This morning, Sam proved himself to be quite the awesome little helper.
In a previous note, I have mentioned what an ordeal it is for me to get the boy to school on time. This morning was no different. I got the kids dressed and ready to go. Sam ate his breakfast, we put on his shoes and went out to the car. I buckled Aunica in first.
IMPORTANT: I lifted Sam to get into his carseat while holding my keys. Unknowingly, I must have pressed the auto-lock button on my keychain.
As usual, I threw my keys into the driver's seat, then buckled Sam in, closed his door, and went to open mine. It was locked.
"That's odd," I thought, and so I tried again. Nope.
"Okay, that's weird," So I tried the other doors. Nope.
What I had done started to come into focus.
So, the dense person living in my head told me to try *all* the doors, just in case the ever-faithful auto-lock decided to be unfaithful today. None of them opened. Not even the trunk. Then the dense person told me to try them again. Nope. On the second time around, Sam grinned out his tinted back-seat window and yelled, "Hi, Mommy!"
I tried to not panic. "Think Crystal. THINK"Spare key! I ran into the house, hoping to find the single spare Ford key laying around somewhere. Yeah right. Even if the key were attached to something ginormous (snow globe, ruler, toilet seat, shrunken head) gas-station-bathroom-style, I still wouldn't have found it in this mess.
Two empty junk drawers later, I ran back out to the kids in the car. Who should I call? 911? AAA? The general police number in the front of the phone book? How long would they take?
Sam and Aunica sat there, snug in their seat-belts, patiently waiting for me to drive them off to preschoolville. Aunica's cold was causing snot to run down her face, but I could handle that.
What I couldn't handle was the thought of watching both of my children fry to death in our oven of an SUV on the first sunny day in two weeks.
Then it dawned on me. Sam! Sam is smart! Sam is capable! He's a BIG BOY now!
"Sam, sweetie?" I said lovingly through the window. "I have a big job for you to do. Can you help me?"
I don't know if it was the maniacal, crazed, desperate look I probably was exhibiting, or just the fact that Sam is such a great and helpful kid (probably both), but he smiled and nodded yes.
"Sam, mommy left her keys on the front seat, and locked the door, so I need you to get them for me, okay?" Another nod."Can you unbuckle your seatbelt?" He tried the orange button first.
Let me tell you about the orange button. The orange button is so stinkin' hard to push, I've broken nails trying to get my kid out (not that my nails don't usually break easily). It was made for kids to *not* be able to get out of, so obviously this was not going to be easy for my three-year-old son.
Sam tried his very best, though. He did a great job, used both hands and pressed so hard he was getting that whole tremble-with-exertion thing going. I told him to try the top button instead. The top button is a little easier. It's more like a plastic back-pack buckle and he's gotten that un-done before. He couldn't do it, though. So, finally, exasperated, I said, "Can you wiggle out of your seat, then?"
He tried, and it was starting to work. He got his shoulders out.
But then a woman strolled by on her morning walk. She looked concerned. "Hello!" I said cheerily, hoping she wasn't going to offer help or call CPS. What I really wanted to say was, "No, really. I *always* talk to my children through the car window in the morning. It's just one of those things we do." Thankfully she moved on.
Sam was doing great. He'd gotten both arms out and was halfway out of his seat. But he was stuck there. I was getting ready to go call the police when Sam had the brilliant idea of taking off his shoes. As soon as he did that, he was able to wiggle a little bit more. And then, he tried his top buckle again and it worked!
Huzzah! A few grunts later, he was free!
"Okay, Sam, I need you to get my keys. They're on the seat".
I was prepared to instruct Sam on not pressing the panic button on my keychain, and to press the button that had the unlocked lock picture instead of the locked lock picture.
Instead, Sam reached over and pressed the unlock button on the door of the car. Smart little cookie!
And I opened the door and HUGGED that boy like there was no tomorrow. Because, for a while there, it felt like there wouldn't be.
Oh, I love Sam so.
(PS. Aunica was fascinated by this whole experience, and never cried. I'm very thankful because that just might have sent me over the edge)