Mother's column – locked outside
When people visit my grandmother, they usually go home with a lot more stuff than they came with. This evening is no exception. We just had dinner at grandma's, and in preparation to our departure, I am on my way putting bag full of books in the car. I take Sifra with me, because she is always after grandma's knickknacks. I let her clamber over the car seats while I go inside to get the rest of the stuff and the other children.
Moments later, I am standing at the car's tailgate with our high chair and the nappy bag under my arm. But hey, why won't it open? My heart skips a beat when I realise what is going on: the key is still in the car, and Sifra must have been playing with the remote. She is locked in and to unlock the doors she will have to press the right button herself again.
Trying to explain that to a child of one and a half is of no use. Besides, she has other things on her mind now. When we point to the key, she waves back enthusiastically and then presses her nose against the window. Then she climbs over the seats and tries out all the buttons she finds. Soon, the lights are on, and the wipers exuberantly wipe the drizzle from the windows. Then she also turns on the radio. On full blast. Half past eight's news bulletin blares through the dormant senior citizens' street. We stand by helplessly.
I call Jan to inform him of our dire situation. He immediately starts to google. But the self declared car experts on the internet forums think it's mostly something for dumb blondes to lock your key in your car and don't come up with any helpful suggestions on what to do. Fortunately, my parents live nearby, and my father is willing to pick up the spare key at our house, which is half an hour driving.
The big question, meanwhile, is whether Sifra will still like it in the car in an hour. But luckily, after five minutes, she suddenly presses the correct button after all. My father returns home, and we can finally get in the car too. Around nine o’clock we drive home, far too late for an avarage weeknight, but mostly relieved. And with the fog lights on.
Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).
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Mother's column – saying no