Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Learning One of Life's Lessons

Mrs. Abbey was tucking Little Abbey into her car seat while I was putting away the groceries. I shut the rear hatch and Mrs. Abbey shut the side door while I walked around to the driver's door. That was when the van started beeping like it had some sort of anti-theft alarm except with horn honks that weren't quite as regular as they should be. Puzzled, I grabbed the driver's door handle only to find it locked. I asked Mrs. Abbey to unlock the door since she had the keys when we left the grocery store but she said Little Abbey had them. That is when it hit me like a ton of bricks.

As we were checking out our groceries, Mrs. Abbey started off with Little Abbey to walk off some of that endless energy. I tossed her the keys so she could start getting Little Abbey into her car seat while I come behind them. We ended up meeting back at the van at approximately the same time and that is when all this happened. So for a minute or two, there were two parents peering through the side window of a honking van as Little Abbey contentedly sat inside pressing the door lock button on the key fob and listening for the honks.

Deciding that the chances of Little Abbey hitting the other button on the fob before getting upset and tossing the keys was slim and none, I hurried into the store and back to the service desk. I told the lady that our 21-month-old daughter had locked herself in the car and us out and could she please call someone to unlock our car in this emergency situation. Within minutes I was talking to a man named Keith who said he was on his was to pick up his tools and would be right there.

When you have an upset kid crying in a locked vehicle, (she had by then tossed the keys and her milk to the floor), fifteen minutes can feel like an eternity. Here I was a father, standing two feet from my daughter and could do nothing to soothe her tears. Fortunately like I mentioned, the locksmith was there in about fifteen minutes and less than a minute later had the car unlocked, which by the way seemed ridiculously easy to do and made me feel as if locking the vehicle was only a minor nuisance to a thief. Little Abbey was soon comforted with something from the grocery bags and the locksmith was $30 richer for one minutes worth of work.

As soon as he was gone and we were on the way home, the giggles hit due to the obvious humor in the situation. I laughed almost all the way home. Things could have been much worse. It could have been extremely cold or very hot, where the balance between life and death was on a lot finer point. Fortunately, we both learned a valuable lesson this weekend and the penalty was a few tears and a snack bag intended for my wife's lunch bag. Fortunately now, I can still find the humor in it.

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