Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Full Pockets

with 16 comments

I unloaded my pockets. Trains for Cubby, princess stickers and candy reinforcers for Pudding, tissues for my streaming nose. Even with these things to keep them occupied, it wasn’t enough. Pudding and Cubby cavorted around the room, causing mayhem. They’re little kids, and they spend too much time in waiting rooms. Too many consultations, too much time driving to appointments, too much time in therapy, and too much time on the therapist’s homework. It isn’t fun any more, and 4 year-olds and almost 2 year-olds need fun. If they don’t find fun, they make it. In this instance by playing with the expensive spectacles on display, or tossing pamphlets in the air.

Finally we were called, and I quickly stuffed their things into my pockets. The optometrist repeated the same hand-eye coordination tests, and Pudding performed worse than last time, though we’d practiced the exercises almost every day. Damn. I watched him get on the floor to demonstrate some balance and coordination techniques. He is easily 80 years older than Pudding, but unlike her, he could coordinate his body. For all her energy, her hyperactivity, these basic tasks were beyond her. Damn.

We left the office with more homework, and instructions to call him when I wanted to schedule the next session. I retrieved my car keys from my backpack and put Cubby in his car seat. Pudding was fiddling with the car door, but I didn’t pay much heed. Better she was doing that than running around the car park. Needing both hands to fasten the buckles, I moved to put the keys in my pocket, but they were still full with the trains, stickers, and candy that had proven so ineffective earlier. Instead, I dropped them on my seat.

Pudding ran around and grabbed my backpack, ran off a distance, then abandoned it. A game. Because if they don’t find fun, they make it. She runs back, full of mirth. I go back to retrieve it, and hear her slam Cubby’s door closed. This is a game too. Playing Mummy. I go to open the door again, but it is locked. I go to open the driver’s door, and it doesn’t budge. Damn.

Cubby and my keys are locked in the car!

Now I panic. I try every door, but they are all locked. Pudding tries her door too, demanding that I open it. she hears the edge in my voice as I tell her we can’t get in, that the keys are locked inside. She isn’t playing now. She asks me to get the keys, and I shout back that I can’t. She screams back in response. Cubby, who had been oblivious, looks scared too.

Luckily, the backpack, containing my phone is outside of the car. It had fallen out of my pocket at the weekend, but somebody had found it. It was even fully charged. This wasn’t going to be so bad. I’d just call my husband, and he could get off the metro and take a taxi out to meet us. It was 5.20, he’d gone in early, so he should be on his way home already. If I spoke to him, I could have him get off the metro a stop early and he’d just be a 10 minute ride from us.

I called, but he didn’t pick up, so I left a voicemail. He is probably listening to his music. Not to worry, he’ll get the message soon. I turn back to the kids. Cubby is quiet, but looks worried. Pudding is still sobbing. I give her a hug, and apologize for shouting. I tell her we have to wait for Daddy to come with his keys, but it won’t be too long.

I want Mummy! Cubby has worked out that something is wrong. I try to reassure him that I’m right there. Pudding goes back to trying the door, and telling me she wants to get in her car seat. I want to get out! And so begins a round of one child begging to get into the car, and the other pleading to get out, and being unable to help either one.  I find the stickers in my pocket and hand them to Pudding.  They buy us a few minutes of calm.

After 20 minutes, I’m surprised not to have heard back from my husband. I begin calling repeatedly, it keeps going to voicemail. He probably had his earphones on and missed my other call, but if I keep trying him, I’ll reach him before he takes the bus.  Of course, she has to go potty, and I have to take her, even though that means leaving him alone locked in the car for a few minutes.  The moment he sees me return, his screaming commences.

I tried my husband again, and still no response. It was almost 6pm now, so even if he hadn’t checked his phone, he’d almost be home. I called our home number. No reply. I sang Old McDonald, and Wheels on the Bus. I tried again, and he answered! His phone battery was drained, so he had no idea what was going on, but promised to rescue us as soon as he could.

Around 20 minutes later, I saw a taxi stuck in traffic. It was too dark to see, but I knew it was him. As soon as he was close enough, he opened the doors with his remote, and I pulled open the door, to a very relieved Cubby. I smothered him in kisses. Instead of granting his wishes to come out, I reached into my pockets and handed him his beloved trains. It was a full hour after I’d first locked him in. A delighted Pudding had already opened her door, and I strapped her in. I finally got in, and started the car, ready for home as soon as Spectrummy Daddy joined us.


These things happen, but I can’t help but think that like my pockets, our schedule is just too full lately. I think we’ll revisit vision therapy at a later date, but it is just too much for right now.  These kids need less time stuck in the car, and a lot more fun, lest they make their own.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 3, 2011 at 7:26 am

16 Responses

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  1. I can only imagine how horrible this all was for you. Can you breathe yet?
    I’m glad you were able to write about it and I hope you feel better now.


    March 3, 2011 at 7:51 am

    • Yes, I’m breathing, thank you. Far worse things are happening to people than this. Not helped his separation anxiety any though. 😉

      Spectrummy Mummy

      March 3, 2011 at 8:35 am

  2. That post actually made me cry with relief when that door got unlocked. Poor little Cubby!! I always have a panicked fear that I have done the same thing that you just talked about when I get my son in or out of the car and have bags or toys or something else to pack. I always breathe that sigh of relief when I’ve discovered the keys are still in my pocket. So glad it’s over!! I sure you will be extra careful with those for now!!


    March 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm

  3. Wow, that must have been awful!! I’d have really started losing my cool if I kept phoning Hubs with an emergency like this and kept getting his voicemail. Like the other commentors, I breathed a *huge* sigh of relief when you were able to get in touch and get him to come to the rescue. Though I had trouble understanding how he could help with the key (earlier on in the post I was thinking you needed a locksmith!) but I got it… Just shows how much I know about cars, we don’t have one yet. **lol**


    March 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    • I thought about calling the breakdown people, but didn’t know if they could help either. My knight in shining armour turned up anyway!

      Spectrummy Mummy

      March 3, 2011 at 7:47 pm

  4. That is crazy. So good that you kept your cool so well.


    March 3, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    • I was actually thinking about your post the other day, and how lucky I was to be in a safe place when this happened. Moving to a critical crime post, I’ll have to be way more careful.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      March 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm

  5. This was excruciating just to read, I can’t imagine how awful this was to live. It is too much. if I were you, I would find every excuse to stay at home! It must have been one of the longest hours of your life 😦


    March 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm

  6. Oh man, I cringed all the way through. So glad your husband came to the rescue! Did anyone in the parking lot notice that you were locked out?


    March 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    • Me too! No, or at least they didn’t say anything to the crazy lady singing songs outside her car in the cold. I’m glad actually, as both the kids would have been uncomfortable with a stranger around, and they were tense enough as it was.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      March 7, 2011 at 6:54 am

  7. That must have been so scary! Poor babies, and poor mummy! Glad it all ended well. I certainly relate to the overbooked schedule, and agree that sometimes the only choice is LESS. Big sigh of relief that all ended okay.


    March 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    • Thank you. Yes, in our case less is the right choice for now. Maybe we’ll add more therapies back in later, but for right now it just doesn’t work.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      March 7, 2011 at 6:55 am

  8. That was so stressful just to read. I think life owes you a break after that. It’s OK to have breaks from all the work sometimes. To me, balance helps the everyone get more out of all the therapies and appointments, anyway.

    The closest experience I’ve had that I can think of is when my ASD toddler accidently locked me out of the house when I’d gone outside for something – probably to pick up a toy left in the yard. So many ways for him to get into trouble and me only hoping his daddy would be home on time or at least soon. I kept a brick in my hand the whole time that I waited for my husband in case something happened and I had to break a window to get in quickly, and I just did my best to keep talking to him to keep him close to the door. My experience was much shorter than yours and only involved one child, and that was stressful enough. I’m sorry you had to go through that but very happy it all turned out OK.


    March 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    • Oh, I know how horrible that is. I have another locked out story to tell from when Pudding was a toddler and I was pregnant. Maybe I’ll tell that later this week. A good story, but completely unbelievable!

      Spectrummy Mummy

      March 7, 2011 at 6:56 am

  9. […] want to lie still in bed, or on the sofa in a cosy blanket? I do. I had a cold last week, and after Tuesday’s drama, it took a turn for the worse. I woke up on Wednesday morning and could hardly move. Spectrummy […]

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