i left my brain in the ignition with the keys...
yes that's my foot, yes that's my baby... and that is my brother. what a road trip.
this weekend in colorado was a whirlwind. a whirlwind of emotion. a whirlwind of time. a whirlwind i couldn't stop from whirling. and believe me, i felt like i was whirling. i'll tell you all about it, but first i wanted to tell you the ending, because i have to get something off my chest.
sunday night at 8:30 we finally pulled up to my parents house. after 10 hours in the car, a 40 degree temperature change, and 1 trip almost down the exit ramp instead of the entrance ramp; i couldn't have been happier to finally be out of that van where i had sat all weekend long with my mom, my dad, my brother, and a very tired baby. notice the absence of my husband, and the fact that the baby was tired, very tired.
i had spent the last 10 hours processing the weekend, and our time with grandpa. i had spent the last 10 hours trying to comfort a crying baby trapped in a car seat, who had not napped, for two days, and who woke up every hour all night long in a strange bed in a strange place. i had spent 10 hours missing my husband. i had spent 10 hours trying to wrap my mind around the idea of arriving to our destination, and then having to transfer all 200 bags of traveling with baby luggage to my car and then driving the last hour home by myself after my mom and dad were already snug and warn in their house. this prospect did not leave me very excited, and was very anxious to get home to my husband, and fall to pieces in his arms.
crying baby snug in the back seat i pulled out of my parents drive with the gas light on. i drove the 7 miles in the wrong direction to the closest gas station to their middle of nowhere house. the baby was crying. i was cold, and exhausted from lack of sleep. my mind was a blur of thoughts and emotions, my heart was heavy. i was angry i hadn't thought of filling the gas tank before i left, i was mad i hadn't thought to arrange some other way to get to parents friday morning, so i could have come back to my house in some other way sunday night. did i mention the baby was crying and tired and hungry and missing his daddy? cause he was. and i was missing his daddy too. i needed him to hold me, i needed him to listen to me. i needed him. we needed him. we needed to be home, but here we were... at the gas station. i opened my door, ran outside and stuck my card in the gas pump...
and then it hit me.
the car was locked. my keys were in the ignition. my phone was in my purse on the passengers seat. and my baby was crying in the back seat.
i cried instantly. i screamed. i immediately had a vision of the police taking my baby away from me, or him starving for hours in the backseat waiting for roadside assistance. i envisioned my husband yelling at me, and refusing to leave me alone with the baby anymore. i thought i might die. i ran inside and asked for their phone... the sweet lady behind the counter asked me what's wrong... "hun, are you okay?" "i locked my baby in the car." before i could say another word the second lady behind the counter had phone in hand and was dialing feverishly. "it's okay, hun. the police will be here very soon, it's a small town." i ran back outside and wondered if the police would assume i was high and a neglectful parent. i wondered if they would make me fill out a police report. i wondered if they would tell their firends about the idiot girl who locked her baby in the car.
i sat at the back window and cried, and watched my crying baby. i did not know what to do. people pulled into fill up gas, and i could see their eyes following me, i could feel them judging me, i could hear their whispers. and all i could do was sit at the window and cry.
in a matter of just a couple of minutes a police officer pulled in slowly. he slowly got out of the car, and slowly opened his trunk. he slowly flashed a light in the window to see the locks. and he very slowly stuck a jimmy in the door, and very very very slowly worked to to get the door unlocked. people continued to drive up, and people continued with their judgemental glares. some nice man in a big diesel truck and cowboy hat jumped out with a flash light to flash in on the lock the police officer was trying to crack. i cried. asher cried. he had a booger flicking in and out of his left nostril, and huge tears streaming down his cheeks. i cried some more. after what seemed like hours, but was really only a matter of minutes, the doors clicked and i wildly opened the doors. i threw a "thank you" out at the officer and the nice man in the cowboy hat, but they were already halfway in the door of the gas station, anxious for a cup of coffee.
i held the buddy's face in my hands and cried apologies to him. as soon as he felt my hand on his face, the tears stopped. i stuck his paci back in his mouth, and jumped in the front seat and pulled out of that parking lot, anxious to leave it all behind. first... i had to call matthew. i was dying inside. i was still a mess. i still could not believe that i was one of those moms. i dialed matthew. when he couldn't understand me through sobs, i yelled and hung up on him. then i called him back, and when i told him... he laughed at me. he said "so what babe, that's not a big deal." and then i stopped crying, and i drove home.
and my whirlwind weekend was over.
and i joined an elite club of terrible parents who lock their kids in the car.