This is the kind of story you read in the newspaper and think “How stupid, How could that happen?” but this really happened to me this week. My child was locked inside the car with the key and I was on the outside.
There’s nothing you can say that I haven’t already beat myself up about but by telling this story I want to warn parents so they can try to avoid making the same mistake.
I’ll start start from the start;
It was the usual wrestle and bribery with my toddler (almost 2 years old) to force him into his car seat. I sat in the drivers side and remembered that I didn’t pack the wet wipes – you don’t take a little boy anywhere without wet wipes!
I get back out of the car and by reflex closed the door behind me and take a step towards the house – CLICK – what was that? Did the doors just lock?! Yes. Oh f*ck.
Spencer is strapped into his car seat, the key is in the ignition with the engine running, my phone is in my handbag which is also inside the car and my husband is out of the country. This is a BIG problem.
I frantically try every single door handle again and again but the car is definitely locked. Again, Oh f*ck.
We only have one key for this car. I had always planned to order another one but every month it just seemed like there are other things to pay for. Major error!
For the first ten minutes locked inside Spencer is fine, The AC is running and he has water and raisins to keep him busy. But that doesn’t solve the problem – I have no phone to call anyone and no one around me to help. I dash into the house to Google ways to break into my own car but my iPad only works on WIFI inside the house and the signal won’t reach to the car outside. Every time I have to leave the car to go inside Spencer is getting more upset as he wants me to stay with him. There are plenty of videos and forums but I don’t have the time or rational thinking to trawl the internet.
As a mother it’s horribly painful to see your child sobbing and calling for you just centimetres away but there is nothing you can do to reach them. After 35 horrible minutes there was only one thing for it… Mummy Bear mode kicks in. I grab the biggest hammer I could find from the tool box. Believe me, This is not a decision I took lightly.
I have never deliberately smashed my own car window so I’m not familiar with the best techniques – I’m now told to use a hammer and a nail – His car seat was in the front passenger side so my only logic was to chose the rear opposite window side to where he was sitting, smash it an try not to send glass showering over him. It’s not easy to think clearly when he is sobbing his heart out.
I swung the hammer back and with all my might hit it into the glass, there was a massive THUD but not even a single crack on the window. Dammit. These windows are incredibly hard to break!! I had expected it just to shatter but the window film was holding it all together. 3 more big swings until it even cracked.
Luckily no glass had reached Spencer in his seat but the sharp shards came outwards on to me, I had to run back into the house to get a towel and oven mitt to wrap round my hand and arm to get my arm through the hole in the window and unlock the doors to reach him.
Thankfully Spencer came out of the car completely unharmed from the experience which was around 45 minutes start to finish. There were plenty of tears and cuddles but not a scratch on him.
My poor car…. It turns out I chose to smash the worst window that no one stocks, typical, so I am waiting on a new pane of glass to be delivered. The car isn’t set to lock itself when the door closes so I did not expect that to happen but for some reason this day it did, later that day it did it again so there is a fault somewhere. Technology can be a blessing and a curse.
So the point of the story, sometimes these things happen that we don’t expect. Take precautions with a spare key and don’t close door with your kids/pets in the car. Try not to make the same error as me – It wasn’t ideal but in some ways I was lucky that we were still at home with the engine running so the AC was cooling the car and I had access to a hammer.
This was a lesson learnt – A spare key for the car is cheaper than a new window. Sigh.