June 28, 2009

And just like that I locked my baby in the car.

Ka-thunk.

That's the sound the door made as it closed and locked Ivy in the car, sleeping soundly in her carseat. My purse and keys and iPhone right next to her.

It's also the sound of my heart dropping through my legs and out my toes and although this happened a couple days ago, I am still a little shaky. I can't believe I am sharing it here. I am embarrassed and ashamed and still feel the worst kind of awful that I let it happen at all.

I was in the grocery store parking lot and things were going well- I even remembered my list! And, like always, I put on the Ergo before getting Ivy out of her seat. But while I do that I put my purse down and have a habit of locking the car just before I put Ivy in the sling. This day, the car next to me was trying to leave and so I tried to move the door to keep it out of their way, but then it just closed completely.

I immediately knew what had happened and tried the handle. Locked.

I turned and tapped frantically on the windows of the car next to me. I need to use your cell phone! I've locked my baby in the car. Thank GOD every person in this country has a cell phone.

The couple in the car were SO NICE and helped me call Jeff and arrange for him to unlock the car (we live only about 5 minutes away.) In the meantime, they insisted on waiting until he arrived and the guy also ran inside the store to see if they had wire coat hangers just in case.

I stood by her door, praising God for our tinted windows and that it wasn't as hot as it had been earlier in the week. Still, it was in the 70's with the sun shining bright. She slept there in her seat, unaware. And I could not get to her.

I was sick with regret and shame and tried to keep myself together. How could I let this happen?

Jeff was there quickly- she was inside about 15 minutes total but when I opened the door her face was flushed and her head was quite sweaty. If I knew it would have taken even one minute more, I would have called 911.

I urge you to do the same. Because like I said, it was a nice day, not too hot, but that car heated up so fast.

I still am replaying it through my head and can't figure out why it made me feel like all the blood had been drained from my body. I am so thankful that everything is ok and to some I am probably freaking out way too much. I could have broken a window if I needed to, I could have gotten to her sooner by damaging the car (which I would have done) but it was still traumatic.

I felt like a bad parent, to tell you the truth.

I felt like I would be setting myself up for judgment by whoever finds out about this.

You who read my words here every day know how much I love my children. I'm careful and cautious and loving and aware. But these things still could happen no matter how much you love them. Accidents happen. Close calls happen.

I felt judged while I stood there next to my car, helpless, waiting for the key. I just did what I could do, I did my best for that moment, even though I was in my worst.

She slept through it all, and will not remember this.

I wish I could say the same for myself. Heart, beat normal again soon, please?

Ka-thunk.


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117 comments:

  1. Oh steph! This made me tear up! Accidents do happen. I rocked over Aidens fingers in the rocking chair when he was a tiny baby. heart dropping moment. Every mother has them *hugs*

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  2. We all have these moments try to let it go and learn from it. You are a good mommy!

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  3. Oh Steph. We as mothers will always do things and question our methods, and parenting. I have done it many times with both of my girls, and I too have locked them in the car. But we're human, we make mistakes. You're a great mother, don't worry

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  4. My heart started racing just reading that. ((HUGS)) So glad Ivy is okay. Be gentle with yourself, mama.

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  5. *hug* What a scary 15 minutes that must have been! Thank goodness you were able to call and get the keys. I'm glad all is well now and hope you can find peace in knowing that she's ok and that accidents happen.

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  6. Oh I can imagine how scary that would be! My son ran out the door one morning (while I was in the bathroom) and the dog (which was a puppy at the time) ran out after him and ran across the street and through some yards. I ran out of the bathroom (Sill in pj's ) and ran around the neighborhood looking for him. I saw a cop and asked for help and the asshole had ma get in, drove back to my house and made me search inside before he would call it in. What an idiot! Thank God for the mail lady, she found him on the next block!

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  7. I would have had to break the window because our temps have been over 100 this week. Thank God yours have not been that high and that she was ok. We know how much you love her & she is blessed you're her mommy.

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  8. *hug* ^Thankyou for sharing this, both as a story that needs prayers for your mummy-heart, and a warning to others. That did not seem a long time, but she was already hot.

    I can safely say I have never locked my son in the car. Admittedly, I don't drive... but I've lost him in shops once, I've opened the fridge door into his head - he grew really fast at one point, he got tall quick, who knew?

    *hug* But like you say, Ivy is fine, beautiful and won't remember it. It'll burn you for a while longer than her. *hug*

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  9. Yikes, Steph! That is so scary. I lock my doors with my keychain, but I still never have all of the doors closed on the car at the same time when my children are inside. I think it was a weird paranoid thing I learned from my sister, ha ha!

    Of course, I have ha my other close calls. The biggest one I can remember is Iris almost falling out of our second story window when she was just about 2. TERRIFYING. All of the "what ifs" stream through your head and it's pretty hard to get them to leave.

    Many hugs!

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  10. That is my biggest fear of driving alone, locking my Booga in the car. I probably would have kicked the window in. So glad that help was nearby. Don't beat your self up, it happens!

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  11. My heart dropped for you a little bit. When Luke was about 10 months old, Shane locked him in the car at the sitter's house. Through a random series of circumstances, I had his spare keys that day. Before calling me, he called 911 and was told that they no longer unlocked cars, EVEN WITH A CHILD IN THE BACKSEAT, due to liability purposes. The dispatcher then proceeded to lecture Shane on how you can't leave a baby in the car. He politely told her that if she wasn't going to send help, he needed to call someone else. He called me at work, and I dashed out of first hour, making the 25 minute drive in about half that time. Luckily, Luke was fine. It was a mild May morning, and he just hung out in his car seat and listened to the radio which Shane hadn't turned off when he got out of the car.
    It happens. And just like with the penny story, I am betting I won't be the only person to share a locked in the car story. You shouldn't be embarrassed or ashamed or awful, just human.

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  12. Hey listen - I cannot tell you how many times I have come this close to doing the same thing, and every time it always happened in the midst of fastening on a baby carrier and a grocery store parking lot. There is just a LOT to think about in that situation and sometimes the timing and the activity just doesn't work in your favor.

    I'm so glad you are vulnerable enough with us to share this - I know each of us will check and re-check to make sure we know where our car keys are before we touch a car door this summer!

    Hugs to you, mama. You are a fantastic mother.

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  13. What were you thinking ?!?

    Just kidding. We've all (unfortunately) had some sort of scare with our little ones. No matter how careful, cautious and protective we are - these things happen! I had a scare with the bath a few weeks ago...and a front yard scare and she's only 2!
    My poor sister is a mothering pro wth 5 boys and she's had more scares than we'd wish to count!

    Thank you for sharing. Though I knew it must have had a good ending or you wouldn't have posted it - my heart was still racing as I read it!

    Praise the Lord they are only scares and not tragedies!

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  14. Oh my, I am always concerned about this ... I can be so scattered sometimes. I am glad all turned out okay!

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  15. I did the same thing with my first. Unfortunately she was NOT asleep. But buckled into her chair. It was before the days of cell phones. (Dang I'm getting old) But a friend was with me and she flew to the locksmith who was in the same strip mall. It was definetely a heart dropping moment.
    Because of it I did get in the habit of putting my keys in my pocket rather than sitting by the baby.

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  16. That is such a frightening ordeal! Things like that just happen unexpectedly.

    My middle son, when he was 2, locked me out of the house once (on accident, we think). Luckily I lived next door to my parents at the time and they came to the rescue. It was a good thing cause I was only wearing a robe.

    See, you're not alone.

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  17. Oh gosh, how unnerving! But YOU are a GREAT mom.
    We all have things like this happen, unfortunately.
    Sharing with us? No judgment, you're just showing how "real" you are.

    I'm glad it didn't take too long to resolve, and that Ivy is OK.
    (((hugs)))

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  18. Terrifying. I'm so glad you were so close to home and Jeff was there to help out!!!

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  19. My mom did this to my brother when he was a baby but the temps were in the 90s and she had no cellphone. She had to find someone who would help her break the window. I am so thankful for the keypad on my door that unlocks the car. It was not your fault at all Steph; this stuff happens! It's so good to be reminded though. Thank you for that!

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  20. This post made me cry. This is my WORST nightmare. I have locked my keys in the car more times than I care to admit, and I used to be terrified that I would lock my baby in the car too. I found this great little magnet box that stores an extra car key. You can stick it somewhere under your car. It's probably not the best for preventing car theft (I mean, surely a good car theif knows about such boxes?), but I would give my car to a theif anyday to know that my baby is safe. I'm so sorry this happened, but thankfully you were close to home and had people nearby to help. Say a prayer of thanks and hug your baby tight. You're not a bad mom--just human.

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  21. Oh Steph! We don't think you're a bad mom. I think you're a great mom and we all make mistakes. Did I tell you about the time that I locked all 3 boys in the house on accident?

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  22. Steph- I was shaking when reading your post. I have so been there and that feeling of panic. I am so thankful that you live just five minutes away. As moms, this stuff happens. Please don't beat yourself up. We all know how much you love your beautiful children.

    xoxoxo

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  23. *hugs* a lot of us have been there. I myself have locked my girls in the van...luckily, we have a very old van and the back door refuses to lock, so it turned out fine (I only sprained my ankle trying to climb over the seats to get to the front) but I thank God every day that he put a car in our hands that doesn't lock itself entirely....

    I totally know what you mean about the sound of the door closing being ingrained in your memory forever. And the jolt that you feel the second you realize what happened.

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  24. As everybody has said, we all have these moments. I accidentally shut my son's fingers in the van door one day (no harm done, but I was so upset I couldn't even look at them to see if I had hurt him). Every mother has accidents happen - don't beat yourself up. You did all the right things and that is what is most important.

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  25. I once dropped the Tongginator on her head. And I don't mean she fell sort of on her head, I mean she fell so completely on her head that I feared paralysis. Accidents happen to all of us - what makes a great mom is not what happens, but how one reacts to it. You are a great mom.

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  26. My mom and my MIL both locked their kids in the car.

    It's totally understandable.

    Me? I locked myself and my husband out of the car while wearing bathing suits in the middle of an extremly scary rural area at a little-known swimming hole. He had to walk, shirtless, for nearly a mile to find a trailer to call a locksmith.

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  27. As I recently wrote in a post about Gretchen falling off of our bed -- it happens to the best of us.
    You'll be just fine, mama :)

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  28. ((hug)) How awful for you! Those types of moment are really tough on us. Try not to be too tough on yourself.

    Sometimes it helps to read others' stories too. In case this might help, here is another mom that went through something similar:
    http://mindfullymothering.com/2008/07/02/and-then-the-monkey-was-rescued-by-the-fire-department/

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  29. I got teary-eyed reading that. It's my worst nightmare to lock my children in the car.

    But you thought fast and she was out ... Thank goodness she was ok.

    Now, take this as a learning experience. Never ever put your keys inside the car when you are getting your child out. You know what I do instead? I put them on the roof of my car. Every time.

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  30. Absolutely no judgment happening here, Steph. We all just try to do our best, but unfortunately accidents do happen. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. I'm happy to hear that Ivy is doing just fine and praying that you will be fine soon too. You are a great mom and nobody could ever argue about that!!! Sending lots of hugs!!

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  31. Don't beat yourself up. Accidents happen and everything turned out fine. Take a deep breath and go forward. You're a great mommy!

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  32. I feel for you i do. these things happen.

    and I am GLAD you posted this. Its important that people remember what can happen in a blink of an eye.

    it also makes me happy that i can only lock my car with the clicker thing or using the key because i am queen of doing stuff like this - i am more likely the one who will lock myself out of the house with the baby in the house.

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  33. gretchen from lifenutJune 29, 2009 6:45 AM

    Aww, Steph, it's okay! Nobody thinks you are a terrible mom for making this mistake. Countless parents have done the same thing. Heck, I've done it, and in a grocery store parking lot. Joel was about 2 months old.

    In my case, it was bitterly cold winter right before Christmas. Luckily, a tow truck was in the parking lot and I heard they sometimes carry locksmith tools with them. This guy did, so he opened the door for me for free.

    I haven't done it since! Knock on wood...

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  34. Raises hand:

    I locked Evan in when he was about 1. I think it happens more often than you realize.

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  35. It is nice of you to share this story because it does happen more then people think!

    For someone like you with a following of other bloggers with children its important for them to know the truth and that even moms that they look up to and come to for advice make mistakes at times!

    Hopefully from your story people will learn and think about what one small thing could turn into one large mistake!

    I thank you for sharing this story! I know u must feel awful! But she is in your arms today!

    Give her a big kiss!

    As i was reading my heart was racing just thinking about what I would have done in your situation! I would have lost it and been bawling my eyes out!

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  36. What a scary few moments for you! With all of the millions of thoughts and "to-dos" running through our minds daily, it's amazing to me that we don't have more close calls. Thank goodness Ivy is safe and won't remember a bit of it. Hugs to you both!

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  37. That almost happened to me...I was going to my moms house and I put her travel swing in my car...the car was started and everything was in my car except my kids...but I usually put them in there first. But the swing hit the lock button the moment I shut the door...I do not have a spare because it is the really expensive keys to make and I havent had the money to do that...well like I said I am blessed that my kids were not in there...but I can only imagine how you felt...I am sorry you have had to feel that way. Accidents happen and it is ok...Ivy is fine!! Thank God!!

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  38. oh!! do not beat yourself up about this! i know how bad you felt ~ but it was an accident! i am so glad that you shared, it could happen to anyone of us at anytime! i will be sharing later today on my blog about our "accident" this weekend. so i know that sound of your heart dropping to the floor all too well!! different accident, same feeling of guilt!

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  39. These are the moments that remind us that no matter how super our mom powers are, for some reason we are still also human!

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  40. Oh don't worry Steph-you know she was OK and you had help coming with the keys-911 wouldn't have gotten there much faster than your hubby anyway. *Huge hugs* I did it too, but luckily in my own driveway on a cold day-I shut the door trying to keep him warm but forgot my car keys were still in the front seat and not in my bag-geeze! My neighbor has a spare house key and in the house is a spare car key, so all was well in a few min, but I still felt like an idiot.

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  41. how scary! Don't fret too much, as accidents do happen to all of us.

    Thank goodness you had a phone handy and someone near to help you, glad everything turned out okay.

    HUGS,

    Kristy

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  42. I did the same thing with my daughter. I didn't have a cell phone at the time. I was like 3 minutes away from my house. However, my husband at the time slept with the phone off. :( I was a new mom, not sure what to do. Thankfully, a lady in a car next to me called AAA and they were there lickety split. (Actually made me switch to AAA.) Poor Seren was awake and starting to freak out. I felt AWFUL!!! I kept playing it over in my mind, thinking, "How could I do this?!" Now, when I close my car door, I make sure I have my keys. This was what, 6 years ago, and I'm still worried I'm going to do it again!

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  43. oh no that must have been so scary! Thank God no harm as been done!

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  44. We've all been there...you are definitely not a bad mom! This weekend while cooking in the kitchen I had a knife laying on a potholder that was hanging over the edge of the counter. My 1 year old son grabbed that potholder and before I knew it the knife was sailing over his head. Horrible knife in the face thoughts went through my mind and I yelled at him...like it was a 1 year old's fault. Then I felt about about an inch tall and spent some time cuddling and calming down.

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  45. Crying as a remember the time I did this. You aren't alone.

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  46. My mom did the same thing to me when I was a baby. There were no cell phones back then *ahem* and she had to break the window to get to me. Please don't feel bad, Steph. I know that must have been heart breaking and I can feel how I would have felt in my own mommy heart had I had that happen to me. I am sending big hugs your way!

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  47. This happened to me too. Except it was in the dead of winter and the car was running with the heater at full blast. A sheet of ice had come loose from the top of my car and slide down to cover my entire windshield. I stopped at the stop sign to get out and clear it off and the stupid door locked behind me. It took me 10 minutes to flag down a kind gentleman who let me call the police (it was the one time my hubby was out of town too yet). Luckily the police came ASAP because my two year old and newborn were in the car. It left me pretty darn shakey too.

    Accidents happen. You did all the right stuff. No one to blame here. :)

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  48. Oh my goodness. That is so scary! I haven't done it yet, but my heart still dropped into my tummy. I am so glad she was alright.

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  49. Guilt is such a nasty thing that Satan puts on us. Ivy was being protected the whole time she was locked in there. You are a great mother, and I will pray that God will put you at peace with this situation. Hugs!

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  50. Oh my dear, so many accidents happen. I understand your fear, I would have been scared too. When I read the title my heart jumped into my throat for you.
    I am so glad that you were able to get her out quickly and she was none the wiser. The angels were sitting with her making sure she stayed asleep and happy.
    Don't worry about people judging you either. This is a good cautionary tale and we all need to be reminded. Anyone that judges you is not a parent because it could happen to any one of us.
    Huge hugs my dear.

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  51. I did the same thing when my first was around 2 months old - SO scary! So glad Ivy is just fine - you will be too. :) Hugs and prayers

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  52. Oh my, I know the feeling because I've done it before! Don't feel like a bad mommy, because then you'll make me feel like a bad mommy! :) Just kidding, but things like this happen and, like you, I'm so thankful for borrowing stranger's phones and husbands who are close by.

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  53. It was an accident! Accidents happen. She's fine now, everybody involved got a big reminder (and the rest of us too!) to be vigilant about keys and purses and cell phones and car doors, so very possibly your tiny little oopsie that turned out FINE may have actually saved someone a huge amount of trouble and pain. I'm glad you wrote about it. Remember my big Tylenol scare this winter with Matthew? These things happen!

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  54. You poor thing. I worry about that happening all the time.
    Thank goodness everything is alright, and cut yourself a little slack - you are a wonderful mommy. But thank you for sharing, it reminds us how we are all human and have our moments!

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  55. oh my goodness, how scary and awful for you, mama! (((HUGS))) i know you are a GREAT mommy and i bet the nice people who helped you that day know it too.

    have a great day!
    xo,
    erika

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  56. Wow, what a scare!
    I locked my oldest child in our appartment when she was a newborn. I was taking out the trash and grabed the wrong set of keys. Luckily my husband only worked about 5 min away and was able to come unlock the door for us.
    I also locked my keys in the car when we were at the park but lickily I had gotten the kids out 1st. I am so afraid that I might lock them in some day!
    Peace be in your heart!
    Katrina

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  57. Oh girl... we all do things like this! The last time I did it was without kids in the car, but still... my purse, keys, everything was IN the car. Thankfully I was at the library and they let me use the phone to call Hubbie- at work- 30 mins away! I felt horrible. I do the same thing you do- open doors, get bags, sling, etc., lock doors, grab kids and close doors. Its a routine. I'm so thankful that your Hubbie was close by AND that it was cooler than normal. :)

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  58. One of my fears! It is the reason I keep wanting to put a key under the car in one of those key hider magnetic things. My husband thinks someone will steal our car with it...I just don't want to accidentally have this happen.

    Accidents happen, its why they are called accidents. You did nothing wrong and thank goodness it all came out okay in the end. You were there and aware and she was NOT in danger. Being a mommy is constant work and worry isn't it?

    Do not let anyone judge you...especially yourself! No judgement here. We are all just human and doing the best we can!

    Heather

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  59. I did the exact same thing with my first born. It was a horrible experience. My window was down a crack and as I cried hysterically on the phone with my husband, a bystander ran into the store and came back out with a metal rod and was able to trigger the lock. No harm done, but horrible just the same. I understand all of your feelings, but also KNOW we are both still great moms.

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  60. Accidents do happen, and no one can be the perfect parent.

    For the record, I don't think this makes you look bad at all....mistakes come so easily when you've got your hands full of purse/keys/sling/cell phone and who knows what else.

    And just so you know...I would have broken the window too if necessary or called 911... when a child's life is in danger you can never be too cautious. Never.

    Here's hoping your heart beat gets back to normal soon. :-)

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  61. I've never locked my baby in the car, but I did forget my baby in the car once for about 5 minutes. I was picking up my daughter from preschool on Halloween and I was distracted. The baby was fine, he slept right through it like Ivy. I felt like the worst mother in the whole world.

    In fact, writing it here, I still feel like the worst mother.

    Be gentle with yourself. We all make mistakes, it's human. It's not the lack of error that makes a great mom, it's the showing up every day and trying better I say.

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  62. I think it happens quite often.

    I do the same...I always hit the lock button on my key and slip it into my pocket before I take out my guy because I need both of my hands to get him out.

    Makes those cars with the keypad look attractive, doesn't it?

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  63. Accidents happen and normally when they do, they leave us feeling so horrible b/c we know we're so much more prepared than "that". The feelings you have only prove that you are a great mom. I'm glad all turned out okay. Swallowed pennies, keys locked in the car--is all a part of life. I'm grateful my husband insisted on a car with a keypad on the door. Of course it doesn't protect my children from sticking peanuts up their nose, or ER visits when they hit their head while I was sittingcloseenoughtostopthem. My heart stopped a little bit for you when I read your story. I know the feeling all too well.

    Hugs!
    Aimee

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  64. wow--this almost made me cry, because it brought back that awful feeling that all of us moms must get at least once. I remember when my son was just weeks old, he was covered up with a blanket in his carseat, and we just clicked the seat into the base and drove home from church. He wasn't buckled into his seat. Thank God for rear-facing carseats; there wasn't far for him to go but he was slouched down in the bottom of the seat when we got home. He hadn't made a peep. I felt that horrible heart sinking feeling you described so well. Anyway, seems we all have a story that makes us feel this way, since we love our kiddos so much :) Thanks for sharing.

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  65. So glad to hear everything turned out OK.

    If this ever happens to anyone, and there is a spare key fob at home, CALL THE PERSON AT HOME AND HAVE THEM USE THE THE KEY FOB, INTO THE PHONE, WHILE YOU HOLD YOUR PHONE NEXT TO YOUR LOCK. It will unlock your door.

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  66. I locked three of my kids in the car, and called the police, don't you know they don't unlock doors anymore. Even if there is a child inside? YEP. So my kids were locked in for about 30 minutes while I waited for a locksmith. Luckily it was cool out and the car was running, they were happily tucked into their car seats and smiling at me like it was a game, but seriously. I know the feeling.

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  67. I am all teary eyed just from reading this. I know that ker-thunk feeling when your heart bounces off your toes and all the blood rushes away. It happens to the best of Moms, but it doesn't lesson the fright any. I am just so glad that all was quickly taken care of. And glad for those kind people to stay with you. Even strangers are more comforting than your own feelings of guilt being allowed to fester as you wait alone for the resolution.

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  68. things do happen once in a while but forget it all went fine. as for the people i know its difficult to do but ignore them ....they dont know better

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  69. http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/keyless.asp

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  70. You are a great mom! Accidents happen to the best of us - don't beat yourself up about it. Easier said than done, I know. :)

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  71. Been there and done exactly that - hideous, I know exactly how awful you feel. The guy who was pulling in next to me said he didn't have a phone and then said:"Tell the kid to open his door" - UMM 9 month old strapped in his car seat... Think mother lion... I grabbed him by the collar and screamed in his face: "Give me your phone." Suddenly he had one - and I called the father person who was at work 45 minutes away... Needless to say kid zoomed a car up and down his chair happily for forty five minutes and the father person arrived. We survived but it was just awful.

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  72. it is impossible to get through parenthood without some mishaps... want to hear about the time i left my 2-week-old on the couch and had him roll off it (ka-thunk)? or the time i took my eyes off my toddler for 30 seconds, only to find him headed towards a fast-flowing river (ka-thunk)?

    no judgment here... only sympathy...

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  73. I hada similar thing happen only it was freezing out literally...I was in Seattle and absolutely noone would help. I had a sweatshirt one and a scarf..my keys, purse, and cell were in the van with a sleeping baby...I ened up scurrying around the parking lot for change...having to leave the little, still sleeping in his carseat, and walk to the store. Called hubby...no answer...that's right he needed to shower. I began to cry...finally a sympathic old women gave me change to make another call...got my in-laws. The were going to their car to come help when hubby comes running out having heard my hysterical message...In'laws watch the older two kiddos. Hubby speeds off only to get stuck in traffic. It took another 20 minutes for him to get to us! My little man slept the whole time, thankfully he was in his polarfleece suit because rhe inside of the van was COLD! My lips were blue and face ashen...and I still needed to get groceries and make dinner! You are not a bad mom...or we all are!

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  74. That's so scary. My son almost ran out onto a major intersection once, so I know that heart pounding feeling that seems like it will never go away. Eventually, it did go away after about a week, but I never let go of his hand now. I'm so glad Ivy is okay, and you are not a bad mother.

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  75. I teared up, too, when I read this. I didn't tear up because of what might have happened, because it didn't happen. I teared up because I could feel your heart thumping and your emotions rising. How scary and heart wrenching. How wonderful that she wasn't scared or anxious during this time and was able to sleep. What a blessing your husband was able to arrive so quickly. She is still a very lucky girl to have such an amazing mama like you who very obviously loves her with 100% of her being.

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  76. I have heard this happen to so many people so don't feel ashamed or embarrassed. This is one reason why I am so glad to have an alarm/keyless entry. I have to have my keys to lock the car so there is no way this could happen. I am still super paranoid about closing the car doors though if my keys aren't on me in the off-chance they would lock.

    I feel so badly for you. She is okay. Try to forgive yourself... I know as a mother how hard that is.

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  77. Steph, reading this (and the sympathetic comments from so many other mothers) has me overwhelmed with so many emotions. I'm so relieved for you and Ivy that everything turned out all right, and thankful that the other people were so nice to you. I remember accidents with my own children, the horror and guilt I lived with, and the judgment and condemnation that others cast on me for it. I'd never wish that on anyone.

    I'm so glad God was watching out for you and sweet little Ivy. Everyone has accidents, you ARE a wonderful mother, and you certainly don't need to beat yourself up for what happened. You've helped us all remember to be careful, and that's a real blessing. Be at peace.

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  78. One of my mom's most frequently told stories involves a baby in the car. She used to pack us kids up and take us to grandma's house every summer for almost a month. My dad was a rancher and gone a lot, so it made good sense. She had been there, with her 4 kids, for several weeks when a neighbor who was moving called to see if she wanted some food from the fridge before they moved. She headed out the door, taking my brother Micah, who was 2ish with her, since he cried when she tried to leave. She put him in the carseat, drove the couple of blocks over and decided to unroll a window and just run in without him (this was 20+ year ago...). She ran in and then....they got talking. She forgot he had come with, since that wasn't the plan. He was there, in the car, in the late evening for almost 2 hours. When she got there, he had clearly sobbed himself to sleep and was doing the deep shudder crying even in his sleep.
    She, of course, burst into tears, pulled him out of the carseat and sat there crying with him. She said she couldnt' bear to buckle him back in, so she walked back to her mom's house with him in her arms, called my dad and told him to get on teh next plane out and come drive her home. She said that clearly, if she couldn't remember her 4th child, she shouldn't be out!
    While we joke about this story now (a little), my mom couldn't even tell the kid in question about it until he was in college and married. She was so traumatized by it. Point being--we all have these moments. I'm so glad everything was OK. It sounds like you did everything right to keep your little one safe, even when accidents happen.

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  79. One of my mom's most frequently told stories involves a baby in the car. She used to pack us kids up and take us to grandma's house every summer for almost a month. My dad was a rancher and gone a lot, so it made good sense. She had been there, with her 4 kids, for several weeks when a neighbor who was moving called to see if she wanted some food from the fridge before they moved. She headed out the door, taking my brother Micah, who was 2ish with her, since he cried when she tried to leave. She put him in the carseat, drove the couple of blocks over and decided to unroll a window and just run in without him (this was 20+ year ago...). She ran in and then....they got talking. She forgot he had come with, since that wasn't the plan. He was there, in the car, in the late evening for almost 2 hours. When she got there, he had clearly sobbed himself to sleep and was doing the deep shudder crying even in his sleep.
    She, of course, burst into tears, pulled him out of the carseat and sat there crying with him. She said she couldnt' bear to buckle him back in, so she walked back to her mom's house with him in her arms, called my dad and told him to get on teh next plane out and come drive her home. She said that clearly, if she couldn't remember her 4th child, she shouldn't be out!
    While we joke about this story now (a little), my mom couldn't even tell the kid in question about it until he was in college and married. She was so traumatized by it. Point being--we all have these moments. I'm so glad everything was OK. It sounds like you did everything right to keep your little one safe, even when accidents happen.

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  80. One of my mom's most frequently told stories involves a baby in the car. She used to pack us kids up and take us to grandma's house every summer for almost a month. My dad was a rancher and gone a lot, so it made good sense. She had been there, with her 4 kids, for several weeks when a neighbor who was moving called to see if she wanted some food from the fridge before they moved. She headed out the door, taking my brother Micah, who was 2ish with her, since he cried when she tried to leave. She put him in the carseat, drove the couple of blocks over and decided to unroll a window and just run in without him (this was 20+ year ago...). She ran in and then....they got talking. She forgot he had come with, since that wasn't the plan. He was there, in the car, in the late evening for almost 2 hours. When she got there, he had clearly sobbed himself to sleep and was doing the deep shudder crying even in his sleep.
    She, of course, burst into tears, pulled him out of the carseat and sat there crying with him. She said she couldnt' bear to buckle him back in, so she walked back to her mom's house with him in her arms, called my dad and told him to get on teh next plane out and come drive her home. She said that clearly, if she couldn't remember her 4th child, she shouldn't be out!
    While we joke about this story now (a little), my mom couldn't even tell the kid in question about it until he was in college and married. She was so traumatized by it. Point being--we all have these moments. I'm so glad everything was OK. It sounds like you did everything right to keep your little one safe, even when accidents happen.

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  81. Oh, Steph, this could have happened to anyone! It isn't like you walked away, you know. You are a wonderful mom!

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  82. Oh, wow, what a horrible thing to happen - I would've been scared to death, too!!! The fact that you were so shaken by it shows how much you truly do love your children (and all of your readers know that already). :) Thank you for the reminder to call 911 if we see a baby in a car - I can't imagine reacting any other way.

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  83. I have done it too. Also lost my child in a very public place once. Both made me feel like the worst mother in the world, but as you can see from the comments these things unfortunately happen and we ALL love our children very much. We are so much harder on ourselves than we need to be. I try and give myself a whole bucket of grace everyday.

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  84. I did the same thing with Jonah when he was probably about ivy's age. It was pouring rain and it was dark out and he was NOT asleep, crying to be exact. I was in my moms driveway, and she was home. I called 911 and the police came, although my car then was apparently one of two cars that a cop was unable to jimmy the lock open. So he called a locksmith who got there pretty fast. Except (and I am not lying here, actually, I wish I was!) when he got out of his truck, he locked his OWN keys in HIS car!!!!!! The cop had to jimmy the locksmiths lock open (he locked his tools inside), before he could get to unlocking mine. My mom made me go in the house because I was hysterical! I even threatened to throw a brick through the window just to get in! Luckily, all was ok, and it took me a few days to calm down. But I eventually did. It was super scary, as you know. I would never call you a bad mom, and I don't think anyone who reads your blog would ever think that. You are truly a model of what a lot of us moms strive to be like. Frankly, your just plain awesome! I hope to see you soon!

    Jen

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  85. Gulp ... I can't imagine how desperately ill you felt in those moments and then the replay in your mind afterwards.

    I am glad to hear that everyone is okay and sending you a few extra cyber hugs in hopes that those replay moments quickly subside ...

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  86. Just the title of this had my heart sinking to my toes! What a nightmare for you, but you are so not a bad parent for it. I had a terrifying parenting moment today that involved calling poison control. Thank the good Lord it all worked out. But, things can happen so quickly and some things are just out of our control. We can be cautious, loving, responsible parents, and still these things happen. Hopefully both of our hearts will be back to their normal beating routines soon!

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  87. Thanks Steph for sharing! I know it's hard, having atleast a couple of similar stories myself. This is why I come to your blog, because you are a real mom that I can relate to. Reading this post and comments made me feel like we are all in this together. Sometimes I feel like I am the worst mother and I am so glad all of you can be worst mothers with me ( :

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  88. I could just FEEL the ka-thunk while reading this. Thank God it wasn't super hot out and that there was a fast solution. You poor thing...

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  89. Oh honey, I know you were scared and I'm sorry that happened but please don't beat yourself up about it too much. We all do things like this from time to time. She's fine and YOU are a wonderful mother!

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  90. *hugs*. Don't beat yourself up, it was an accident, you are an awesome mom to all of your precious children!! I am glad Ivy is ok!

    *hugs*

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  91. I know how terrified you must have felt.

    On two separate occasions, I managed to forget to put the kids seatbelts on. I didn't realize it until they walked up from the back of the car while I was going 70 mph down the freeway...

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  92. Ok, this is a TERRIBLE comparison, but bear with me, I have a point. I was watching a show about people who accidentally kill their kids (backing out of the driveway, etc.), and there was a psychologist there who comforted one woman by saying, "You were caught in the act of being human. It could happen to ANYONE." And that's the truth. It could happen to anyone, and anyone who doesn't think it could happen to them is kidding themselves. I think it was very brave of you to write about it.

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  93. That is a really scary thing. And accidents, because they really are accidents, can be so traumatizing. You always want to think something like that would never happen to a good, alert mom, but accidents do happen even to the best of us.
    Hugs, mama.

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  94. I accidently did that one time - I confess. My child was old enough to be in a booster seat, but not old enough to unbuckle. I don't remember all the details, and they weren't in there very long, but I remember that terrible feeling. I remember being right on the other side of the thin glass but unable to reach my child!

    You are so right that cars heat up so-o fast!

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  95. That stinks! I locked my son in the car in the garage!! My hubby and I took turns playing peek-a-boo with him while the other looked for the spare keys! I was told that you can unlock a car door with the remote keys through a cell phone. I haven't tried it yet though... I think you call hubby cell to cell and put your phone by the door and he pushes the button on the remote towards the phone. It would be great if it worked. I really should give it a try to find out!!

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  96. I did something very similar with my oldest when she was a baby. It was one of the scariest things I have been through. Reading your post brought those feeling right back as if it just happened. Not something I will forget.
    Hugs to you hun. Thank you God for watching over Steph and Ivy.

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  97. Definitely a scary moment, but she is fine now, momma, and always was under your careful, watchful eye, hovering to ensure she was okay. I have no doubt you would've broken in to get her. I know you don't feel you were careful, but it was an accident, and you're human, and all is well now. *huge huge hugs*

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  98. Been there. Done that. Have the mama badge.

    Locked my son in my air conditioned, running car in 90 degree weather. The firemen came and got him out. I felt stupid. My 2 year old son slept through it.

    I hate how it feels when my mistakes potentially endanger my children.

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  99. I'm so sorry that happened. I locked my 2 boys in the car together when they were almost 1 and 2. It was so horrible, I had to call the fire dept and have them break in for me. The youngest was crying the whole time. I still feel terrible about it and it has been years!!

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  100. *hugs*

    My dad locked me in the car when I was about Ivy's age. He waited for about ten or twelve minutes for my mom to arrive, then panicked and decided it was taking too long. So he went inside the shop, took the fire extinguisher, and broke out the front passenger window.

    To this day, even though my mom arrived less than a minute later and even though it cost a fortune to fix the window, he maintains that it was one of the best choices he ever made. Cars heat up quickly and there's no such thing as being too cautious with your children. Accidents happen. What matters is that you were proactive about fixing the situation.

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  101. Oh please don't feel bad - and please know that none of us are judging you. This is just a terribly frightening ordeal - as is any instance that we are spun out of control of the well-being of our children. But unfortunately, as we well know, caca happens! :P

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  102. I am so right with you. LL wasn't even two months old and the weather was blazing HOT. In my driveway, I must have hit the lock button and shut the door after putting him in his seat and the diaper bag in the car. I ran under to my door and my heart was in my throat as I could not get into any door. Thankfully my neighbor was outside and called the police. The next minutes were crazy for both of us. LL crying and I could see the sweat beads on his forehead and me trying to sing through the window as tears fall down my face. What felt like forever (only a few minutes), police arrived, freed my baby and I held him on the sofa all day and night. I felt awful. But now, looking back, I am a good mama and know that these things happen and its how we move to fix it that matters. you were right there and you took care of the situation. And most of all you love your baby!!

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  103. What a scary experience!

    No judgments are passing here. Those kind of things happen to even the very best parents.

    You are a great mom. I think that's why the experience frightened you so much (I know my heart would be beating a hundred beats a second if that happened to me).

    I'm so glad little Ivy is safe and sound.

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  104. Oh - I would have died! This is one of my biggest fears with my kids. I kinda feel OCD before I close the door. I check my keys, then I check again and I feel them in my purse again before I close the door. I don't even think about it anymore. So, I totally can understand how you would freak out! Thank god it wasn't too hot and you didn't have to go to extremes. These things do happen. I can't tell you how many times I've done something that makes me feel like a horrible mom! LOL

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  105. i have done the same thing and know exactly how you are feeling!! i'm not sure how it happened but it did! thank goodness he slept through it as well!!

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  106. I locked Selah in the car when she was about Ivy's age. She was awake and screamed herself to sleep by the time I was helped, it was awful. I called the police and they aren't allowed to unlock your car anymore, so he called a tow truck, and that guy unlocked it for me, no charge. The police officer stood out there with me the whole time while we waited for the tow guy :)

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  107. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, Steph, but you are only human. We all make mistakes and it's OK. I know it's not the same, but just last week I locked my purse, keys and phone in my house. I had to cut a screen out of a basement window and send Ava in through the little window to unlock the door for me. Not one of my finer moments, but we all have them. Hugs to you, mama.

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  108. Just saw an Oprah with a similar story with a much more tragic ending...it's good to get reminders of how precious our lives, and our kids lives are. Glad it all worked out, God was present!

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  109. We have all done this before. I'm going to highlight this over at Baby Bunching this week. You are so not a bad parent. I'm glad everything worked out in the end. I watched one lady try for almost 30 minutes to get her twins out of car at the Y one day. Lucky for her the EMS people were there working out and helped her get the car unlocked.

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  110. You are absolutely not a bad parent! This has happened to so many of us, innocently enough. And she was fine! And you were right there.

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  111. Nonono. I just got in a car accident with my baby sleeping in the back. Locking the doors? No big deal.

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  112. If it makes your feel better my hubby and I locked our son in his truck AT the hospital on his way to his 6 month appt. Long story short and realizing that we couldn't even break into our house if someone came to pick us up to get the spare keys and everything else possible going wrong...UGH...we felt horrible!

    Tt was hot and we left the truck running so he had A/C on and everything, but it took all in all about 45 minutes for the police and pop-a-lock guy to get there. I was standing outside the door, laughing and playing games with him, but a couple times he started crying and that was tough for me...then he would stop and smile again like it was a game.

    Glad that was over and we had to reschedule. You are a great mommy and I enjoyed your video. It's cool to see your daughter do things my son is just starting to do...she is about a month and a half older than him. How cool!

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  113. sorry this happened... I've definitely been there. Scenarios run through my head all the time about how to avoid such things, but things still happen. :( I, like you, just thank God that all things are fine in the end and pray that they continue to be...

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  114. Oh no, Steph! I felt sick for you while I was reading this. Don't beat yourself up over this, we've all done something similar and everything turned out ok for you and sweet Ivy! It doesn't make you a bad parent...just a parent. Hugs girl!

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  115. Ugh. We've all been there. Could be worse - Hubby and I managed to lock our new baby IN OUR HOUSE by himself. http://foxfactors.blogspot.com/2008/08/brief-moment-of-thanks-on-sunday.html

    He survived just fine, but darned if it didn't take 10 years off of my life.

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  116. Oh, I SO feel for you. When I locked my oldest in the car, I called a locksmith and was told that if there's a child locked in, they are required to bump the call to the very front of the line. The locksmith was there within 10 minutes. Still scary.

    *hugs*

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