I’d like to tell you a story today. Treat me as your modern day Aesop. Pull up a
chair, take a seat, and listen to my fable. Before I begin, I think it’s best to
tell you the moral of the story first, as it will put you in the right mindset:
“Never Let Your Child Have Your Car Keys”
For those of you who have been reading this blog for a time, you’ll know that
Claire works most weekends, leaving me and Ned as a father son duo for two days.
Generally, our weekends consist of Going to a gerden centre, doing a food shop for
the weekend and visiting my parents – this has been the standard routine for the
majority of the weekends since Claire’s been back to work, barring the occasional
Such a diversion occured on Saturday, when Claire reminded me that we’d recently
ordered a new car seat, and that I had to go and pick it up. This wasn’t a problem
- the store was 5 minutes away, and Ned was is a fairly good mood on the day.
Carrying him into the store, we waited patiently while the girl working there went
to pick up the seat. When she returned, she carried one of the biggest boxes I
have ever seen in my life.
Taking the hint from my wide eyed expression and the fact I was carring a one year
old, she agreed to take it to my car. Popping it on the floor next to my car
because “It’s ok, I’ll just chuck it in the boot one I’ve strapped him in his
After fixing Ned in the car, I returned to attempting to get the box in the boot.
What happened next was something that has never happened before – the box wouldn’t
In my opinion, the main feature of our car is its bootspace – a point that
constantly impresses my father in law – marvelling as I carelessly throw things in
there, safe in the knowledge that it will never be full.
But this time, it had been beaten. By one stupid box.
No amount of pushing or forcing was working, and by this time, I had been
attempting to get this box in the boot for about 5 minutes – which was enough time
for Ned to decide he’d had enough. He starting whinging, which sounds kind of like
an air raid siren of varying pitch. He wanted out, and I couldn’t calm him. There
were no toys to hand, so I gave him my car keys.
Ned loves keys. I think it stems from the fact that they’re not his, and they’re
important, which makes him want them (and inevitably misplace them). He smiled,
took my keys, and began to chew them.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I returned to my efforts. Finally, after another
minute of grunting and pushing, the box wedged itself in the boot. Victory
flooding my body, I slammed the boot shut, a smile on my face.
Then, I heard a click.
Thinking I’d broken something in the boot, I attempted to open it to check.
The boot wouldn’t open.
Thinking I’d broken the boot lock, I went to the passenger side door.
Again, it wouldn’t open.
My eyes rose in terror as I looked through the window at my son, a smile plastered
to his chubby little face.
He had chewed the lock button.
My earlier feelings of joy were quickly replaced with pit of the stomach dread. He
had locked himself in the car, due to a combination of fanatical single track
mindedness to get the boot shut, and plain lack of common sense it shutting all
available car openings while giving my son the only way to get in an out of it.
Circling the car like a hungry Lion, I peered into the window. My son was fine -
happiest he’d been all day, in fact. I imagine because daddy was playing peek a
A man in the parked car next to me grabbed my attention.
“Everything alright mate?”
I replied “Not really, no”
“My son has locked me out of the car”
His girlfriend joined in the conversation
“Why don’t you ask him to open the car?”
The couple drove off.
As complete luck would have it, Ned chewed the unlock button. I flew in, grabbed
the keys from my heart attack inducing son, and sat in the front seat, feeling the
same way I imagine people feel after surviving a natural disaster.
I told Claire when she got home, who took it fairly well, and has even let me have
him this weekend.
So – “Never Let Your Child Have Your Car Keys” – it’s something I now live by.