the worst 20 minutes of my life

today we had a nice little day of errands planned. this was the agenda:

1. michael's: open backed frames at 50% off [for the queen bee market. cute idea i have brewing]
2. tuesday mornings: looking for super cheap white or neutral curtains
3. pharmacy: my hubby has really terrible acid reflux so he's on a daily medication
4. trader joe's: finishing out the grocery list for the rest of the week

we made it to michael's and grabbed the frame at 50% off, scored a few more coupons at checkout [love that about michael's] and even had a nice lady compliment us on how great Reese was behaving. she was seriously just standing next to me, holding my hand, silently and patiently waiting in line. she's not always that easy, so i appreciated the compliment :)

and here's what happened next:

headed out to the car to make our way to the next stop.
buckled Reese into her seat
tossed my keys and clutch into the front seat for easy access.
shut the door.
went to open my door.


immediate panic as i tried opening all the other doors.
complete confusion until i realized i must have accidentally pressed the lock button on the key, somewhere in between unlocking it, putting Reese in, and tossing them in the front.
so i stopped a lady who walking to her car to use her phone [i'm already crying at this point]
she said she normally doesn't have her phone with her, but today she did [thank you Lord]
and another sweet lady came over to offer help, having noticed what was going on.
she told me her daughter just did the same thing a few weeks ago.
thanks, at least i don't feel like a complete failure as a mother.
i called my dad, since i knew he'd probably answer and my parents live 30 seconds away from michael's.
he jumped in the car and went to the fire station that's right next door to the michael's shopping center.
for the first five minutes, Reese was doing great. playing hide & seek behind her book, laughing. she had no idea what was going on.

the firefighter gets to the car and tries to unlock it.
no luck.
they try to pry open the door.
no luck.
we try to plead with Reese the whole time to unbuckle her straps and see if she can reach the lock
[of course, i didn't even think of this option in the first 5 minutes while it was just me and her]
she doesn't want to unbuckle herself and by this time she's sweating and not really thinking straight.

the fireman leaves to go get some tool to break the window.
they come back in the firetruck with three guys and a hammer.
by this time Reese is hysterical, pleading with me to undo her straps and get her out.
i've been crying the whole time. i'm no use.

they break the window and get a long rod with a hook at the end.
they unlock her door.
you guys, when i opened the door, she was bright red, sweating profusely, and so so so hot.
she's crying, i'm crying, everyone is caught up in the emotion.

i just can't even explain to you the emotions and thoughts that were swirling.
those were the worst 20 minutes of my life so far.
things really and truly could have turned out differently.
it could have 100 degrees today. [it was only about 80 or 85]
i could have been parked in full sunlight [i was under a tree]
my dad may not have answered, or lived so close, or known to stop by the fire station...

i'm thankful for a million little things going right today.
God is good.
and i will NEVER toss my keys into the car again.
they will always stay in my hand until i'm inside the car.
i hope after reading this, you can remember to do the same, too.


  1. Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry! It's amazing how quickly those things can happen. So thankful everything turned out ok. My keys will stay in my hands from now on.

  2. How scary!!! Glad everything turned out ok!

  3. i have done the same thing, in the rain, at the dentist....i was so embarrased...it happens

  4. I DID THIS, I DID THIS, I DID THIS!!! With Jayden when he was like 2. It was terrible. I called the cops right away and I was so embarrassed! Lord, I'm so sorry!

  5. My heart was in panic mode as I read this. As a mother I felt your fear. SO sorry you had to go through this, but thank you for sharing! It will help someone else.

  6. Thank God he had it all under control! I am so glad that your dear little one made out alright.

  7. Wow, crazy! I toss my keys in all the time! Thanks for the reality check that I shouldn't do that, just in case! xo

  8. ahhhh! that is so awful for you both to go through. but had to let you know - from my staycation - that i've done the same. once. only diff is that my car was RUNNING. so lame, i know. my little girl was so sweaty too when we got her out. i was reminded of those details when reading this. God is good. He takes care of his children. So sorry you had to go through that. Much worse for you than Reese!!

  9. Oh My goodness. My heart dropped when I read this. My girls are older now 9 & 10 but when they were 2 & 3 this happened to me and my mom at a gas station. The only good thing was that the car was still running and the air was left on. I am so glad that God made everything fall into place.