Saturday, July 30, 2005

And the award for the Worst Mother Ever goes to...

The shower is over. Everything went well. The 15 kids (no exaggeration) that were there all swam in the pool and made so much noise that I had to shout during the whole party to be heard. The food held out pretty well and my sister received a lot of nice things that she really needed. (My aunt gets the prize for best find. She found two, very nice, strollers with cup holders, storage nets and the whole nine yards on clearance. For $9 apiece. They are every bit as nice as the one we bought back in 2003 for $180. They were on triple clearance because the company is changing colors next season.) Everyone seemed to have a nice, polite time, which is really a miracle with my strange and twisted family tree.

And then the worst, most scary moment in my parenting life happened. I was packing all of my serving pieces and tablecloths into the car, keeping an eye on Peanut at the same time. When I was done, I buckled Peanut in her seat, and went around closing the doors and trunk. When I got back to the driver's side, I discovered that the car doors were locked, with the keys inside. The car had been sitting in the sun all day and it was already hot. It was getting hotter by the second, and there was my little peanut trapped inside. My husband was at work with the other set of keys.

Usually I am so careful about this very situation. I never close the doors with my daughter inside unless I have the keys in my hand. A child can die inside of a closed up car that is sitting in the sun in less than ten minutes. I could see my baby laughing and smiling at all of us looking in the windows at her, the sweat pouring off of her face and matting her hair after only one minute. My Dad and brother were franticly trying to get the doors open and I was a shaking mess. I was two seconds from finding a rock to smash in the side window when my brother heroically jammed a broomstick between the door and the car and bumped the lock.

We grabbed the baby and dunked her in the pool, clothes and all. As I handed her a cup of water. I noticed how bad I was shaking. In fact, I'm shaking now, writing this. She was OK, aside from being soaked in sweat and a blochy heat rash. I on the other hand, am not.

I can not believe how stupid I was. My baby could have died because I was too tired and distracted to pay attention to what I was doing. My already raw nerves certainly didn't need this kind of scare today. I'm so glad we are going away Thursday.


I'll post some pictures of the shower later tonight.

4 comments:

mothersong said...

I know this probably won't make you feel any better, but I did the same thing when my daughter was little. At a 7-11 store, yet. She was 7 months old, and it was July. After trying without success, the store clerk called the state police to come and unlock the door.

Just before the police arrived, a truck driver got the lock unlocked with a coat hanger. It took almost an hour altogether, and the police officer gave me really hard time when he got there.

I felt terrible, I still feel terrible about it. She's 17 now, she obviously survived without harm. Everytime I tell the story, someone else tells me their story of doing the same thing.

Things like this do not make you the worst mother in the world. They make you human, and remind you that you must always be careful and aware. When Peanut is 17, then you'll get to be the worst mother in the world.

Monika said...

BTDT. but it was winter so it wasn't so bad. don't beat yourself up. we make mistakes and i bet you never do it again.

thicket dweller said...

You are NOT the worst mother ever! We have all made mistakes in our parenting lives. If you were the worst mother ever, you'd not have cared.

I'm glad The Peanut is safe and happy. Just give her extra kisses tonight while she sleeps, and you'll both feel better. I assure you, she forgives you--if, by any stretch of the imagination, she would think there were anything to forgive! What fun! A dunk in the pool and a cold drink!

Alison said...

Me too, me too. I blamed it on new Mommy brain but I will never forget my little boys face through the window...

I had to get a passing stranger to break into the car, and yep I felt like the worst mommy in the world too. But we are not. Without a scrumptious babba loving doubt, we are good mommies...

Don't fret...