Every day I pick my three children up from school with my four year old and toddler in the van. Due to the large number of other parents picking up at the same time, I have to park a little farther away than I'd like. So I usually will park, leave my four year old son with a stern warning and my best "mom" look (all the while shaking my finger fiercely) and say, "Don't touch anything!" Then I get out, stand behind the van on the sidewalk, and watch for my children to come out the school's door.
Invariably, I regret this almost every day.
In nicer weather, I can let him out with me, and he runs around, plays with his other pals, and generally stays out of trouble. But in the winter, it's all bets off. I just can't justify getting the kids out of the van in the cold weather, plus, I just don't wanna. So, I'm stuck with scenarios like the following.
Starting the van only to be startled by the radio blaring, the windshield wipers going, and the heat blasting me in the face.
Or all the mirrors readjusted and my soda gone.
Or not being able to start the van because the keys are in the trunk.
Or, this little gem, which just happened to me yesterday.
So yesterday, I get out of the van, give a stern warning, shake my finger, etc. I stand out on the sidewalk and chit-chat with other moms (another reason not to let the kiddos out -- they might hear me complaining about them), and see the kids coming out the door. I wave cheerily, and get in the van to start it up so we can go. I jam the key in the ignition, but it doesn't go in all the way. I pull it out, make sure I have the right key, and shove again. No go.
I pull the key out and look into the ignition. There is a shiny metal something IN the ignition. I ask dear four year old what is in the ignition. From the trunk (where I assume he is hiding from the impending wrath) I hear "I don't remember." Then, "I mean, I don't know." As I feel the rage begin to take over, I realize that I am in a vehicle with soon to be six children (once they all get in) and have no way of getting them home. And one of them is the daycare child I watch. And it's another hour before dear husband gets home.
So I call dear husband. "Try to get it out and call me back." Okaaay...
As soon as my oldest (12) daughter gets in the van, I run inside and beg for something "pointy", because in this scenario, I think pointy is probably the way to go. To the rescue comes Mr Hopkins, who just happens to have a long, metal, pointy stick. Yay! He pops what I discover is a safety pin, out of the ignition in about two seconds, and saves my child from a looooong night of cranky mommy in the process. Thank you Mr. Hopkins!
The moral of the story? Keep your safety pins at home, parents!