Sunday, September 25, 2011

Helplessness Defined

On Friday it wasn't totally hot outside, but it was in my driveway. And I'm sure it was extra hot to 2 year old Tinkerpot, dressed in a long-sleeved shirt buckled tight in her carseat...locked in my car in the noonday sun. The moment I let go of the handle, I knew that I had not only locked my car keys into the front seat of my car, but I also locked my purse and cell phone there also.  I wore a short sleeved shirt and standing there next to her, I was sweating and not just because I was helpless.

I was just leaving to do a few errands and I left the back door open just in case Bugs came home from school and I was delayed for a minute or two so she could get in. If I hadn't done that, I'm sure I don't know what I would have done.  However, it was still bad. I raced inside through the back door and called Triple A. But I only have one phone in my whole house because who uses their land line anyway? And the phone I have is not a handset. So, while I was racing through information to get the number, and then trying to convey the urgency to the AAA operator, I was stuck INSIDE while my poor baby was out in the driveway alone and hot and crying and not knowing what was going on.  I was dying. 

I finally was able to go back out there but that was just the start of a 15 minute wait until the police and the AAA guy came. During that time, I toyed constantly with the idea of breaking through the window. At one point, I was able to get Tink to release the bottom buckle on her belt and she was able to wriggle out enough to take her shirt off.  At this point, she was sweating and flushed and I was freaking out. Her eyes leaked tears but she was so brave and her eyes locked with mine the whole time like she knew it was serious.  But although she was 75% out of the seatbelt and able to reach the door handle and door lock, I could not bring her to understand how they operate. (she knows now).  That was the most infuriating part - knowing her hands were on the door lever and lock button but unable to get her to engage.  And my frustration transferred to her because she started to cry again and I knew I had to just stop encouraging her to keep trying.  It was too upsetting.

I'm so grateful that it wasn't July or August. Had it been, I would have broken that window, no question.  I'm also so grateful for the two men that came as fast as they could knowing that a child was locked in a hot car.  They were so nice and worked so quickly.

After getting Tink cooled off and both of us calmed down, we went on only one errand.  To Ace Hardware where I made about 4 extra car and house keys.  I will not stand helpless outside a car again watching my child suffer.  It was unbearable.