Saturday, January 07, 2012


This afternoon we went to my friend Tracy's son's baptism. When I told Rachel we were going to go I thought she'd be excited but instead she said, "You know, I've already been to a baptism—remember, like, when my cousin got baptized?"

I convinced her to go, though, by explaining that her friends would be there.

So we went and the baptism was wonderful and Rachel sat with her friends. And then we were invited to go back to Tracy's house for refreshments. We went outside and had a bit of a snowball fight (Rachel hit me in the face...twice...her aim is killer) because it finally snowed. Then we started loading into the van but, for some reason, our van started panicking. And we couldn't get it to stop.

There we were, in the church parking lot, with our horn beeping wildly.

It was rather embarrassing.

Rachel's door was stuck halfway open and we couldn't close it because it's a cool door that closes at the touch of a button and our car had "locked" it because it was in panic mode. It seemed like the horn was beeping non-stop, even though the manual said it should only beep for thirty seconds. After a few minutes we decided that we had no choice but to drive home, all the while panicking.

I felt inclined to wave like we were in a parade.

Beep, beep!

Why, hello there.

Beep, beep!

Yeah, we're totally famous.

Beep, beep!

It finally stopped honking when we had turned onto our street so we decided it was safe to proceed to Tracy's house. That was a little bit of a mistake because the minute we opened our doors...

Beep, beep!

Hey, we're here!

Beep, beep!

It's just us.

Beep, beep!

We drove home and, again, our car stopped beeping the minute we got to our street. We pulled into the garage. I opened my door to get out of the car and...

Beep, beep!

What is going on?!

Beep, beep!

Just make it stop!

Beep, beep!

By this time both the girls were crying. Rachel opened her door (that was working again) and ran into the house. I grabbed the diaper bag and other paraphernalia we'd managed to pack along and went to deposit it in the house. I have no idea what Andrew was thinking but somehow he ended up in the house, too. Between the two of us we'd forgotten to get Miriam out of her car seat. Oops.

I opened the garage door to a blaring cacophony.

Beep, beep!

"Mom! Help me!"

Beep, beep!

"...out! I wanna..."

Beep, beep!

"Please! Get me!"

Beep, beep!

I ran out the door and hopped in Rachel's side of the van (because she'd left her door open), quickly undid Miriam's buckles and yanked her out of her car seat. When we were back in the house, I asked the children to please stop screaming so that Mommy and Daddy could think. I'd managed to grab the manual to the van (and the diaper bag and the extra junk and the child—what was Andrew doing?) and started flipping through it.

All I learned is that the car is only supposed to panic for thirty seconds. And only when you push the panic button (which we didn't—it's hard to's the kind of button you have to dig your thumbnail into—you can't press it by accident). And then, in theory, you should be able to make it stop by pushing any other button on the blasted fancy keychain thing.

So basically, our car was just possessed.

Finally, though, the constant beeping ended and our house fell silent (besides the still sniffling children, who (thankfully) had quelled their screams). We opened the garage door and peeked out at our van like it was some ferocious beast.

"Try opening the door," I suggested to Andrew.

He—literally—tiptoed to the van and slowly lifted the handle.

Nothing happened.

Well, nothing happened that wasn't supposed to happen. The door opened, which it's supposed to. And it didn't set the van into a tizzy, which it isn't supposed to do. So that part went well.

"Turn it on," I prompted.

Andrew sat in the driver's seat as gingerly as possible and, while shutting his eyes tightly, turned the key in the ignition.

It started up just fine, with no unnecessary honking. So we loaded the kids back in it and drove over to Tracy's for refreshments and had a great time.

Isn't that the weirdest thing, though? Andrew and I were both laughing so hard we had tears streaming down our cheeks. It was awkward and embarrassing and hilarious and just a tad worrisome. But we survived and hopefully it will never happen again.

1 comment:

  1. That is strange. Ours goes off if the doors are locked and someone opens the door (from the inside). It seems like a lasts much longer than 30 seconds -- closer to 3 minutes. Pressing the unlock button on the key chain is the only thing that shuts it off.