21, 2009

Why Sleep Deprivation (Like Drugs) Is Bad

So, yesterday, the absolutely unthinkable happened to me. Whenever 911 is involved, I tend to think it's "unthinkable".

I'm not one of those people that loses her keys. Ever. And I'm certainly not one of those people that locks her keys in her car. Ever.

It had been a rough morning. My little guy was being a bossy, demanding two-year old, as two-year olds will. I decided the cure for what ailed us what getting out of the house, maybe a zip of caffeine. I decided to meet a Mom for story time at the local library, but I was exhausted and tired from lack of sleeping at night. My toddler and I ran into Starbucks to get my something with zip (Vivanno), and a kid milk. Once outside, I proceeded to toss his kid milk onto the sidewalk, and was instantly furious with myself; there was 1/2 inch left in the cup. There was a quintessential hangs-out-a-lot-at-coffee shops dude with his laptop, surveying the damage. I stuck the two drinks on the car hood, strapped Toddler into his car seat and was going to offer the last 1/2 inch of milk to him.

Because, you know, couldn't waste a penny more than had already been splattered over the sidewalk.

I fumbled the two drinks, local paper, and my purse.. then proceeded to throw what remained of the milk onto the passenger side seat and door panel.. milk was everywhere on the passenger side, all over the glass, all over the seat, and most importantly, the door panel. I tossed my purse and keys, Vivanno, and paper onto the passenger seat, grabbed some napkins and started wiping down the car. I was so furious with myself, so I wiped it down hard, setting in motion the next chain of events.

I had no idea what was coming.

I finished the wiping, and someone was trying to pull into the parking spot beside me, so I slammed the door shut. I tried my toddler's door, to check on him. Locked. Tried the passenger door. Locked. Raced around to the driver's side, locked. MY TWO YEAR OLD WAS LOCKED INSIDE WITH MY CELL PHONE AND KEYS. It is probably 89 degrees outside.

I started repeating the mantra "OHMIGOD, OHMIGOD, OHMIGOD" loudly, and out of nowhere, like an angel, a Mom appeared with her cell phone, muttering something about how it was falling apart, telling me to call someone. It was pink. The back was falling off. The words she was saying barely registered.

I called my husband. We figured out it would be a minimum 30 mins for him to make it with the spare key, so I called 911. As I dialed, crazy, irrelevant thoughts raced through my brain. The only other time I'd called 911 was to report a smoking vehicle on the highway. Would they think this was, in fact, an emergency? Or some crazed overprotective Mom who was two shots short of a latte? Was this phone going to hold together? Why was her phone pink?

The fire department and police showed up in about TWO minutes. I watched the big red shiny fire truck pull up and told myself this wasn't happening. Then I told my toddler, through the window, helplessly strapped into the carseat, that there was a big red shiny firetruck behind him. He raised his eyebrows, tried to crane his neck.

Every minute that ticked by was an eternity. The firemen worked like clockwork, gathering a group on each side of the car, each with a slim jim, successfully getting the wire into the car, but unable to pull the locks open. I parked myself outside my toddler's door, shielding him from the sun, began to sing him "Twinkle Twinkle", and then I saw it. The open mouthed, noiseless wail of a hot, scared little boy. He looked at me in panic. "What are these men doing? Why are you out there? What are they doing to our car?"

I put my hand up on the glass, and really started to lose it. He was hot. He was really hot; little bullets of sweat were forming, breaking on his forehead, trickling into his open mouth. He kicked his shoes off, furious at his entrapment.

Something happened to me then. I cleared my voice, wiped my tears of helplessness, and said in a very loud, clear voice to the fireman with the slim jim exactly what the lock button looked like, where it was located, and how you must push it. A calm came over me that I still cannot explain. Enough was enough, we needed him out. Now.

They took 20 minutes to get the doors open, right as my husband showed up. The look I got from the husband was not one I wish to relive, that of pain. Tormented relief.

The very scary thing, and why I decided to share this, is how quickly my toddler got hot.. really hot. I was shielding him from the sun, and we have tinted windows in the back, and he was still sweating. PSA: Now you know why you have a duty if you ever see a kid locked inside a car on a hot day.

After the whole ordeal was over, a Mom that had witnessed it came over and gave me a hug and kiss and said she was there, crying with me. I hugged all of the firemen. It was quite a scene. Everyone was fine, including my toddler, whom we took inside Starbucks to get cooled off, where they gave him a free sample of sticky bun. Swinging his shoe-less feet, on my lap, sipping water.
He was good. It was ME that still needed to recover.

I didn't get him another kid's milk.


Unknown August 21, 2009 at 12:45 PM  

I've done it too, we all have locked our kids in the car at one time I think! How scary for you, I can only imagine how frightening that was! I'm glad he's okay, it's scary when you can't help them... one time I put my kids in the car in the winter, and went to shut my back door and slammed my finger in it, breaking it. I kept passing out when I tried to stand up to go to the car, and I couldn't function to help them. It was really frightening.

Unknown August 21, 2009 at 12:47 PM  

Oh, yeah, did I mention my youngest was a newborn when I slammed my finger and it was my second week back at work? Sleep deprivation is no laughing matter.

High Heeled Mama August 21, 2009 at 2:27 PM  

Having called 911 myself this summer, it's no easy thing to recover from. I'm still reliving my experience, analyzing it from every angle, blaming myself for it all. Thank goodness everything was okay for you - and you totally did the right thing. If you'd called AAA or any other type road assistance, they would have told you to call 911.

This happens more often than you think (I'm frankly surprised I haven't done it yet, although peanut did lock me out of the house once).

Big hugs to all three of you.

Kim August 21, 2009 at 6:13 PM  

I too am surprised this hasn't happened to me yet. I hope you are well and that the pregnancy is moving right along for you!

Casey August 21, 2009 at 8:45 PM  

OH my god, I'm shaking for you! This is my biggest fear, especially living in FL. We just had remote start installed in our car since it gets so damn hot in the summer.

You did the right thing calling 911. I hope the little guy got to enjoy the firetrucks after the commotion died down.

gramyof13,  August 21, 2009 at 8:47 PM  

Oh girl, I was right there with you the whole way - only I wasn't breathing until the end I was so nervous! I should have known it would end well, but - I was caught up in the moment.
I'm so glad you didn't have a nervous break-down and your little guy will be/is fine.

buffalodick August 22, 2009 at 9:41 AM  

I worked on a car lot when in high school and college- having a slim jim, doesn't mean you know how to use one! I've broken into more cars(legally!), and wish I could have been there to help! You relayed your story well! Oh yeah, I have never left my kids in the car in my life- I was afraid they'd steal it!

Keely August 22, 2009 at 11:07 AM  

Omigod. I felt a little sick for you there. That's TERRIFYING. You did the right thing by calling 911!

Anonymous,  August 23, 2009 at 7:54 AM  

Dear God, I am in tears now. I had a father do that at the bank one day and the cops would not come...even though there was a child in the car. I gave him all the tools in my car. He ended up breaking the glass.
That would have been me in first moment. I would have over acted and broke the window right away.
My heart goes out to you and your wee one.

septembermom August 23, 2009 at 4:38 PM  

How scary! I'm so glad to hear that the fireman responded so quickly. I would have never guessed that it could get hot that fast in the car. I can't imagine the stress you were feeling. Thank God that everything turned out all right. Hope you're feeling well.

Jeanne Estridge August 24, 2009 at 10:30 AM  

This may be the first post I've ever read that made me stop breathing till it was over and the little guy was safe.

Glad everyone's okay!

Stephanie August 24, 2009 at 8:52 PM  

OMG!!! That is so freaking scary. You poor, poor thing!! I am so sorry. I am just so happy that the little one is safe and so very sorry you had to go through that. I am so happy that you shared this. My heart is still pounding...

Sabrina August 26, 2009 at 11:40 AM  

I accidentally locked a child I was babysitting in my car...I was so scared I pulled the window down a tiny bit, stuck my fingers in and literally pulled my glass out. Probably a major overreaction, but in that moment...I recall the beads of sweat forming on her brow, nightmarish...I didn't give a crap about my car!

Sprite's Keeper August 27, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

Oh, my hell. I've never come close to that but could feel the brevity of the situation as I read. I was getting tears in MY eyes. So glad everything is okay.

Debbie August 29, 2009 at 1:30 PM  

Oh my word. This made me stop breathing. I am so glad he was fine. What a nightmare. But, a good lesson to us all.

♥ Braja September 10, 2009 at 6:53 PM  

Holy crap....terrifying...

prashant September 17, 2009 at 10:31 PM  

I too am surprised this hasn't happened to me yet.
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