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.

he slept for a few minutes in the car... very few.

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.

the end.


  1. i'll remind you when you get another car get automatic locks. mine don't let me lock the door with the key in the ignition. they do still lock with your keys in the car though. still working on that one

  2. Anonymous06:23

    Aaaaww, don't beat yourself up too much, we have all done it. I have 3 kiddos and it has happened to 2 of them:)My last vehicle has a keypad on the door, no more locked keys in the car. I'm lovin that feature. Problem is, I can't remember the code, but my kids do. I've had to call them on occasion to help me out:)Prayed for you this past weekend...

  3. Aww, what a stressful evening. I'm glad everything worked out. Your little buddy is SO cute in your photos!

    P.S. Thanks for the very kind comment on my blog. To think, when I started following your blog neither of us were moms, and now we both have little munchkins to write about. What blessings! :)

  4. Anonymous13:17

    Melinda...You are a great mom!!! I have been so thankful of my keyless entry because I have been in similar situations. It was great seeing you and Asher is the most beautiful boy:)
    Love you...Stacy

  5. Karen F.08:55

    Oh my goodness, you are now officially a member of the Mommy Club.........we've all been there and the worst part is the helplessness you feel. (the glaring stares of strangers don't help either.)

    He's okay and believe it or not, SOMEDAY you'll laugh about this.

    Cut yourself some slack.......I write this as a mom who stupidly let my 1st child fall off of the changing table, tied an Old English Sheepdog to her stroller and she was flipped over within seconds while neighbors watched in horror. Somehow she survived and is a thriving productive member of society.

    It's all going to be okay!

  6. Well. I would never do something like that.

    My children just have to chase me down to road as I speed off without them.

    I am stealing this picture of Asher.

    It is a perfect picture taken with a point and shoot.

  7. thanks for the encouragement everyone! today i can almost laugh about it. oh my.

    donna, he makes a pretty easy subject ;) sweet baby.

  8. I have to tell you you're the second person I read about who locked their kiddo in the car this weekend. Don't feel alone! It happens! He's loved, and he knows it!


  9. I laughed and cried reading this. That has always been one of my biggest fears. I would always leave the drivers side door open a little. I was always afraid I would lock my kids in, now my grandkids. Your a new Mommy and you have this wonderful funny story to tell him the rest of his life. We've all done things like that. When my little girl was in 4th grade I was giving her a ride to school on my way to work. I started thinking about everything I had to do at work that day. I forgot she was in the car. I drove past the school and I heard her little voice say Mommy, Mommy you didn't stop at the school. Then I realized I had forgotten she was even in the car. I had to turn around fight the school traffic, be late for work...We all have those days, many many of those days...

  10. He's one of the cutest babies I ever did see!
    We all do something that we as mom gives membership to the terrible parent club....it's part of being a parent.

  11. you cried at my blog yesterday.

    i'm crying at yours today.

    first i read the post about the wasted time with the gossip magazines and tv shows.

    then i read about this. i have done this. i have endured the unkind glares of strangers, and the kindness of a mom hugging me in the middle of it saying 'been there. he loves you. he's fine.'

    i've hit my baby's head on the ceiling of the airplane while getting into my seat while flying alone with an infant.

    i've given him a sippy cup of nasty milk.

    i've yelled at my kids when the one who should be yelled at is me.

    and i've come to the cross time and time again asking for forgiveness, asking to be made... more Christlike... leaning on 2 cor that promises me that i'm being transformed. and it helps. but it only takes that moment, that flash of memory, to get the same feeling in the gut of how i felt when those things happened.

    i think the Lord left that feeling in there to keep us dependent on Him.

    gotta go wipe the tears and snot. oh, melinda.



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