I apologize as it’s been a long minute since I have posted on the blog! Our family moved from Manitoba to Ontario and between settling into a new space, unpacking, taking care of a toddler and battling 3rd trimester-ness (is that a word?), posting kinda sorta took a bit of a back seat.
However something happened yesterday which shook me to the core and I would like to share it with you.
As I mentioned, we recently moved and our 20 month old daughter has been attending a daycare program about a 5 minute walk from where we are staying. As usual, I went to pick her up, thinking about how we would spend the rest of the afternoon being that it was a very nice, hot day in Toronto.
We went through our usual pickup routine, and once we got to the car, I dropped my purse and her backpack in the front passenger seat, and I put her down to set the straps of her car seat before I placing her in it.
While I was doing this (it literally took a few seconds) Baby Girl was entertaining herself beside me, singing her nursery rhymes as she fiddled with the buttons on the side of the front passenger door.
I didn’t think much of it until I had secured her in her car seat, shut the back door, shut the front passenger door and headed over to the driver’s side to head on home.
I tried opening the door to get in the car, but it refused to open. I ran to her side of the car and attempted to open that door, which also refused to open. All doors, including the boot of the car, were locked! Apparently as she had been playing with the buttons, she inadvertently locked the door while I was fiddling with the silly car seat.
At that point I panicked. My phone and keys were in my purse, which were in the locked car. It was a sunny 20 degrees celsius out. My mind began to race.
I ran back upstairs to the daycare and asked one of the teachers if I use the office phone. I quickly explained to her what happened and she bundled her own three children down the stairs to wait by my car and provide some comfort to Baby Girl.
I dialled my husband’s number which, because it was a long distance number, did not go through. So I ran back down to the car, and at that point of course Baby Girl was getting upset as she didn’t know where I had gone. She was also starting to sweat.
One of the other teachers offered me her phone, and I sent my husband a quick text explaining the situation. I told him he needed to leave work right away, get the spare keys to the car from the house, and meet us in the parking lot.
After I sent the text, I thought… there is no way I’m sitting around waiting 30 minutes for him to arrive. What are my options?
Do I just break one of the windows and reach in to open the door?
What if I run home and get the spare key? Will she be okay if I’m out of her view?
Oh, but the house is locked, I won’t be able to get in. Scratch that plan.
Yes, my mind was racing.
At this point I decided to call 9-1-1. I was pretty sure this situation classified as an emergency. Again, I asked one of the teachers for her cell phone and dialled the number.
Thankfully Baby Girl had some water with her and so I encouraged her to drink as she was sweating a lot. Bystanders came by with blankets to cover some of the windows and block the sun, they even offered me water. I was very worried, but I never felt alone. In fact, I felt tremendously supported.
It seemed like forever but truthfully, within 5-10 minutes the fire truck and ambulance had arrived. Two firemen worked on opening the front door car while one took my information down. The paramedics were on standby waiting to assess Baby Girl as soon as she was out.
My focus was on her throughout because once she saw the big men in uniforms she immediately started to get upset. Then of course the car alarm started blaring, but thankfully everyone remained calm and kept working on getting her out.
Eventually the door was opened!
I got in and practically jumped into the back seat to unstrap her and open the door on her side for some air to circulate. Bystanders had brought some ice water with a straw so I gave that to her and held her tight. This was when I started to break down. Somehow I had managed to keep it together until then.
The Medics checked her out and thankfully she was totally fine… normal temperature, normal blood pressure, normal level of consciousness. They deemed her safe to go home without a hospital assessment.
My mind has been all over the place since we got home. Of course she is totally fine and I’m confident she hasn’t been affected negatively. Thank God! But as for me I feel uneasy and I feel upset.
I am interrogating myself:
Why did I allow her to play with the car buttons?
Why didn’t I make sure the car was unlocked before closing the door?
How will I be able to keep an eye on two children, if this type of thing happened with one?
All I can do is remind myself that she is completely fine. But tonight, my heart goes out to parents who have not been so fortunate. Where in a split second a child is lost, injured or worse.
From now on, I will be saying a prayer for these families as often as I can remember… which will probably be anytime I get in and out of a car. I can only hope they do not feel alone and have all the support they need to get through such difficult times.
Please take a moment to pray for them as well.