Wednesday, October 6, 2010

To read when you are 25

Dear Juliette,

By now you've heard the story about the time I accidentally locked you in the car about a million times. You probably used it as ammunition during those rebellious adolescent years (please tell me they weren't so bad!), as in, yeah, mom, remember when you locked me in the car, so please let me go out with my friends this Saturday?

But please know that I really am sorry it happened and of course I was worried about my little angel. To be fair, though, you did have your fair share of blame in the incident. If you hadn't pushed the lock button on the keys I'd let you hold (mistake!) as I strapped you in your car seat, then it wouldn't have happened. Then again, if I'd unlocked the car right away instead of throwing my keys on the seat before I closed the passgener door, it wouldn't have happened either. But that's why it's called an accident. And luckily for us it ended happily. But not without a little anxiety.

Of course, I called your dad right away who hopped in his car to drive 30 minutes to the babysitter's house, where we were parked right in front. But as I wasn't 100% sure where the spare key was in the apartment, I couldn't tell him to look for it himself. I then called the insurance company, but of course my insurance papers were in the locked car. They were able to look up my policy but in fact we weren't covered for locksmith services. I guess my mind was sort of on slow-motion. I really didn't know what to do and in what order. I even tried to get you to stretch your little hand and open the passenger door lock, but it was too far. Then to do it with your foot. You'd already taken those little white shoes off, as you were so fond of doing, and you did put your foot where I asked you, smiling all the time. But pushing it up with your stockinged foot proved difficult. And you didn't seem to understand my interest in this new game. I even took my shoe off and tried to demonstrate what I wanted you to do on the other side of the car window, but to no avail. You did your best honey.

At least you weren't panicking in there, but this would have to happen on one of those rare Indian summer days where we'd gotten to the mid-70s and it was sunny. I started worrying about you getting warm in there as I had on my car ride home. But there were no windows open for you, of course. So let's say 30 minutes into this thing I decided to call a locksmith anyway. By the time papa would get there and I went back to the apartment it could be getting really too warm in there. Oh no, were you looking a bit listless, or just bored? Your cheeks were rather pink and your blond hair started sticking to your forehead because of the sweating. Yes, the locksmith was the right thing to do.

Of course, he got there two minutes after Remi arrived and I had already set off to the apartment for the spare keys, just in case. It would have to be rush hour and I was stuck in accordeon traffic getting back to our place. I ran up and found the keys in a flash, ran back down and drove back in more traffic. I didn't put the air on even though it was stuffy because I was thinking of you in that closed car. And praying that everything worked out ok.

When I got back to the sitter's all was well. I paid the locksmith thirty euros for his fine work and went into check on you inside the sitter's. You were bouncing around happily in the playpen with the younger baby. Cheeks still red but not in the least disturbed by your recent misadventure. Tata'd given you orange Fanta to cool you down, so maybe that's why you were hyper.

So once again, know how much you mean to me and that I really did (and do) try to do my best for you. And if you have a little one day and do something silly like me, I won't laugh at all.

Love, Mom

3 comments:

Emmy said...

awwww Mil! Beautifully written. All's well that ends well and Juliette obviously didn't notice anything was wrong!

Lindle said...

So sweet. But forgive yourself. You weren't going to let her suffer. You would have broken the window to get her out. You weren't like leaving her in there on purpose while you went shopping or something. It was just a mishap--and you've learned a lesson about car keys. Or she has.
Your dilemma reminds me of that joke where (insert favorite group to ridicule)This guy accidentally locks his (group)family in the car and it took almost 2 days to get them out.
You were TRYING to get her to open it from the inside!

Jenenz said...

I imagine that your heart was pumping a mile a minute, while Juliette was wondering why mommy was outside. A happy ending to the story. And a story you can share with her when she's older, when you and her are having a bonding moment. I bet it will bring smiles to both your faces.