Since becoming a one-car family, we've had to get really, really good at scheduling and planning and balancing our busy schedules so that we can all successfully get to the many places we have to be.
Usually, we're on it. "I have to leave for work at 7:30, and you don't finish work until 7:30, so why don't you take the bus to Starbucks and I will meet you there to hand off the car so you can go to your appointment? But just make sure to pick me up at 4 and then we can run home and get dinner before we need to take you to work again at 6:30 because I'll need the car in the morning to be at work by 8. Oh, and while you're there, can you drop off the car to get the oil changed?"
It's like our daily Sudoku puzzle with all the thrill when you figure out the solution.
One recent morning, Chris had class and left on the bus by 6:45 a.m. Liam and I got ready for the day (which is a feat in itself including diapers and milk and changes of clothes and lots of don't-touch-thats), and then we came downstairs around 7:15 to throw our bags together and catch a few minutes of downtime before we were out the door by 7:30. As I sat on the couch, I had one of those striking realizations where your stomach drops and your eyes get big and your brain freezes.
The car keys were in the diaper bag which was in the car and Chris had the other set on his body which was now residing one hour away via bus and light rail.
(You know when you're gone in the evening and you're so tired and you want to be home that you just say, "Oh, I'll just grab that bag tomorrow." Yeah, don't.)
In other words, I had no physical way of getting to work aside from walking. And I wasn't really up for that option since it was still nearing 100 degrees outside despite it being October.
I sat there frozen on the couch while frantically texting Chris, hoping some solution would pop up even though there really was no realistic way of him getting keys to me. He actually suggested I go check and see if the car was even locked, even though I obsessively make sure it's locked every night, but in my desperation, I checked anyway. Shocker: it was locked.
Liam's daycare is just down the street from us, and it threw in another factor: getting him to daycare safely, securely and legally.
I decided to call on a co-worker that I knew had a car seat in her car for her grandkids. Unfortunately, she was going in late that day, so that option was null and void pretty quick. I then called another co-worker whom I knew would be passing my house on her commute. She quickly agreed to come pick us up and I quickly put my wheels in motion about Liam's ride.
At the very top of Liam's room is a storage area where we have kept his infant car seat for the last 9 months. After climbing on top of the crib, and carefully grabbing the car seat down while balancing on a two-inch rail, I had a safe (and heavy) option in hand.
When my co-worker arrived, we installed the infant car seat in her car and I placed my large toddler in the back. He was extremely confused about why he was back in that car seat, what car we were in, and who we were in the car with, but he just sat super still in his reclined, confused state of mind.
Sweating, I hopped in her car and she drove us to the daycare where I checked Liam in. We then drove to work where I walked in proud that we accomplished a major setback.
That is, until I realized my purse was also locked in my car.
You win some, you lose some, right?