We were switching from the red car to the blue car because we needed more space for some things we were picking up for my Grandfather. She prefers the red car and was already grumpy so I knew I would have a fight on my hands. I tried to explain why we were switching cars with words that she usually likes – we have to help Grandma and I need her cooperation.
I unlocked the blue car and put my purse on the passenger seat, I moved the diaper bag over so I would have all my hands free to get her quickly out of one car into the other. She didn’t fuss or fight as much as I expected, and I got her buckled in without a struggle. I closed the door and started walking around to the driver’s side. And that’s when I heard the terrible sound of the lock clicking shut.
She had hit the lock button with her toes. She’s done it before, unlocking the door while we’re driving, and we’ve explained to her that it’s dangerous.
All of a sudden it dawned on me that my daughter was now locked in the car with my keys and my phone. I tried to talk to her through the window to get her to just hit that little button again, but the grumpy turned quickly into very upset. She didn’t understand why I wasn’t get in the car or getting her out.
I had to think quickly on my feet. I could go to their neighbour’s and ask to use a phone, but who was I calling? Was there a way to get into the house? What would I be able to find if I could get into the house? Joe is out of town, in the US, so his phone is off to avoid roaming charges, and he wouldn’t be able to get me his key anyway (though I have heard that if I call him from a cell, hold the phone up to the door and have him hit the unlock button on his remote, that would work? Anyone?).
Slowly I realized 1) I could get into the house because our garage has a panel that allows you to open it 2) My computer was in the house, with internet access and I could use the phone in Google to call help.
I called the police who gave me the number for a towing service and I called them immediately and they dispatched a truck. I called my mother to tell her what was happening, I tweeted my panic in hopes of support or advice (which I got in spades) and I opened up a chat window with my friend Dan, who helped to keep me calm.
I am so thankful it was not too hot today in Ottawa, and that the kid managed to hit the button and unlocked the door while we were waiting for the tow truck. I am so very thankful to all the friends who sent words of support over twitter.
The car we drive has a system that doesn’t allow doors to be locked when the keys are in the ignition, but it doesn’t provide a fail safe for errant toes.