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Monday, October 22, 2012


The best laid plans…of The Leightons. Sometimes things just don’t go as one hopes.

Last Thursday, all three Leightons got up bright and early. (Well, two of them usually have no choice—since Little Leighton prefers the wee hours of the mornings.) They planned a Field Trip to Hobby Lobby! All they needed were paper plates and napkins for TLC and some spools of grosgrain ribbon for ELC. They were only going to have approximately one hour. Little Leighton’s feedings require precise timing (so TLC is not forced to feed her in a restroom or in between the clothing racks at Target—TLC’s not one to flaunt her Mamahood, if you get our drift).

They piled into ELC’s car at approximately 10:02 a.m. Clean and madeup—with actual makeup on in the form of blush, mascara and lipstick—and with great anticipation for the fun they truly believed they were about to experience.

ELC parked at the Hobby Lobby near TLC’s casa at approximately 10:11 a.m. Yes. It is that close. TLC extracted Little Leighton from her carseat. ELC got her purse, TLC’s purse, and the diaper bag. None of which are light. She could have used a pack mule.

As they got inside and got two carts—one for Little Leighton and the few items they needed and one for their “luggage,” ELC looked at her left hand. In it was TLC’s garage door opener. Not her car’s keyfob. She searched all the pockets of her purse and her jeans for said keyfob. No luck.

ELC: Hmmm. Wonder what I’m doing with your garage door opener in my hand? (She said this an air of calm in her voice—because she’s a GOOD actress.)
TLC: What?
ELC: I must have grabbed it instead of my keyfob. (Said keyfob is required to start ELC’s car. She’s had the car for over three years. It’s taken her two and a half years to get used to not having an actual carkey.)

(ELC quickly looked away from TLC’s confused face. Why, and HOW, did her doors lock? Because she vividly remembered hearing them lock. After she hit the button to lock them. BUT—and here’s the kicker—the doors should NOT have locked. Not if she’d left the keyfob inside. It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. It was a safety feature!)

ELC turned away before TLC could see the terror in her eyes and quickly headed out to the parking lot, saying: I must have left the keyfob in the car. Be right back!

She knew that couldn’t be true. She had to have dropped it. It would be somewhere on the ground between the store and her car.

And…yet…it wasn’t.

She went back into the store and found TLC and Little Leighton exactly where she’d left them. Paper products’ aisle.

ELC: Maybe I put them in the diaper bag.
TLC: Mom, you didn’t find it? And the car is locked? And our minutes are counting down? What are we going to do if you can’t find it? I can bet money it’s not in the diaper bag. Or my purse.
ELC: Don’t worry. I’ll find it.

Long story short: After another trip back to the car—and after TLC made a search between the store and the car—and back—herself, ELC discovered the keyfob. In one of her cupholders. Inside the locked car. Twice she’d looked into the car from the driver’s side. The third time? She looked from the passenger side. Yep. There it was.

HOW? How could this happen? Her extra keyfob was 2 ½ hours away—at her home. If Her Sweet Hubby (HSH) left work right then—it would take him over three hours to get it to her. Tick. Tick. Tock.

She went to break the news to TLC. She was, frankly, slightly shaking with fear. The look on TLC’s face when ELC told her? Not pleasant.

TLC: Mom, how many times have I told you to lock your doors with the keyfob—when you get out of your car—and not from the handle? So this can’t happen? How many?
ELC: Fifty? (She knew it was at least a hundred.)
TLC: Call Triple A.
ELC: I don’t know if they can get the door open. I’ve not had to call them since we bought this car.
TLC: Call them. HURRY. Or I’m going to be feeding Little Leighton in this restroom. I won’t like that, Mom. I really won’t.

ELC called AAA at 10:31 a.m. They would have somewhere on scene by 11:01 a.m. ELC and TLC needed to be back at TLC’s casa—for LL’s “lunch”—by 11:30. (They had originally included just enough time for a lunch stop at Sonic on their way home.)

ELC then called a Toyota dealership she knew was about 20 minutes away. First told her sad tale to the poor young woman who answered the phone. She put ELC through to a nice young man in the Service Department. He broke this tidbit of info to ELC—as gently as he could: If the AAA person could not get the door unlocked? The car would have to be towed to their dealership.

Prayers were immediately sent up. To God. To Jesus. To The Leightons’ Guardian Angels.

At 10:47 a.m., a delightful AAA man drove up. Towing a car. He’d decided to stop at Hobby Lobby on his way to the repair shop so we wouldn't have to wait on him. He even apologized! ELC considered kissing him. He got the car door open at the very moment TLC walked up. Life was, once again, good. Until three seconds later. ELC’s car alarm went off. Her keyfob should have stopped it. It didn’t. The keyfob battery had to be dead. AAA Man put the emergency key in the fob into the lock on the door. Praise the Lord—the alarm stopped. (BTW: Little Leighton slept through all of this. Why does everyone try to be so quiet when she’s home—in her room? She slept through an alarm loud enough to be heard ten miles away. She should be able to sleep through Henry’s barks at the UPS Man’s knock or the phone ringing, right?) AAA Man took the keyfob apart and showed The Leightons what kind of battery was needed. It was one of those weird little round ones. He said to give him a call if that didn’t work and they needed a tow.

At this point, TLC decided she would walk to a Walgreens—about 200 yards away—to purchase a new battery. She might have thought that was better than her deep desire to plot ELC’s demise.

Once back with the battery, The Leightons were able to be on their way home. It was now 11:18 a.m. LL was still asleep. No napkins, plates or ribbons had been purchased. There was, however, time to make that Sonic stop. The tots? The Day’s Saving Grace. And The Leightons were beyond grateful for answered prayers and one magnificently kind AAA Man. Maybe, in the end, it only seemed like a fiasco.

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