Yea, I have lost my kid… temporarily. He always turns up.
You see… The kids in this house are like mice; they infest the place. You see one running through and disappear into the other room, then two more come scampering through the kitchen. One minute they are there and the next they’re not. You only know that they were there by the trail of toys left in their wake. There are just so many I sometimes have a hard time keeping track of them all. But my little mouse, Collin, scared the crap out of me the other night.
I was outside after supper taking a break (a.k.a. trying to hide out) and here comes Collin out the door. He hops on his motorcycle and starts riding up and down the sidewalk. I notice the smear of ketchup still on his cheek from supper and wonder if he ever did eat his dinner. He was messing around so much at the dinner time I thought he might be at the table half the night finishing supper.
“Did you finish your dinner?” I asked him, kind of little irritated he found me. I need to find better hiding spots.
“Ummmm…yea?” he said. So I knew he didn’t.
“Did your dad say you could be done?”
“Ummm…yep?” he said.
I didn’t believe him. When I went inside he was still riding his bike. I looked at his plate lying on the dining room table. <Humongous sigh> He barely ate any of his hamburger and maybe two bites of his green beans. I asked B if he said he could be done and he said he didn’t tell him that. “Well, you better go get him to finish his dinner because he said you told him he could be done.” (Nice way to pass this task off, huh? This is just my way of trying to get a break and sharing this wonderful job with his good ol’ dad. I’m tired and it just seems things are never-ending lately).
B called his name. No answer. I told him he was out in the backyard. He went to hunt him down and I started working on the after dinner disaster, a little surprised and tremendously relieved that I was actually getting some help in at least one area.
B came back in, “He’s not out there.”
Hmmmm…I didn’t see him come back in. I don’t know. Maybe he snuck by and is watching tv upstairs or something. After B did the initial sweep of the house and he didn’t turn up I decided to help look.
We SEARCHED everywhere and called his name. Garage. Upstairs. Under beds. He couldn’t have gone anywhere, I kept thinking and repeating it to myself over and over again. I mean, this place is like a maximum security prison. He couldn’t have gotten out the back because of the garage door. He couldn’t have left the yard because we have a high privacy fence, even though it wouldn’t surprise me if he scaled it to escape, I mean- he is Collin, a kid who can climb walls with his bare toes and has been doing it ever since he was able to stand. But the fence thing…possible, but unlikely. It is pretty tall.
I kept one eye on B and checked in the opposite places he was looking. He was looking a little amused. I was starting to panic. You know, that mom thing. I was starting to get frantic. My stomach was starting to get all fluttery. I kind of felt like I might cry. Rationally, I knew he had to be there somewhere. I mean, what the hell?! A kid can’t just disappear in his own house within two minutes…but he is Collin (the kid who is inevitably going to give me gray hair). The front door was latched (and he can’t reach that) so he couldn’t have snuck out the front… so where could he be? I made all the kids stop what they were doing to help us look.
The Collin search was on.
This felt like it went on forever (I was kind of scared)…but in reality probably lasted five minutes at most. I was standing on our enclosed front porch scanning the sidewalks…paranoid. If I didn’t find him soon I was sure I WAS GOING TO FREAK OUT!!!
I took some deep breaths and calmed myself down. “Collin!” I yelled. “Do you want a snack?”
His little blonde head popped out between the couch and box of books on the front porch, a little sweaty but smiling and all happy. “YES, MOMMY! I want candy,” he said.
Duh! Why didn’t I do that sooner?! Would have helped my nerves. Every mom knows to bribe their kid with candy or toys when desperate. It’s like the cheese in the mouse trap for the darn little rodents.
And then I yelled (I hate it when I yell), “Don’t ever do that again! You scared me! Now go eat your dinner.” I wasn’t giving him any candy.
B was like…it wasn’t that big of deal. Calm down. Grrrr…it sometimes seems like dads are so much calmer when it comes to disaster, or “possible” disaster. Whatever. I’m blaming it on the mom hormones.
But I heard B say to Collin while he was nibbling on his hamburger (and the little mouse was looking very pleased with himself), “Collin, don’t hide unless you tell somebody you’re hiding.”
“Okay, Dad,” he said.
It was simple and it was done. No big deal…for them.
I really need a break…because normally I would find the humor in the situation, at least I would after I found him…but not so much that night.
Have you “temporarily misplaced” (a.k.a. lost your kid) lately?
p.s. Man, that fear just really scared me, put things in perspective.