You always wonder what your first serious 'mom freak out' is going to look like and what will have caused it-- or maybe that's just me and my well-known gift of perpetually going to the dark place. Not in a 'wandering hopelessly through life in a depressed state of mind' kind of way, but in the 'hypochondriac, overly worried, everyone's going to die, spaz' kind of way-- not sure which one is worse.
It's not my fault really; despite my truly optimistic lease on life, my mind just can't help but to "go there" a bit too often, and my friends make fun of me about it all the time. Oh, that's just Kerry thinking her plane is going to burst into pieces while she's in mid-flight. Oh, that's just Kerry worried that she picked up that case of e-coli that was spotted out in Utah last week. You get the idea.
It's pretty much the popular SNL skit of "Debbie Downer" to a tee...
"Hey, do you guys want to go on the haunted elevator? It's supposed to drop straight down!"
Debbie: "Did you guys hear about that massive train crash in North Korea? The media is so secretive there, we may never know how many perished..."
So, the first mom freak out happened today. Well, the first warranted one. I did have 1 tiny little setback when Niall was 2 weeks old. I was holding him and he went completely limp so quickly that I thought something was really wrong. I noticed that his pigment was a little bluish and I couldn't seem to find that rising and falling of his chest. After telling the 911 operator that my baby wasn't breathing, 2 firetrucks later, we discovered that he had been peacefully sleeping, as 2 week-olds often do. Just putting my tax dollars to good use, no biggie.
But today was different. Today, my 2 year old and 4 month old were locked inside of a hot car with my diaper bag containing my phone and keys.
Begin heart palpitations.
Thank God my neighbor was with me. We were going to drive to a trail and go for a long walk, but her car died on our way up our street. When we turned around for her to switch cars with her husband, I decided to nurse Brendan on the front steps while she got the car seats situated. As I was nursing him, Niall began rifling through my diaper bag (on the front seat), took my keys out and put them in the ignition.
He didn't turn it on, just managed to figure out the right key and get it in there. I was highly impressed! And a little freaked out. But hey, thanks for getting half the leg work done for me, right? Wrong. When Brendan finished nursing, I put him in his car seat and grabbed Niall out of the driver seat to move him back to his seat. Once everyone was buckled in, I shut the doors and walked around to the driver's side.
Clu-clunk. The sound of the doors automatically locking. Apparently, there is a feature that turns on "lock-down" mode when the keys are in the ignition, but the car isn't turned on. I haven't even attempted to wrap my head around the reason for this, and it doesn't matter because I am never shutting any car doors ever again unless all of the windows are rolled down.
My first reaction was honestly, "Shoot, now I'm going to have to call AAA..." Followed 1/18 of a millisecond later by "MY KIDS ARE TRAPPED IN THE CAR!*^#@+=/<;" Followed 1/4 of a millisecond later by "MY PHONE IS TRAPPED IN THE CAR!!" Again, Thank God my neighbor was with me. She had gotten into her car already at this point, so she didn't see any of this... but she definitely saw me stumbling up to her car, pulling the skin off my face zombie-style, and promptly got out to see what was wrong.
She put it together pretty quickly and as I began shouting out pointless observations (i.e. "It's hot in there!", "I can't get in", "I'm hyperventilating!"), she called 911 and the firetrucks were there in about a minute and a half (no joke). It took them a good 5 minutes to get the lock popped, which doesn't sound like that much, but Debbie Downer here has seen the Dateline special of kids being left in cars while their parents go grocery shopping-- and I know it only takes a couple of minutes for them to really become dangerously overheated (wah wahhhh).
I had my face glued to the window and kept asking Niall if he was OK throughout the whole thing. But I knew that Niall had his water and his snack and could be comforted by me talking to him through the window... it was Brendan that I was worried about. I could see the beads of sweat flickering on both of their faces and poor baby B was getting really squirmy and flustered in there.
Once again, I couldn't be happier to have 2 boys who I know are going to be such great friends. Niall came to his brother's rescue right away by reaching over to hold his hand, making sure he was ok the whole time. When the locks finally popped and the doors opened, I busted in there in true mom-freak-out fashion, got my boys out of there and hugged them tight.
And then I thanked my tax dollars (and firemen) for bailing me out once more.