It's been too damn long, so here goes:
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Joe and I take Vincent to swimming lessons. He isn't even close to swimming yet, but it's mostly just to get him comfortable in the water and to learn basics like kicking, blowing bubbles, etc. Anyway, I usually pick V up after work and Joe meets us at the pool.
Today was no exception to the rule.
Vincent has an "ear thing" and tends to freak out a little when he is reclined back in the water so that the back of his head, and ears, are in the water. He hates it. Not quite sure how to get him over that. Today we didn't do too much floating in the water, so he didn't freak out much at all. It was really fun, actually. I love doing those lessons with him and Joe.
After our session was over, we walked out to the parking lot where we opened the hatch to our Montero and got him changed into dry clothes, same as always.
Joe usually gets V situated in the car seat whenever we go anywhere. I'm actually not 100% sure why he always does that, but he does. Which is nice. :-) But since Joe was going to stop and grab us dinner on the way home, I decided to give him a head start and said that I would take over and get V in the car seat so that he could head out to grab food.
After a "love you" and a "bye" and a "see you later" he was gone.
I was putting Vincent in his car seat and since his new favorite toys are Gumby and Pokey (funny, huh?), I gave him Gumby and Pokey - or "Bungy" and "Picky" as he likes to call them - to play with in the car seat. And as I was fastening him up, he also had my keys because he likes to press the lock and unlock button over and over.
Anyway, he was content while I was getting him locked in and I asked him, "Did you have fun swimming?"
"Yes!" he responded joyfully.
"Do you like swimming in the pool?"
"Yes!" he quickly added again.
He is so cute! :-)
Anyway, V was all set and ready to go and so I shut the door and went to the back hatch to close the hatch. When I realized I needed my purse up front with me (which I had left in the way back), I tried to open the hatch and it was locked.
Tried Vincent's door and it was locked.
Tried the driver's door and it was locked.
Every door was locked. And my keys?
They were on the seat next to Vincent's car seat. They had fallen there after he hit that "Lock" button one last time.
[Commence semi-freaking out.]
Joe was already gone. My keys, cell phone, and BABY were all locked in the car. I was standing there with nothing by my bathing suit, a wet shirt, and a towel wrapped around my waist.
I tried all the doors again thinking they would miraculously decide to open, but they wouldn't.
What should I do?
I looked at Vincent through the window and he just smiled at me, like I was playing a game with him or something, then he continued to play with his toys. The keys mocked me as they stared up at me from the seat below.
I yelled at a young man who had just parked next to me and started to walk over to the pool. I asked him if I could borrow his phone and he obliged.
I tried to call Joe, but he didn't answer.
"I don't know what to do," I said, mostly rhetorically.
Mr. Phone Man replied, "Well, just try to stay calm. I know there's a police station nearby, so may be they could come?"
I called 911 and was placed on hold for forever (okay, maybe it was only 20 seconds that just SEEMED like forever). I felt like the worst parent in the history of parenting as I told the operator what was happening.
She asked for my phone number and I told her, "My phone...and everything...is in the car with my son. I don't even know the man who's phone I'm using."
"Okay, ma'am. That's fine. I'm going to get a paramedic on the line."
I don't remember much of that conversation other than the fire department answering, asking me a few questions, me telling them my car information and location. Then the dispatch operator lady got my name and number and said that someone would be there within a few minutes.
While I was waiting, I thanked Mr. Phone Man profusely and he said that he had to go in and pick up his son, but that he would be back out in a bit if I needed his phone again. I thanked him again and he went on his way.
I tried the doors again as if it was just a bad dream. Or maybe just to torture myself. When they didn't open (shocker!), I decided to pass the time playing peek-a-boo with Vincent. He was just laughing at me, smiling, and not having a care in the world.
Not even 2 minutes later we heard sirens, which I knew were for us.
Vincent said from inside the car, "Ambince! Ambince!" (What he calls "Ambulance").
A paramedic fire truck showed up as well as one Police SUV. They got out and Vincent just stared at them as they tried to jimmy each door open. Didn't get freaked out at all. God, I adore that kid.
Not even 5 minutes later the driver's door was opened and all of the doors were unlocked. And then they were all gone a minute after that.
Once I hugged the crap out of Vincent and made sure that I had the keys IN M HAND, I climbed in, turned the car and A/C on, and looked at my phone. It was 6:10. Exactly 1 minute since the car was reopened. 10 minutes since V was first locked in the car.
I called Joe and I think his response was something like "Wow". I know, I know...I'm pretty awe inspiring, huh? Anyway, we actually ended up agreeing that calling 911 was the best option. Especially since he didn't even have a spare key on him.
Vincent's time in the car = approximately 9 minutes.
My time feeling the absolute worst mother on the face of Planet Earth = approximately 9 minutes + every minute thereafter.
That was, hands down, the most nerve-wracking and scariest 9 minutes of my life so far. Hands. Down. As I think about V's sweet little face, oozing happiness, and precious little life, it still makes me feel like I am the worst mother on the face of Planet Earth.
But Joe's response to that was, "No...Casey Anthony is."