Monday, August 10, 2009

That One Time I Traumatized My Baby

It was a odd summer morning. I was in my usual morning fog. That "I-still-need-a-few-more-hours-of-sleep" fog. But I got up, got myself ready, grabbed the baby and headed out the door. The sun hadn't come up quite yet so it was just dim enough to need your headlights on. It wasn't exactly drizzling. More like spitting. I think of it as just enough water to come out of the sky to compare to that time the guy with food in his mouth was talking to you and you were sprayed with little bits of pre-masticated food. This whole summer has been odd. Oddly and unseasonably cool. In Cleveland we usually get enough good pool days before August, but not this year.

I got to my sitter's house, parked the car, got out, went to open the back door. Crap. It's locked. Go back to the front door. Crap. That's locked too. CRAP! The baby's still in the car! Oh. My. God!

I walk calmly up to the front door, to be greated by my always cheerful babysitter. As I'm making my way up the walk I keep checking back. It's a very quiet neighborhood and it's very unlikely anyone would break into the car just because there's a baby in it. I, seemingly very calm, looked at my sitter. I must have had that look puppies get when they know they've done something bad. If I had a tail, it'd be between my legs.

"Can I use your phone? I locked the baby in the car." Of course as I'm spewing this inconceivably hard to imagine situation out of my mouth, I see my sitter's husband is home. Luckily, I've known Tina and her family for over 20 years. She had the pleasure (haha right) of watching me and my two sisters when we were young. I am so blessed that Josh will have the same care that I had.

Anyway. I call my husband. No answer. I call my mother. Of course she answered but I knew what I'd have started at that point. As soon as I utter the words "Baby is still in the car," I swear I think I gave her a heart attack. She was her usual frantic self and I knew she would be all day long. But that's just because she's my mother and that's her grandson locked in there. Another mom pulls up as Tina's husband is checking to see if he can get the doors open. Great. Another witness to my stupidity. I felt like anyone who knew would think "wow, she should have never had kids," or "feel bad for that baby with a mother like that." Ok, I know I'm exaggerating, but that's exactly what I felt!

We called the cops and I explained to them that I had my son locked in the car. They came about ten minutes later. Meanwhile my mother is calling Tina, frantic of course because I locked her grandson in the car. Luckily, as I had mentioned, it was a cool drizzly morning. I waited out next to the car under an umbrella just looking into the car hopelessly. The baby would look back and me and give a good complaining wail. "Waaaahhhhhh!!!" The look on his face clearly said "WHY THE HELL ARE YOU JUST STANDING THERE!? GET ME OUT OF THE DAMN CAR!!!" Clearly.

So to end my story, I'll let you know that Josh was safe and sound when the policeman unlocked the door. I pulled him out of the car and hugged him and made sure that in those 20 minutes he didn't some how injure himself or cry himself into hysteria. The police officer said- "Oh, I didn't know there was a baby in there." Seriously? Now I know how miscommunications in law enforcement could alter the result of an emergency. What if it were a day like today? It was 80 degrees when I dropped him off.

Now anytime I put Josh in the car, buckle him in and we're ready to go. He screams. The. Whole. Way. There. Do you think I could have traumatized him? The screaming and crying and carrying on didn't start until a couple weeks after that horrifying incident, but maybe I enduced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on him!

Mother of the Year