I have to admit, that I am not at my sharpest this week. I have one of my old girlfriends here visiting with her two kids, so we have had a few late nights, and really full days. So, when you read this post, cut me a little slack.
Yesterday we pulled the kids out of school so that we could take our house-guests out to enjoy some west-coast-style fun. The plan was to go for a boat ride, let the kids fish, go for fish & chips at the the local place down on the docks, then come home, quickly grab beach stuff (and the dog), and head to the beach for the afternoon. As usual, each "event" put us further off schedule. Due to (ridiculous amounts of) potty breaks, hooks stuck in the backs of people's sweatshirts, slow-walking (my friend's youngest is only three...I've forgotten how slow we move with little ones), loading all eight of us, plus fishing gear into, then out of two boats, then two vehicles...stopping to look at deer, seals, cats, clouds,rocks, shells...and more bathroom breaks, we ended up about two hours behind on my "day plan". Instead of stopping to bend down and look at the (hundredth) (totally lame) thing on the beach, pretending that the (hundredth) clam shell is SO COOL, I wanted to scream WALK FASTER! EAT FASTER! HEY KIDS WITH TINY BUT HEAVY PIANOS STRAPPED TO YOUR ARSES...MOVE IT!
I know. I told you to cut me some slack. I am trying to be the calm caftan-wearing hippy Mom, but I am actually a bit of a control freak - especially when it comes to time. So I was feeling a little "pressed" yesterday when we arrived back at the house to switch to our beach paraphernalia.
As we were approaching the house, I gave my kids (and husband...) the master plan briefing: (read this in deep southern drill sergeant voice):
You will not leave the van!
I am going into the house to get the dog and extra towels!
Dad is getting water and the beach toys from the garage! (which turned out to be too many instructions for him too)
Please DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT exit the van!
What my family heard was this:
BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA!
BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA!
BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA BLA!
So, like ants (which I am beginning to think I gave birth to instead of human boys due to their inability to sit still and their love for sugar ), my children (and husband) poured out of the van and ran in three different directions...
"I have to get my swim goggles Mom"
"I have to pee!" (of course)
Not even sure where my husband went.
It turns out the third one had fallen asleep in his booster seat, and had missed my entire "briefing", but I didn't notice that until I came back with a bag of towels...
Anyhow, children and husband scattered, throwing off my 2 minute turn-around time by about, oh, fifteen minutes. Finally, everyone was back at the front hall, flip-flops on, various inflatable toys hanging over shoulders, sunscreen smeared white across cheeks, and we were out the door.
Into the van, seat belts on...off to the beach. My friend was following us in her truck. We were on our way.
About 2 minutes down the road (but it seemed like 20, after the fact), my husband turned around to look at the kids, and wondered out loud:
"HEY...WHERE"S M?" (that would be our 7-year-old son).
You know that moment when your brain stops thinking and some crazy survival mode kicks in and you can't hear, and you can't really see, but you point yourself in the direction you need to go and everything else drops away? All I could think was,
GET BACK TO MY BABY. And HE IS GOING TO THINK WE DID THIS ON PURPOSE!!
I broke the speed limit (by about double).
I may, or may not have ran an "orange-ish" traffic light (or two).
Stop signs had no power over my Mommy-instinct.
And I am glad, in retrospect, that there were no pedestrians in my way.
When we got home, I ran into the house yelling for my lost boy, only to find an empty house. Panic deepened at that point, and for a moment I thought to myself...
"He's finally had enough. My oldest son has had enough of this crazy family and has gone to find a normal family". One could hardly blame him...
Here's the thing...not only did we forget our son at home, but we also LOCKED HIM OUT OF THE HOUSE...
As it turned out, he was in the backyard washing off his swim goggles when we left, and had no idea we were gone until he came around the front of the house to find, as he tells it, "only ants" on the driveway.
What did he do? I asked him. (After I apologized to him a million times while squeezing his guts out in some crazed-Mom embrace) He said he "prayed to God that we would come back, and then he started to cry and scream like a little girl".
I am pretty sure our next-door neighbours think we are insane.
I am pretty sure I will never leave a kid behind again.
I am pretty sure my oldest son will stay in the van next time I ask him to.
Note to self: book therapist for oldest son on Monday. Maybe a session for me too...
Don't forget your kids, and don't forget to check out www.sillysouls.com for the latest and greatest in baby and toddler apparel!
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