I believe I mentioned on Twitter at the end of last week that Callum climbed out of his crib for the first time. Sort of a typical two-year-old thing to do and something we'd been anticipating for awhile, actually, since he's so tall, so not exactly an earth-shattering moment, though we were hoping to get a couple more months out of the crib, but you know, whatever.
Regardless, the whole crib climbing thing is just backstory, designed to illustrate why, on Friday evening, we drove a few miles down the interstate to purchase a new, double mattress for Callum to use. We found a good quality, reasonably priced mattress that we liked, and then we found a floor model on sale for half the price, so we bought it, but it didn't come with delivery. That was fine, though, the salesman assured us, because we have a good solid SUV and he had a big spool of twine and he ties mattresses to cars all the time! It's no big deal!
So. We bought the mattress. We hauled it out to the car. The mattress store manager tied it solidly to the roof with twine. He assured us it wouldn't budge. The three of us (Callum was with us too) climbed in the car and drove cautiously away.
You see where this is going, right? I don't even have to tell you the end of this story, do I, because you already know what's coming, don't you?
Yeah. We trundled cautiously along, the mattress seemed secure, we drove up the entrance ramp onto the highway... and close to the end of the ramp, when we had gotten up to maybe 50 MPH or so, the mattress caught the wind, lifted like a sail, tore right through the "no-budging" twine, and flew off the back of our car onto the highway. I saw the whole thing happen, through our sunroof, and OMG. TERRIFYING.
You guys, we were so, so lucky. The mattress didn't hit an oncoming car. It didn't land in a middle lane of speeding traffic. It landed half on the shoulder of the road, half on the entrance ramp. It was actually at a place where two entrance ramps merged, so it was extra wide, and there was plenty of room for cars to steer around it. It wasn't yet dark. It didn't end up causing an accident (damn, now I've gone and given away the ending of the story). Even the mattress itself was unscathed. It was all fine. FINE. But OH MY GOD.
So yeah. Our mattress flew off our car and landed on the highway. Torsten reacted well, and we pulled over onto the (narrow, barely as wide as our car) shoulder with our hazard lights on, staring at each other going OH MY GOD OH MY GOD WHAT DO WE DO OUR MATTRESS IS GOING TO CAUSE A HORRIBLE FATAL ACCIDENT.
After we collected ourselves, we assessed the situation to determine whether we could safely get out of the car and walk back to the mattress and... move it, somehow. We concluded that we could not. The shoulder was too narrow for us to walk safely--if someone was texting or not paying attention and swerved onto the shoulder, we'd be dead. Also, I was on the passenger side of the car and could get out fairly safely, but we'd need two people to lift the mattress and Torsten couldn't get out of the car without jumping directly into traffic (and the interior of our car is set up in such a way that it's nearly impossible to climb across). Also, Callum was in the car and we weren't about to leave him alone in a car parked on the shoulder of the interstate.
So, we called 911. I kind of felt like we were overreacting and maybe should be calling the non-emergency police number instead, but you know what? It was a really dangerous situation. There was a mattress lying in traffic. If someone hit that mattress at 50 MPH (or more), they would cause a serious accident. Meanwhile, we were parked on a narrow shoulder (with our child in the car), which didn't feel all too secure. Basically, we wanted that mattress off the road STAT. And the 911 operator seemed to agree. The second I told her "mattress on highway" she was all over me for location details and dispatched someone right away. I asked how long it would be and she said she didn't know, but that mattresses on the road were a high priority so it would be as soon as possible. She told us that if we felt safe where we were parked on the shoulder (borderline) we should just wait in the car for the police officer to arrive and come talk to us.
So that's what we did, and you guys, it was seriously the most terrifying experience of my entire life. It was getting dark, and we were sitting there on the shoulder of the highway trying (unsuccessfully) to convince ourselves not to stare at the mattress in the road behind us and all the cars veering around it at the last second at high speeds, convinced that every single one of them was going to hit the mattress and spin out into a horrible accident and be killed and OH MY GOD WHERE IS THE COP WHY ISN'T HE HERE YET THEY ARE ALWAYS EVERYWHERE HANDING OUT STUPID SPEEDING TICKETS BUT SOMEONE COULD ACTUALLY BE KILLED HERE SO WHY ARE THEY TAKING SO LONG. At one point a very nice man in a pickup truck pulled over and came to talk to us (he climbed out his passenger side, thankfully) and offered to help us pick it up but we told him it was too dangerous and thank you very much but please don't risk it, we will just wait for the police.
The cop did eventually show up, after 15 life-shortening minutes of tension and stress. He parked behind the mattress with his lights on and came over to talk to us and I got out of the car and he and I lifted the mattress over the concrete barrier into the grass on the other side and then he told us to just pull the broken twine into our car so that it wouldn't get caught under our tires and sent us on our way. He was incredibly nice and didn't lecture or give us a ticket or anything.
So yeah. We drove away, took the next exit, drove down the frontage road alongside the highway until we located the mattress, pulled into the parking lot near it, and sat there debating what to do. Obviously we couldn't put the mattress on the car again, even if the twine hadn't been broken. And it wouldn't fit in the car. We called the mattress store and spoke to the guy who had tied the damn thing on our car to begin with, and while he was somewhat sympathetic, he was also surprisingly detached and also completely useless. We racked our brains for friends who owned a truck, thought of one, and called them, but they weren't answering. Then we remembered that there was a Home Depot down the street and that they rent out pickup trucks, so we drove over there, rented a truck, drove back to the mattress, got it secured in the truck, caravaned home, left the mattress in our garage, and caravaned back to Home Depot to return the truck. And my heart did not stop pounding and I did not stop shaking during the entire experience.
Oh and also when we left the house to buy the mattress? We forgot the diaper bag and had no food or water for Callum. He was asking for it when we left the mattress store, and we told him we'd be home soon (HAHAHA) and he could have some then. But we didn't anticipate the slight 1.5-hour delay. And you guys, he was so sweet and patient. As we were on the side of the highway freaking out he sat in his car seat singing songs and occasionally asking for food and water but not getting upset when we told him we were really sorry but we didn't have any right now. In fact, the thing that made him most upset was when Torsten drove the Home Depot truck and we wouldn't let him ride in it too. ("Mommy bye-bye car. Daddy bye-bye truck! CALLUM BYE-BYE TRUCK??")
So yeah, basically Callum is a perfect angel child and he better REALLY like that new mattress. Also next time I'm paying for delivery, oh my god.
New Recipe: Greek Penne Pasta - This recipe sounded delicious to me when I came across it, and it turned out that it was. Also, I've reached the point with cooking where I can make a few ...
7 years ago