I Locked My Baby in The Car, How I Got Her Out
Right now, I’m sitting in my mom’s house, on her bed in the back of the house. We are on the eastside of Knox and today, unlike others, it’s quiet. This morning is dark and cool, matched with the rough yet calming sounds of my daughter, Rylan snoring. There’s a bit of light shinning in from the front room window. This matches my thoughts.
Yesterday my niece, Aries, turned 11 years old! She had dinner at Wasabi’s restaurant. I needed to wash Rylans cloth diapers before then and it cause me to be late. I follow my dad and mom to the location of dinner. We were all in a rush, as we received calls that everyone was waiting for us. We pull into Wasabi parking lot. As my dad is parking, I’m in thecar behind him, waiting with Rylan in the backseat. She has finally dozed off for a much needed nap. I vroom ahead of my dad and find a spot in the back-side of the building.
Its time to go! I am still 5 minutes late. I look around for the presents that I got Aries, as I am so excited to give them to her. I locate one of them. There’s a car beside me. I wait for them to park then head out the car to go around the back and get Rylan. I decide it’s best to leave her sleeping in the car seat, and bring the whole car seat inside. I go around to open her door.
Its locked. Its locked.
I run around to check the driver’s door. It locked. I check the passenger door. It’s locked, I run around and check all the doors. They are all locked. I’m freaking out.
“Rylan is locked in the car, I can’t get her out. The weather is about 72 degrees but it can get much hotter in a matter of minutes. It happens to babies all the time. Not my baby. Nope. She won’t die in this car. I have to open it.”
By now, people are watching me. I ask desperately for help. Does anyone have a bar I can use to break the glass? Someone please help my child is in here!
The bystanders respond, “I’ll call 911” and “it’s not that hot out here.” Their faces linger in mind. They look at me like I’m crazy. Their faces show slight humour. I tell them my child is in there and I need to get her out.
I run to find something to break the window. Anything. I find a bunch of huge rocks near the pond. I grab one and run to the car. I throw it at the passenger side. It doesn’t budge. I go to the windshield. It doesn’t budge. Adrenaline sets in. By now I am beating the windshield with the rock forcing it to have a tiny hole.
There’s people still standing around watching. One man looks pretty strong.
“Sir can you help me please?”
I scream my dad’s name during all of this. He’s strong, surely he could help. He never heard me.
The windshield is not giving in, but neither am I.
I continue beating at it with the rock. Then, I decide to use my hands. With my hands, I pull the glass open. I can feel it cutting at me, but I don’t care. My baby WILL NOT die in this hot car like I always hear on the news. Not Rylan.
The glass on the windshield sits on top of a material that’s stretchable. I pry open the hole big enough to fit my hand through and unlock the door.
The car alarm goes off. I grab Rylan and run inside from everyone’s stares. My family is outside of the restaurant. They quickly come to my aid. My cousin, Cerise cleans me up (there’s blood flowing from my leg and hands). My aunt Lorse and mom look after a still-sleeping Rylan. My sister Sierra hugs me and tells me she loves me. I find my dad inside.
He sees blood.
It’s falling from my hands. He ask me what happened. I can’t speak. It was too much. He goes and finds Rylan outside with my aunt, mom, and sister. I remember the look of relief on his face, seeing that she is alright. It matched my relief.
I go in the bathroom and clean up. My best friend Lyndeidra and her wife is there. She shows me a cool device that is able to break a window in less than 3 seconds. I am buying this next time, my hands will thank me.
After the adrenaline goes down, I remember those looks on everyone’s faces outside. I felt crazy. Did I overreact? Did I panic? They probably just saw a crazy black woman acting insane.
The fire truck ambulance showed up about 5-10 minutes after the call. To me, the amount of time that it took for them to come was too late. I couldn’t stand her being locked in the car for 1 minute. What if she woke up wanting to get out and I was physically unable to do so? I couldn’t take any chance. I have lived with anxiety for so long and believed it to be gone. I am aware that I panicked and that it is apart of it.
She was locked in the car all of 5 minutes in the time it took me to break open the windshield. It felt like much longer.
As I look at the cuts on my hands then back at Rylan, I realize that there are no mistakes in life. No regrets. Rylan is my world and I would shatter a million windshields to ensure her 100% safety.
As I am finishing up this story of fear and love, the light is getting brighter, entering ever so peacefully into this room, still masked with the sounds of little Rylan’s snoring. My band-aids are falling off of my hands and showing marks that will take awhile to recover.
We’re going to be ok.