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My most terrifying parenting experience to-date

This morning when I left the gym with two kids in tow (Oliver, 18 months, and Jack, 4 months), I set my diaper bag in the front seat of the car, let Oliver climb into the backseat, then put Jack in his car seat. Right as I shut Jack’s car door, I realized Oliver had gotten into the driver’s seat instead of his car seat. As I grabbed the door handle, Oliver reached up and locked the car door. ((oh no, oh no, oh no!!!))

My keys, phone, wallet, and two babies were locked inside a hot black car at noon. I ran back into the gym to get help. We called the police, but they cannot unlock a car unless it is an emergency, in which case they can only break a window. ((what!? how is this NOT an emergency??)) We called a wrecker service and they agreed to help.

While we were waiting, the gym employees brought towels out to cover the car windows and sunroof. A few off duty police officers were heading into the restaurant next door and stopped to help.

After 10 or more minutes, Jack was crying hard and I could see his little legs were kicking and drenched in sweat. Oliver was still sitting in the driver’s seat, only now he was drinking my coke and waving at all the people looking at him! He didn’t understand everyone telling him to “unlock the door.”

The wrecker service was still not there, so one of the off duty police officers got out a fire extinguisher and tried to break a window. The fire extinguisher broke, but the window wouldn’t even crack. ((fear, terror, panic))

A crowd of about 25 people gathered to see what was going on and everyone kept asking whose kids those were. It was horrifying on many levels. I knew a lot of the people and they were so kind. But I was in shock. I have no idea what happened next. Although, finally the wrecker service showed up and unlocked the car. *They did not charge me a single cent for their help.*

The whole thing lasted for less than 15 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. Like everyone was moving in slow motion.

15 minutes in 85 degree weather doesn’t sound bad. In fact, it seemed rather lucky at the time. But the kids got hot very quickly and both were soaked with sweat.

We covered the boys in cold, wet towels and took them inside to the cool gym. Both kids are perfectly fine.

That was the scariest 15 minutes of my life.

So, let me offer a simple piece of advice – No matter what you’re doing or how full your hands are, keep your keys in your pocket, bra or shoe and not in your diaper bag or purse.

Hug your babies tight, as accidents happen all the time – even to the most careful parents. May God bless all the people who helped my family today.


7 Responses to “My most terrifying parenting experience to-date”

  1. Amy H

    Scary! I can only imagine the terror you felt! So glad you are all okay!

  2. vrein11

    its frightening how quickly these sorts of things can happen!!
    Glad all turned out fine!!

  3. Amanda

    Awww, Mary. I am so sorry this happened to you. How awful! I can imagine it was terrifying! πŸ™‚ You are a great mom, just thought you should know that!

    • marylemonwater

      Thank you, me too. I cannot shake the fear that something really terrible could have happened. 😒


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