Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mother of the Year Award

What is your biggest fear as a parent? I'm not talking about the true big fears like losing a child or not being able to care for them. I'm talking those silly oh-I-hope-that-never-happens-to-me-because-I'd-feel-like-a-stupid-person-forever fears.

Locking your kids in the car...with the engine running. Yup. I did that.

So, here's the story.

We need to get a Emilia's passport ordered ASAP as we're planning a trip to the States this summer. Determined to have one less thing on my anxiety list, I managed to get clothes on everybody, clean diapers on both kiddos, fed the toddler a snack, nursed the baby, and restocked the diaper bag. Let's face it: getting everyone out the door constitutes a mini-marathon complete with an obstacle course of a living room. It's my favourite thing ever {insert snarky tone}.

Of course, as we were driving the 10 minutes to the photographer, Emilia conked out and I noticed Hyrum was awfully quiet. Not wanting to wake them both up, I quietly asked Hyrum how he was doing and if he was tired. He said he was sleepy and that was the last I heard from him. Zzzzzzz. So now I'm faced with a dilemma. Do I risk the grumpies and wake them up? Or do I just drive around for a while and maybe get myself ice cream (Mmmmmmm...) as a reward for all my hard work (ha!)?

I decide to exercise some self-control, don't get the ice cream and instead scope out somewhere nearby where I can get my oil changed. I figured I might be able to ask them if I can stay in the car with the kiddos and sure enough! I found myself at Mr. Lube getting the ol' oil changed (note to self: next time you're oil is due to be changed around your due date, get it changed BEFORE you have the baby. You will have no brain power to remember after the fact). This is actually my newest fantastic discovery--drive thru oil changes. I just drove the car in, they took care of business, I paid from my driver's window and everything. Awesome. Kids stay asleep and I get one more item crossed off my anxiety list.

As we're driving away, Hyrum wakes up from an all-too-short nap and for some reason thinks we're at an ice cream shop. Not joking. He asks for ice cream, I figure we're super late for lunch at this point so I'd might as well get the kid an ice cream (see how great of a mom I am there? Feeding my kid ice cream because he's hungry? You can give me an award now).

Emilia is still asleep so I decided it would be best for us to just head up the DQ drive thru. I get Hyrum and me some food sin and some ice cream yummier sin. I park and bring him up to the passenger seat and we chatter away together about the "ice cream cookie!" (ice cream sandwich, who knew you could make a two year old so excited?). As Hyrum was eating away, Emilia woke up. I brought her to the front seat to share in the festivities and in some milkies of her own.

Here's where the story really gets fun. After milkies, I realize it's bum change time. One of the joys of driving a wagon is the diaper change space in the back of the car so I head back there, change her tush, lock the back hatch/car (except, I didn't realize I was doing about creature of habit), and load her into the car seat. I then retrieved Hyrum from the passenger seat, load him into his car seat, shut the door, try to get into my door, and proceed to freak out when I realize I. am. locked. out. Except, not only am I locked out and the kids locked in, I've also managed to leave my keys in the ignition, engine running, and my cell phone sitting on the front seat. Beautiful.

After taking a minute to freak out, I decide to head into the restaurant. I beg to use their phone and call Brennan in the hopes of having him call AMA to do a car unlock. No answer. Great. I don't have my cell phone or my wallet and I definitely don't know AMA's number off the top of my head (though, I should after calling them two other times in the last two weeks. Don't ask). AHHH! What am I going to do? Police. That's right. Call the police.

So, I do. I bawl to the dispatcher about how my kids are locked in the car and it's warm in there (ha! Remember where I live?) and I'm so worried about them because Emilia hates her car seat and Hyrum probably wonders why his mama ran away. Tears. So many tears. In Dairy Queen. Looking out the window at my car.

As soon as she gets all of the information, I tell her that I'd rather get off the phone and wait outside while making funny faces at the kiddos than stay on the phone. I get back out to the car, Emilia is surprisingly calm and Hyrum mostly looks confused. I start making goofy faces and telling Emilia that Mommy is right here. She bawls. I bawl harder. I look at Hyrum and don't want him to see me bawling and start worrying, so I wipe my eyes, look back at him, make a funny face, he laughs, Emilia bawls, I bawl. Keep repeating cycle for about 3-4 minutes.

And then, a glorious fire truck, lights ablaze, pulls up. Five fire fighters jump out, tell me they'll have my kiddos free in just a minute, and after a few minutes of fancy coat hangar work (during which, Brennan returns the phone call to the Dairy Queen phone and a poor little worker waits outside while I try to explain to the husband that I've locked our children in the car), the kids are free! I scoop up a crying Emilia and hold her while I rush over to Hyrum's seat and get him out for a cuddle. The fire fighters leave us with a colouring book, a little plush doggie toy, and scoop Hyrum up for a picture with the fire truck. The world is right again.

And so, there it is. Do I get a certificate for being Mother of the Year?


  1. I'm pretty sure they ran out of certificates. I didn't get one anyway. :D But, you got a firetruck and toys! I am so glad I'm not the only one to do this.

  2. I did this same thing back in November... I was a tad luckier, I think, since my car wasn't running yet, whew! Stressful situation. Sorry you had to go through it, and to repeat the comment above mine "I am so glad I'm not the only one to do this" too. Haha!

  3. I think you deserve an award! You did so many things right! Like letting your kids sleep through the oil change and having fun in the front seat with some milkies :) And even having the habit of locking the door is a good thing! I believe it is perfectly healthy to skip lunch for a much needed ice cream reward. You were brave and resourceful enough to find a phone and call the right people to unlock the car. Then you were concerned enough about your kids' happiness that you tried to cheer them up even though you were stressed.

    Seriously. I'm impressed. I hereby award you, Amy Cartwright, the Mother of the Year award for surviving the stressful situation of locking-your-two-darling-kids-in-the-running-car-without-a-cell-phone-because-you-were-trying-to-be-productive!

  4. I locked Harper in the car (not running, but keys inside) back in Brazil (in the cool parking garage thankfully, so it wasn't burning hot). My apartment complex maintenance just broke the window that I then had to replace. Thanks, guys. Fortunately our current car won't lock if the keys are in the ignition and it is in park... a feature probably invented by a mom like us!