Over the weekend, our little family had its first Austin Fire Department event. No, Jaime wasn't burning his resume in a "screw The Man" fit of rebellion. Nope, Ryder hasn't started walking yet so the knobs on our gas stove are still safely off when we're not actively using the burners. And nuh uh, I did not succumb to a fit of hysterics and barricade myself into the bathroom screaming "I won't come out until someone promises me I can have 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep!". Although I admit to thinking about that one.
No, we did the ultimate of awesome parenting: we locked the keys and our sleeping son in the car while at a gas station. Yup. Locked our baby in the car. In Texas. In summer. Technically it's not summer yet but when temps are hitting the high 80's/low 90's it's close enough to call it summer. And so we had Ryder, asleep in his car seat, and the keys dangling from the ignition.
I learned that when you call Pop-a-Lock they will dispatch the nearest technician, who will drop whatever they're doing and come to your location. They also call the fire department. Whomever gets there first opens the car.
As we waited, listening for sirens, I circled the car several times, fighting the urge to break a window. I knew Ryder wasn't in danger. He was asleep, not crying. The car was parked in the shade and it was early, so the temperature was mild. These rational thoughts were swirling through my head just as quickly as the irrational emotion was churning up inside me. The best way I can describe it is a burning, raw lava flow inside me. It pulsed hotly in time with the thoughts "you have to get to him" and "you can't get in there". It was most definitely primal and if Jaime hadn't been there to calm me I probably would've given in and smashed a window.
A very nice locksmith happened to pull into the gas station just as AFD arrived. He offered to open the car for free. AFD deferred to "the professional" and watched him use two inflatable car door wedges and then reached in with a long tool and hit the power locks button. They compared notes, since AFD uses a blood pressure cuff (now they'll use two). Pop-a-Lock came and went, seeing as we had plenty of people surrounding our car.
Ryder was still sleeping when I yanked open the back door and leaned in, kissing him and checking his body temp. He was fine, of course. A firefighter checked the indoor temp and asked if I wanted her to give Ryder a once over. I declined, he was fine. We'd been joking with the firefighters about my blood pressure and feeling hysterical so they kindly offered to check me out as well. I declined but thanked them. Once the door was unlocked my agitation subsided.
Nominate us for Parents of the Year but know this, we won't be locking our keys in the car again. Lesson learned. Keys go in pockets or palm as soon as you turn off the engine.