Many items are designed to keep our kids safe at home: gates, toilet seat locks, cabinet locks, doorknob deterrents, cushy bumpers I could go on.
But, as a parent, I am also concerned about the safety of my car. After all, I’m hauling my most precious cargo.
However, call me paranoid, but I think my “safe” car has been taunting me.
We have a pretty long driveway. In inclement weather (or when we’re being lazy) I drive the boys to or from the bus.
We also have an infant who is forced to make this daily trek in her car seat. While waiting for the bus one afternoon, said infant began wailing, so I hopped into the back seat to console her. Naturally, the bus turned the corner at about that moment.
I attempted to open the back door of the car to go greet my sons. My attempt became frustrated tugging at the door handle.
I couldn’t get out. The car was unlocked, but I was stuck.
I pondered my dilemma and realized the child safety locks were on - so the boys won’t jump out of the car, of course.
I not-so-gracefully climbed into the front seat and scrambled out the door.
But the car wasn’t done with me yet, it sat in the garage plotting.
This particular morning, our driveway was a sheet of ice, so we hopped into the mom-wagon to go meet the bus.
I turned the key, the dashboard lit up, the radio came on and then, nothing. I turned it again. Still nothing.
The bus was in the cul-de-sac, better hurry.
I began jiggling the key in the ignition, but it still wouldn’t turn. I “jiggled” it a little harder and the break-away key snapped off in my hand.
Noah stared wide-eyed as if waiting for me to explode into a tantrum. “Get out!” I yelled. “Let’s go!”
We began running through the frozen grass to the bus now waiting for us.
My mind reeled with what could possibly be wrong with my car.
After a call to the dealership and arranging for a tow, my husband suggested I check a few things, like if the car was in “park.”
I must have bumped the shifter. Hence, the car’s safety feature was engaged. It won’t start nor will the key release if it is in gear.
I think the break-away key was designed specifically for frenzied mothers. Thankfully, it clicks back together.
I’m a little anxious about the next “safety demonstration” the car has in store for us.
Better get busy reading the owner’s manual.
Email this contributing writer at Motherhoodcolumn@yahoo.com.