Child locks are no laughing matter. Sure, they were originally designed to prevent unstrapped toddlers and bickering siblings who keep looking at each other from falling out of a moving vehicle. But I’m here to tell you that this safety device makes it much easier to slouch down and sleep from Point A to Point B while your insomniac partner drives.

Child locks aren’t so much fun when they develop a mind of their own. If you found yourself outside on Sunday evening around 6 p.m., you probably were drenched by the sudden downpour that hit these parts. My Steven and I were on foot as the first, very cold, very big drops fell, but were saved from a thorough soaking as my mother and her dry car happened by. She dropped us at the gate and I made a break for it as thunder rolled.

According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory, a single lightning bolt can have 100 million to one billion volts, and it contains billions of watts, depending on whether it is positive lightning or negative lightning. I don’t know whether one is worse than the other and can still run pretty quickly from either charge.

I made it as far as the hen house and turned back to see if Steve was with me. He was still in the car. Figuring that he had decided to wait out the storm with Mom, I ran on in the direction of a warm shower. Turns out the car’s child locks didn’t want to let Steve go. Mom had to get out in the rain and open the door from the outside. Neither Steve nor Mom were amused.

My car has child locks, as most cars do now. These days, the dogs and, on occasion a goat, can safely snuff and snort fresh air from a lowered window without fear (mine) of a tumble to the fleeting pavement. All I have to worry about is whether I have enough paper towels to wipe the drool away at journey’s end.