Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mother of the Year

So, what did you do today?  Oh, nothing much.  Just locked my baby in the car.

I'm sorry, what?  What was that?  Did you just say you locked your baby- as in a teeny, tiny helpless human- in the car?  Yep.  Yep, I did.  I locked my baby in the car today... and not on purpose either.  That's right kids, MOTHER OF THE YEAR, RIGHT HERE.

Technically speaking, my toddler locked my baby in the car today, but it was my fault for leaving a feral toddler in the vicinity of a button and a door and for doing so without first pocketing my keys.  Ironically, my toddler was "helping."  You know how helpful toddlers can be.  Eh em.  I jacked up my hand a week ago (see previous post) and my toddler has started to shut doors for me.  To help.  He also really likes to press buttons and has ninja-like speed, so he somehow pressed the button that locks all the doors without me noticing or hearing.  Whether or not he intended to lock his little brother in the car... well, that's actually pretty likely, but I'm not sure he's that premeditated yet.

So once I realized my keys- and my baby- were locked in the car and I had no way to get them out, I entered panic mode. I ran over like a crazy person to the first person I saw in the garage with me- a freakishly kind man who was working on the garage door- and asked him if he knew how to get into a locked car because "OH MY GOD MY BABY IS LOCKED IN MY CAR."  Now, if that's not the way to immediately gain respect for your mothering skills, I just don't know what is.  He looked at me all astounded and, let's be honest, a little freaked out and said, "Um... I'm just working on the garage door.  I don't know how to break into a car."  You incompetent, idiot mother.  Then a neighbor from my building came in the garage and saw me quivering with panic and helplessness.  He asked what was going on and again I had to say, "My baby is locked in my car."  With the keys.  And my phone.  And pretty much anything else that might prove helpful at this particular juncture.  Aren't you impressed with me right now?

He also gave me a startled and slightly horrified look (because seriously, what kind of mother am I?!?!) and then asked if I'd tried to slim jim the car yet.  I said no, but when my husband tried that, he left giant dents all over the driver's side door, so I was guessing that wasn't going to work.  The garage door man asked if I had someone I could call.  I said I could call my husband, but he was in class and probably didn't have his phone on.  My neighbor handed me his phone and I tried calling him.  I was correct- no answer.  Then I said I could try to call my insurance company to send out a tow truck, but I didn't have my phone or my insurance card with the number.  Garage Door Man called his company and had them look up the number for my insurance company.  Then he lent me his phone to call.  (Did I mention these people were really, really kind?)  My neighbor ran to get tools and I began to officially Lose. My. Shit.  I started crying while calling the insurance company.  They said they would dispatch someone right away, but it would take 20-30 minutes for them to get to me.  That seemed like an awfully long time to just stand around while my BABY WAS LOCKED IN THE CAR.  Jesus Christ.  I looked at my neighbor and Garage Door Man.  "Is that too long?  What do I do?"  They suggested I call the police.  So I did.  And I cried again like a big ol' baby while telling yet another person that my baby was locked in my car and I could do nothing at all to help him.  They told me that they could send a police officer, but that they would be able to do nothing for me but hang out with me until the tow truck got there.  Or they could break the window.  Seriously?  No other options?  Sure, send someone out to look at me like a dumbass while I wait for someone else to come and look at me look a dumbass (but at least the latter would be freeing my baby while judging me).

So then another neighbor entered the garage and saw me crying next to Garage Door Man while the first neighbor was trying to break into to my car.  Naturally, he was curious.  So asked what was going on.  And for the fifth time I got to say it.  Baby.  Car.  Locked.  Bad Mother.

Perhaps it was just the fear in my face or the giant tears rolling down my cheeks while my thoroughly confused (but suddenly beautifully behaved) toddler gawked at me, but the second neighbor also offered help.  He went outside to wait for the police and/or tow truck while I stood next to my locked car with the first neighbor trying to break in to free my baby.  The baby who, I'd like to point out, was now happily sleeping.

The first neighbor kept me calm by chatting with me and pointing out how nonplussed the baby was by all of this.  It helped, but I still felt like a total shit.  One last minute shopping trip before Thanksgiving gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Eventually, the tow guy showed up and, with the help of one amazing little airbag device (that I'd now like to purchase and keep in one of those magnetic hide-a-key thingies under the car with a GODDAMNED SPARE KEY), he opened my car door in about a minute and a half.  And there lay my baby completely conked out and oblivious to the drama occurring over the last hour.  I thanked the tow guy profusely and said, "Please tell me you get a lot of these calls."  He grinned at me and admitted he gets at least one "help me get my kid out of my locked car" call a day.  Bad mothers UNITE!

So all ended well as Garage Door Man and my two neighbors looked at me, heads cocked to the side in pity and amusement at my idiocy, while I signed paperwork saying that yes, I did just lock my baby in the car.  Awesomeness.  I thanked everyone profusely for their help and grabbed my baby, my toddler and my groceries, leaving my parental pride in a puddle next to open car door.  One of my neighbors grinned at me and said, "Let's get you upstairs," and led the way to the elevator.  He stopped at the door, turned to me and said, "Got your keys?"

Yes.  Yes I do.  I intend to sew them to my navel.  Next to my "Gold Medal Mother" tattoo.

Hands-Free Parenting

Motherhood requires a MINIMUM of two functional hands.  Or extremely dexterous feet.  Whichever.  Really, it requires nine or ten hands, but unless you are a Hindi deity, you're stuck with the usual two like the rest of us.

But then something like this happens:

And then you are fucked.

Because now you only have one hand, and one hand is NOT ENOUGH.

At first you think, "Damn.  I cut myself and may or may not need stitches, which is really a bitch since I'm home alone with sleeping children.  I'm sure I can stop the bleeding."  Forty five minutes later you think, "I'm pretty sure the bleeding is slowing down a bit, but that is a rather gaping slice on my hand.  Perhaps I should ask someone about that."  And then you try to eat something because it's now 9pm and you're bloody and hungry.

I did ask someone about that, and thanks to a kind and loving doctor friend (who said stitches might have actually been helpful), my hand is stuck back together with Steri-Strips.  After one week, it's finally, FINALLY starting to heal.  However, for future reference: getting kicked in the wound every time you change a diaper does NOT speed healing.  Good to know.  In the meantime, I've learned how to diaper, open jars, shower, carry groceries and babies and turkeys simultaneously, and generally function with only one and half hands.  It's tough and very often hurts like a bitch, but it's doable.

In the meantime, I'm steering clear of knives and practicing diapering with my feet just in case this ever happens again.  Wish me luck!