Friday, August 5, 2011

Misadventure and a Lesson

Yes, I missed yesterday's English lesson because I was following my own advice. My husband woke me up earlier than I'm used to. Squiggle had awakened about an hour before her normal time and since he had a bad dream he thought I should take her to the park. (Don't ask, it didn't really make sense to me either.)

But he was right. This was a stellar opportunity. (And very interesting timing since he doesn't read my blog.) I started the oats then hopped on Facebook to see if anyone wanted to join us for a splash pad playdate.
Butterfly Splash Pad at Centennial Hills Park.

Big Jake decided he wanted to come, and Miss Terri brought him, even though her prophetic powers let her know that he would spend most of the time trying to play on the equipment, not splashing in the water.

I got Squiggle situated in her seat and realized that she didn't have a hat. So I left the car running in the garage, unlocked the house and sprinted to the hall closet to get the hat. With this minor memory lapse addressed, we were off.

Upon arrival at the park I unloaded the stroller, diaper bag, purse, Mommy junk bag, blanket and baby. This would perhaps be a good time to let you know about our car and its neat abilities.
45 mpg after 6 years.

We have a 2005 Prius. When we bought it there was a nine month wait. But the wait meant that we could choose the package we wanted. The basic package would have been fine, but I occasionally have insights into the future, myself. Even though we had no kids, we wanted them. The package above the basic had this nifty quirk. It didn't require any manipulation of keys to lock, unlock or turn on the car. Just having the keys on you is enough. The car senses it and lets you in. Then you push the button and the car turns on. Another push turns the car off. Finally, there is a button on the door handle that locks the car. All this with the keys in your pocket or purse.
See the cute little power button?

Now you may think that this is silly. How much work is it to use a key. Just accept my experience here. When you are carrying a bunch of stuff, including a squirming child, not having to fish around for your keys is very helpful.

However, it does make it easier to lose track of the keys. I have noticed they're gone by my inability to gain entrance to my vehicle. In these rare instances, I'm left searching through my bags to find them. Usually it is just a case of the sensor being blocked by something in my purse. Rarely, it has been a case of go back inside and search for the keys.

You probably see where I'm going. This time I couldn't lock the car door. I did a cursory examination of my three bags. Didn't see them. I checked the cup holder. No luck. My darling daughter "helped" by getting very fussy in the stroller. So I decided I'd get her to the park and look for them on my own when our friends arrived.

I searched the three bags more thoroughly by emptying all the contents. Twice. Then I looked under the car, under all the seats, between the seats, in containers they couldn't be in... you get the idea. No luck.

Then the thought that I'd been dismissing as impossible finally became too difficult to ignore. I called home and asked my husband to look in the door to our house. And there it was.

Up 'til then I had no idea that our car could run without the keys. I thought it would shut down if they were separated by too much distance. I was wrong. It seems that as long as the car is running, it will drive anywhere without the keys. Lesson learned. In about the least painful way possibly. After we were played out (read: the moms were tired of chasing the kids around the playground and the kids were overdue for a nap) we moved the car seats and Miss Terri drove us all back to our house.

We put the kids down for a nap and retrieved the car. Then we got to spend the afternoon visiting and shared dinner. All in all, it was a decent day. And now we know something new about our car. I think this was God showing us about something that could have been a disaster in the wrong circumstance. Now that we know we can pay attention and hopefully never repeat it.

Not to mention, it makes a wonderful story. How many of you have driven off without your car key? That's what I thought.
My punishment.

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