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?
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