For anyone who has ever locked his or her child in a car and stood outside helplessly, here is a much scarier story.
A 14-month-old Atlanta toddler wandered into a bank vault while her mom -- an employee at the bank -- was closing up. The vault, which was on a timer, sealed before the mom could get her out and she was locked inside with no way to get out.
Can you imagine anything more terrifying? It's hard to even imagine what that poor mom went through in those four hours where she could hear her child but not help her. Authorities described the scene as "very tense" (duh) but did get a happy ending. The toddler was rescued by a locksmith.
Still, any mom who has ever had any kind scare with her child can feel for this mom. When my sister was a little girl, my mother accidentally locked her keys in the car with my sister sleeping in her car seat inside. It was a half hour before the police came to get her out. My mother said the whole half hour my sister slept peacefully and my mom sat with her hands pressed to the window, crying.
My own children lock doors, but all of the locks in our house are easy to pick (on the inside). Now they're old enough to be able to lock and unlock car doors, so I am hoping I am past the danger of this situation happening to me.
Still, whenever I read a story like this, I can't help but imagine what it would be like to have my children locked somewhere far away from me, behind a door where I cannot get to them. She could hear her crying, but couldn't get to her. In this case, the child had nothing more than a soiled diaper, but can you imagine the panic?
At least with a car window, you can see what your baby is up to. In this case, the poor mother was probably terrified -- could her baby breathe? Was she hurt? They pumped air into the vault and she had plenty of moral support, but I can only imagine the trauma and the nightmares.
Of course, this is the stuff family stories are made of. Thirty years from now, her mom will be saying, "Remember the time when ..." Just thank God it had a happy ending.
Did anything like this ever happen to you?
Image via Anonymous Account/Flickr