Sunday, October 24, 2010

Don't Make the Mistake We Did...Please Read!

     I almost hate to write about what happened to us on the way home with the grandsons Friday night, but I decided that if it happened to just might happen to someone else. We met our grandson's mother about an hour from our house at 6:00 p.m. Friday night. After making certain that both boys were secure in their car seats, had Happy Meals (ugh) in their laps and were all settled in, we started for home.

     We have a large SUV. I know, we aren't being very "green" but we travel often and we like the space. It does have child locks, but we had disabled them because to be honest, most people don't like to be forced to be locked into a vehicle and have to ask the driver to "let me out of here"! Considering that we raised 2 children of our own and had 100's of others in our cars over the years without a problem, we simply didn't consider what could happen.

     As we were driving down the interstate at somewhere between 65-70 mph, our just turned 2-year-old grandson opened the car door. I heard the air sound and yelled at my husband to STOP THE CAR! Luckily, we were in the right lane. Luckily, the door didn't swing wide open until we stopped the car. Luckily, no one hit us from behind as we pulled off the highway. Luckily, it was a full 10 minutes after getting back on the interstate that the same busy 2-year-old unhooked his seat belt and therefore was no longer attached to his car seat. This was a new car seat, as the old one he crawled out from under the straps the last time he was here. He was 2 last weekend. At 2, my kids were still lumps. They sat where we put them, they didn't unlock house doors, climb out of cribs, go outside without asking or open the door of a moving vehicle.

     Needless to say, our child locks are now hooked up again...but it certainly didn't stop him from unhooking the seat belt again yesterday. I am only talking about this because it scared me to death...not so much what did happen, but what could have happened. We have our grandsons about once a month, so we had no idea that he could do the tricks he can. Don't get me wrong, he is as sweet as they come and is just curious and fearless. We are just so careful with them and yet we still could have had a tragedy. We learned our lesson about the door locks. I wish I could say he learned a lesson too, but I doubt it! I hope that we are the only ones out there that had disabled the child locks, but somehow I doubt that too! We did have a great weekend with them and I'll have more pictures later in the week. Thanks for reading this.


La said...

That must have been horrifying, Sue. It can happen so fast. I hope you heart is back to beating normally now. La

Pondside said...

What a terrifying ride.
I'll definitely be checking the child locks when our little guys come to visit. Thank you.

Sophie said...


The twins once flung the door open on me, and they were ten, so......

Oh and my mom always tells us this story about driving in a VW when she was growing up-- before child safety locks-- and her cousin was hanging on the door and handle when she turned it enough to open it on the freeway. It swung open with her still hanging from it and kinda running and jumping up in the air to hold onto the door, lol. My mom laughs about it now, but she said she thought her cousin was going to die back then.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Very Scary Sue!
Thanks for reminding us to always be careful especially with toddlers who are so naturally curious.

Lynn said...

What a scary experience Sue! So glad everyone is ok, thanks for passing this on:@)

Sue said...

We have twin 5 year old grandsons and I think I'll be turning the safety locks back on. Thank you.

He is adorable!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Oh my my you have an escape artist! Thanks for the warning. We will make sure the child lock is on. So glad nothing tragic happened!

Monica H said...

That is scary! I'm a nanny and I have to pick up the boy from school 3 days a week and the child loks are always on because he fools with the handle and the lock. It's a pain when anyone else sits back there, but it's orth it because if I were to turn the child lock off, would I remember to turn it back on? Doubtful.

I'm sorry this happened to you but I'm glad everyone is safe. Thanks for sharing this.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, how terrifying, Sue! I'm so glad, though, that nothing bad happened. Still, I know it must have added some grey hairs when he did that. WOW!

I've had dogs do crazy things inside my car (like eating some vitamins... they got awfully quiet on the trip and had opened a bottle of chlorophyll and eaten a bunch) and stepping on the buttons that control windows when they weren't crated in the back, so I can well imagine the horror of having your grandson open a door.

He is one cute little guy, and I look forward to seeing what all you did that was fun.


Sheila :-)

Glenda/MidSouth said...

This may be a duplicate comment - just got one of those crazy messages. My heart just skipped a beat or several just reading your post. Just wanted to say - never under estimate the capabilities of a young child. I learned the hard way - been there - done that. :(
Hope you enjoy he rest of your visit with them.

Blondie's Journal said...

Oh, Sue. You did a good thing posting this. Not half as important as what happened to you, I never lock my windows and my dog nearly escaped while I was in a store...on a busy street. Those locks are there for a reason.

I'm so happy nothing worse happened. We learn by our and others mistakes. And boy, he is a cutie I wouldn't want to get hurt!


J Rodney said...

I'm so happy that everyone is safe Sue! It must have been extremely scary, in fact I know it was. I have never tried this with my boys, but only....ONLY because my older brother did this once when we were driving many many moons ago. Since then I have been very scared of car doors, and my husband would say obsessed.

I am so glad nothing happened Sue, it really is amazing what the little ones can do. Em is only 14 months, but he does stuff every day that I never thought he would be able to do...lots of tricks learned from the big brothers.

Frugality Is Free

Sue said...

Sue, You had someone looking out for you! Just count your blessings that everything turned out well for you and know that you have just educated a lot of people with your story. Our son always sat in his seat and never did anything mischievous- thank goodness.
The only time he gave me trouble in the car was when he was learning to drive. He was pulling away from a 4-way stop and another car attempted crossing the intersection at the same time. He scared me to death. All he said was, "Mom, I had the right of way!" Yup, he did, but the crazy lady in the other car thought SHE did, so she went! YIKES
We moms, dads, grand moms,and grand dads have to endure a lot with our kiddos, don't we?

Traci said...

How terrifying for you!! I'm so glad everyone is okay. This so sounds like something that my very "active" 17 mo. old nephew would do.

dee dee said...

Oh Sue,
I don't think luck had anything to do with this... sounds like God's angles were working overtime! Praise God everyone is ok! Thanks for sharing this... so often we take things for granted, but this proves anything can happen. I'm thankful you all are Ok!
Dee Dee

Red Couch Recipes said...

My little guy used to climb out of his carseat while I was driving on the freeway. Needless to say we bought a new carseat -- one that was harder. Didn't have childlocks on the car then. Thanks for the warning. Joni

Cindy said...

It's a wonder that you or your husband didn't end up in the hospital with a heart attack!! That had to be one of the most scariest car rides of your life! You are so right in sharing your story with everyone.

Hugs XX

Glennis said...

Oh my goodness!! We were lucky, our son was a very careful kid who didn't take risks, but I can see your 2 year old grandson is adventurous. I don't know whether at this age a good non-confrontational talking to helps - perhaps it would, but maybe not. I wonder if talking to him about it in a general sense may pay off in the long run - keep the locks going now, but maybe he will internalize the conversation and be more careful.

People who are risk-takers can also be people who take a lot of care with safety precautions. Maybe he will absorb some good lessons without squelching his adventurous spirit.

I guess just keep with the locks, and doublecheck on the seatbelts.

xinex said...

Thank heavens, nothing happened, Sue. That would have made me so nervous too. You never know what kids can do these nowadays....Christine

Lyneen said...

OH MY GOSH your heart must have pounded right out of your chest!!! I am so thankful nothing serious happened. Kids are curious and know no fear. I am glad you had a good visit.

Rettabug said...

Gives me goosebumps to think about it! Thanks for the warning. I will double check but I'm pretty sure mine are on "child lock". Can't be too careful with such precious cargo!

Mosaic Magpie said...

Not only the door locks but the window locks too! What a frightening experience. If one person learns from this post, it is priceless.
Thank you for sharing. Two year olds can get into, out of, around, under, on top off just about anything. That is why we are worn out after they visit us!

LindyLouMac said...

Terrifying experience I bet it took forever for your heat to stop beating extra fast. Thank goodness it all turned out OK.

Shellbelle said...

So glad you had a good ending to this terrifying story and that you were thoughtful enough to post it for others to read. I can remembering traveling across the country with my parents and we knew better than to touch the door handles, one look is all it took to keep us in check. If we started getting the least bit out of control, the wrath of dad came swooping down. At the time, we thought he was mean, but he was just trying to keep us safe and hold on to his sanity at the same time, lol.

Missed you! Those photos of the Amish country are wonderful!

Gypsy Heart said...

Oh Sue, what a frightening experience! I had something similar happen with my granddaughter when she was 5. She decided that she didn't have to wear a seat belt or sit in the booster. Luckily, I always had the door locks engaged...that's an automatic with my car but I never change the back locks from the "childproof status". I would stop the car and tell her I couldn't drive if she wasn't in her seat with the seatbelt fastened. My grandson was no problem ~ she was exhibiting that little girl "do it my way" attitude. Oh my, we had quite a few of these incidents but I always left the car stopped until she decided to cooperate. They can move so quickly and deftly ~ my heart goes out to you.


Angie said...

How scary! I also disable my child locks, but given my four-year-old nephew's insatiable curiosity and defiant streak, I always try to enable them again whenever we ride together. Glad everyone is safe, and thanks for the reminder to keep this top-of-mind.