Not only that, but I had parked terribly that day, and my little Toyota Tercel (Helga the Magic Lesbian – long story) was sprawled out across two or even three parking spots. With the keys in the ignition, the engine running, and the doors locked. I didn’t really want to draw attention to this debacle, so I discreetly called my mom from the school office and asked her to please come save me. We happened to have a fire drill, of all times, when she pulled up in her giant bright red GMC truck, unlocked my car, stepped in, and parked it like a human being. “Hey, Tammy! Isn’t that your mom having to save your a**?”
On Saturday morning the kids had flu shots, followed by a superhero birthday party for a friend. So naturally, we went to the flu shots with Scarlet in her full Supergirl costume. Des was darn cute in his Batman t-shirt, jeans and flippy hair.
Whether or not anyone was nervous for flu shots, including me, remained to be seen because it was all about battles over rain jackets and shoes, and birthday cards, and plans, and a little bit of excitement over having a long weekend together.
We were seen instantly into the office and into the examining room, where temperatures were taken and paperwork was filled out. Suddenly a terrible smell hit the air. And this nurse must smell dirty diapers every hour of every day of her life, but I swear I saw her hold her breath when she gave Des his shot. He never even saw it coming, and he cried for a second and was then fine. Scarlet saw his pain and got scared for a second, but she didn’t see it coming either until it was already over.
We went out in the pouring rain to the car, where I did a very dramatic diaper change in the back of the minivan. I must have hit the remote starter on the keys, because the engine was suddenly on, so I hit the button again to turn it off. Then I strapped Des into his carseat, threw my purse and phone into the front seat, fielded a million questions from Scarlet about going back in and getting her a better “I got a shot” sticker, strapped her into her seat tightly, and closed both sliding doors.
Only. I was standing out in the rain. With my diaper bag. I fumbled everywhere for my keys. I couldn’t find them. I went around to Des’ side and saw them laying under his carseat. Every door of the van was locked. I tried the backdoor. Locked.
I called to Scarlet through the window and told her what happened. I told her I needed very badly for her to unbuckle her carseat and open the front car door for me. She was panicked and upset, and she has such small hands, and she just couldn’t press the button down to release the straps. She was crying. Des, however, thought the whole thing was a game and was laughing and playing peek-a-boo at me, while I stood in the pouring rain and cupped my hands to look into the car windows and shout commands at the kids. Did I mention that my purse and phone were also locked in the car with the kids?
Me: “I need you to come here immediately. I locked both kids in the car with the keys. Scarlet can’t unbuckle herself to help me. I’ll keep trying to get her to do it. Come here immediately, please!”
Cassidy: “I have.. shaving cream all over my face. How will I know if Scarlet unlocks the door? I’ll just come right now!”
So I went outside to wait, and the rain got harder. I rifled through the diaper bag and found an unopened poncho from our Disney World trip. I put it on. I sat against the hood of the car, while Scarlet cried a little, and I felt like an idiot. People kept coming and going and just giving me curious looks. Eventually, a kind woman stopped and asked if I needed help and I told her what had happened, and she sympathized. At that moment, I saw Cassidy pull into the parking lot and let her know and she was relieved my superhero had come to rescue me. He unlocked the car from his car, with the spare keys, made sure I was ok, and then drove home. I could see that he really did have shaving cream all over his face and he had driven like that.
I swear I still feel the chill from standing in the rain, looking in at my kids, and not being able to get to them. Luckily, it wasn’t hot out, help came quickly, and I can now laugh about it. I have reached that point where I know that it’s funny.