So. I had my first stupidity-induced traumatic parenting experience last week. My poor, tiny human. It IS hard to be her. Actually.
I was repainting our dining room chairs outside. And any other thing I could find to spray paint (the spray paint obsession is currently at an all time high). When I work outside or in the gay-rage it generally means power tools or lots of muscle use is involved which means my testosterone levels are elevated and I get the urge to cook outdoors which means that I multitask poorly (sexist stereotyping, HOLLA!). Also, I don't like the tiny human running around in the garage because, well, I don't want any tiny fingers lopped off by a miter saw or to find her consuming a bag of screws. Because she would do that. This is where her obsession with the car comes in mighty handy. It contains her so I don't have to worry about her safety/feel bad when I forget that I'm a mom for a second.
I generally open the car door, put on the e-brake and let her go crazy pushing buttons and whatnot (I secretly think she is an evil mastermind and seeks to ensure that, at the very least, I get a blast of a/c in my face and busted ear drums the next time I turn on the car). But I failed to remember the sneakiest super power that kids have. They do this thing when put in the same situation over and over again called learning. A new skill here, an epiphany there. No big deal right? Except when they use all their new knowledge and skills at one time. On this particular day I hadn't realized that my kid learned how to close the door, lock the door, and put the keys in the ignition. Of course she decided to use all! three! new! skills! at the same time.
In the middle of my spray painting induced nirvana I suddenly had an inkling. Where are my keys? Where is my kid? Why is the door closed? Please don't be locked, please don't be locked. Annnnnd the car door was locked. With Ava inside. With the keys dangling from the ignition (not the actual car key, thankgoodness). Panic set in. I stood there and pleaded with Ava to push the button! That one! Right there! (The lock/unlock one.) Turns out she had figured out how to lock but not unlock. After several pushes of the lock button she got mad that I was still frustrated with her and refused to even go near it again.
Since the door wasn't completely latched and the keys were dangling from her hands instead of the ignition I decided to use a marshmallow skewer to procure the keys. FAIL. BIG FAT FAIL. The keys were sucked into the abyss between the door and the seat.
And then I really panicked. Ava was starting to panic as well.
So clearly I called the nearest Toyota dealer, bawling my eyes out, to see what they could do. The guy was really sweet but said I needed to try the police first. (What does it say about me that I don't think to call the police first in a slightly emergent situation? Too much Law and Order, my friends. TOO MUCH.)
So. I called the police. I was almost hyperventilating at that point. My toddler was screaming. She was hot and she didn't understand why her mommy wouldn't just open the door and pick her up.
Seven minutes that felt like 20 later, a police man showed up in his fancy Charger. A little wedge here, a little car opening device there, and BAM! the door opened and my tiny human suctioned herself to my person like an octopus. The cop had to take down some info and I silently worried that he was going to call CPS on me. Turns out he just had to make sure the car was mine. He said something about my car being a "really expensive playpen" and drove off with my eternal gratitude and suspicion (again, with the Law and Order).
All is well that ends well, right?
Except that Ava whimpered for a solid 10 minutes afterward and maybe I did too. What are the chances I can raise this kid without one or the other of us needing therapy?