Remember what a great time I mentioned we had with George's parents watching them sing and celebrating St. Lucia? Well, there was just one minor bump in the road that I failed to mention. I thought I would share the fiasco so hopefully someone can avoid making a similar mistake as me, though even at the moment, I didn't want some idiotic move on my part to overshadow the beautiful day we were having.
It all began as we were attempting to sit through the church service, something we don't do often which was made blaringly obvious my kids' behavior. They have obviously not been trained in proper church etiquette. Nyah insisted on talking in a regular tone of voice (which was loud) and Elsa, well I am sure you know what she wanted to do the entire service...run.
So I finally accepted defeat and shlepped all of our coloring books and snacks and stuff outside to spend the rest of the service in the open with the calming breeze. All was going well, many other mothers outside, a friend I have known since moving to the island with her kids and calm and no need for formality. Have at it kids.
Nyah, the angel (seriously?) spent the rest of the service gazing wide eyed at the older girls of the group, following their every move. Elsa, oh Elsa, just had to prove to the other kids there that she had more energy and stamina and could out run them. She succeeded.
So I spent a good thirty minutes chasing her repeatedly to the parking lot, which was far away. Repeatedly, did I mention this? How do these other kids her age sit so still? Am I missing something?
So once again, I accepted defeat and began to head to the truck for the strolller to strap her down. Enough is enough. Off Elsa and I went to journey across the church grounds, to the parking lot for the stroller in the truck, leaving Nyah under the watchful eye of my friend and the older girls. Honestly, I don't even think she knew I left. Elsa and I passed the old men ushering and guarding the door, or getting fresh air, whatever.
We reached the truck and I put Elsa in one of the two strollers we had in the bed of the truck, the nice stroller, the cadillac, the one that lies down. Would she sleep? Maybe. I strapped her in and then I discovered it, cat hair, all over the stroller. Out precious outdoor siamese cat Samba decided to make a bed of her stroller, which was stored on the front porch. Awesome.
Out of that stroller Elsa came and I decided to put her in the front seat of the truck since I had some work to do, putting the nice stroller away and and getting out the other one and setting it up. So before I left her I decided to shut the door to the truck. This is Elsa we are talking about, a child who would think a flying leap from the high seat of the truck would be a great idea. Safety first.
After I had gotten the stroller situation under control, I went to get Elsa out of the truck. Wait, let me try again, and again and oh f*#$, the door was locked. I looked to the other door, locked too. I look at Elsa, precious Elsa, and there she was, sitting there with the keys with the remote lock in her hand smiling like, "Look what I've got, Mom!". Deep breath, stay calm. "Push the button Elsa, yes, push it, you can do it." Nothing, just laughs. F#$%. Sun blazing, window up, absolutely no air circulation. Must act fast to get her out.
Someone drove by, I stopped them to ask to use their phone. They said they didn't have one. Right. Who doesn't have a cell phone and what about me says, she looks crazy, don't lend her our phone?
Time was ticking and Elsa needed to get out and I knew the fastest way to get her out was to get George there who was at work with the extra key and remote lock on his key chain, or should I call the police? No, what could the police do and it would honestly take them an hour to get there, no joke. My final decision was to call George but phone was with Nyah at the church. F;#$!
So I decided I had to do it. I check Elsa one last time, she was exploring the keys, still happy as could be though I could see the sweat beads forming on her head. I had to do it. I kicked off the Payless church shoes and ran as fast as my six month pregant body would carry me. I ran and ran, past the gentlemen guarding the door, who's heads just follow me like a typewriter. I think one mentioned, "Were's the baby?" No time to explain. I reach Nyah who was coloring, oblivious of our absence, and crouched low, grabbed the keys and turned to go, calling out to my friend, "Locked Elsa in the car, watch Nyah". And I was off again in the other direction across the rocky parking lot. Rocks in my feet, ouch, uterus cramping, ouch.
I finally reached the truck after what seemed like an eternity. Elsa was fine and not choking or doing any of the other horrible things I imagined could happen to her while I was running. She was still smiling. She wanted to give kisses through the glass.
I dialed George, still out of breath, feeling the effects of the last four months or so of no running. "Elsa, locked in truck, no air, come now." He asked maybe think one question and he was on his way. And at that moment, I realized that was the first, OH SHIT phone call we have had the pleasure of sharing and hopefully our last.
So I waited and played with Elsa, she was fine. She discovered the center console and was now jumping on it. Freedom in the car, what could be better.
George, Super Dad, arrived maybe seven minutes later and the "Beep, beep" of the truck unlocking was music to my ears. He later told me he broke every driving rule possible even heading the wrong way on the highway momentarily to reach a short cut. He opened the door to get her out and she ran to the other side. She didn't want out, she was having too much fun. Silly girl. She finally leaped into her Dad's arm and all was right again in the world.
So off George went to work and I put Elsa in her clean stroller and we moseyed back to the church like nothing ever happened. "Who me, running past you, barefoot like a mad woman?" I have no idea what you are talking about. We reached Nyah, who was still coloring and didn't even acknowledge our return. Nyah's Aunt later told me that she took a break from singing and came outside to get a drink of water and found Nyah sitting without me and Nyah quickly requested her Aunt take her to the restroom. When she asked Nyah were her mom was, Nyah nonchalantly replied, "Oh, she locked Elsa in the car."
Elsa drank some water and finally took a break for maybe a second and then chasing continued. The cramping continued but quickly went away later in the afternoon after lots of water, some rest and good food. The guilt sitting deep in my chest is also slowly disappearing. I felt so horrible making such a careless mistake putting my baby's health in danger.
Definitely earned Worst Mom Award for the day, I humbly accept.