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That phone call

2

September 29, 2013 by Dadinator

RACV customer service person: Welcome to RACV roadside assist, this is ……..
Me: Oh hi, I locked my keys in the car and need someone to help me unlock it.
RACV customer service person: Sure. Now are there any pets or children in the car?
Me: Yes, my son is locked in.

So, I was feeling like a negligent, waste of space deadbeat dad by this stage. Here’s how I found myself this state of affairs.

The Lad had been in day care, I was taking him home. The Mamantor had The Lass with her and was at a physio appointment. I had collected him, loaded him up no dramas. He hadn’t napped that day, a trend that was emerging with him at day care. I was conscious of him nodding off in the car as I fetch him at 4:30, a sleep at that time is never a good idea. Turns out there wasn’t anything to worry about, he did not sleep.

I arrived at the driveway, pulled up to the gate and turned the car off and opened the door to get out. Whoops, that was all muscle memory, there was no need to turn off the car so I started her up again. Closed the door behind me and opened the gate.

Now, did you see that little sequence of events? Our car came with a slightly dodgy central locking system. The car locks itself whenever the motor is started. Now look at that sequence with the central locking taken into account: TURN OFF CAR. OPEN DOOR. TURN ON CAR. CAR LOCKS. GET OUT. CLOSE DOOR.

So I was locked out of the car, key in the ignition. The Lad was still in there. I could feel my eyes widen, by heart beat quicken and my breath become faster and more desperate. An urge to panic was rising up from my guts, clawing at my insides. I assessed my options.

My phone was in the car on the charger. The Lad was buckled into the back seat, showing no signs of distress at this stage and holding a half full water bottle on his hands. The engine was running and the fan was on. The Mamantor was probably at most 20 minutes away with another car key on her. So I didn’t need to totally despair. I also had the RACV to call (see above). As a last resort I had hammers in the shed, so I had some means of resolving the crises on hand.

I won’t tell the story of the next 20 minutes in full, rather I will relate a series of lessons the experience taught me:

1. We don’t own any coat hangers appropriate for breaking into a car. They are all plastic, wooden or plastic coated.

2. Just because I’ve seen people use coat hangers to break into cars doesn’t mean I am any good at it. In fact I suck.

wpid-IMG_20130929_203852.jpg

My car-breaking-into device. About as effective as it looks in the photo…

3. We living in a mobile black spot, people will not always get your call.

4 It makes me feel physically ill to leave my boy when he is in distress, even if it is just to get a phone and a coat hanger from inside the house.

5 Cordless phones are awesome. See lesson 4 for why.

6 Yelling down the line to a ring tone achieves nothing. Feels good though.

7 Unexpected help only arrives when you’ve already called someone else for help.

8 I have a very very patient little boy.

9 We are all capable of #parentfail moments.

So there it is gentle reader. Read this tale and remember, however big a parent fail moment you may have, at least you never locked your kid in the car like that dickhead who’s blog you read.

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2 thoughts on “That phone call

  1. Don’t feel bad! We’ve all had parenting fail moments!! I’ve had friends who have given their little ones the car keys to play with for a second and have then left the car quickly to grab something, only to have them hit the button to lock the car. It’s all a learning curve, this parenting thing! We learn our lessons in some hard ways and we move on and never get that one wrong again!!! I bet every parent could list a million little things they’ve ‘failed’ at. I’ve let the Little Mister almost fall onto a concrete floor from a change table at the swimming pool. Got to him JUST BEFORE there was a head injury – while people watched in horror. In my defence, he launched himself sideways WHILE I was holding him like a super attentive parent haha. I’ve let the Little Mister cry a bit in the middle of the night, getting frustrated for almost a week before realising the poor thing was scared of the dark. I thought he was just using his toddler wiles to play me 😦
    Hope that makes you feel better!

  2. Jonathan says:

    You’re certainly far from the only dad to have had issues with car locking systems. This actually happened to be on the day I became a father for the first time back in April of this year. Due to a problem with my keys and the central locking system on our car, I managed to set off the car alarm at 5am outside the maternity unit of our local hospital.

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