Tag Archives: babyproof

Missing…

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So, for those of you who don’t know my dear little twenty-month-old baby number three, let me tell you he’s my “active child”. For those of you who don’t know dear little babies one and two, well, let me tell you, that’s saying something.

He likes to explore. He is not scared of strangers. And he’s fast.

And … AND … Mom and Dad have two other kids and six years of parenting experience lulling them into a false sense of security.

He once made a friend at the playground and tried to go home with him. He was very upset when the strangers wouldn’t let him into their car.

A few weeks ago he walked into the middle of a pickup basketball game at the park and took the ball. These big tatted dudes spent the next three minutes tossing the ball with him.

A couple of months ago he was playing happily in the donut room after church with the other kids. When we looked up he was gone. After a five-minute search we found him up in the balcony drinking the little cups of leftover communion wine.

And today, YES!, today he disappeared after Mom’s group. My younger two stepped out of the nursery behind me in a group of other kids. I turned for his shoes and when I turned back he was gone. I searched the gym. I searched both locker rooms. I went up the stairs. He was nowhere.

I began to freak out and enlisted my mom friends to help me. I went to the guys unloading equipment out a side door and asked them to please look out for a little boy in a yellow sweatshirt. I went to the balcony and alerted the quilting ladies to please hold onto him if they found him.

It may have been as long as ten minutes. It felt like forever.

And then someone decided to use the elevator. And there’s my boy, with the emergency panel open conversing with the first responder on the other end.

Of course, you feel better instantly as you do in these situations. As Ma would say to Pa, “Well, all’s well that ends well.” And they almost died frequently out on the prairie. Being stuck in an elevator for ten minutes would have hardly been worthy of the proverb.

I hugged and kissed my little bolter. My friend apologized to the first responder. Maybe it was my emotion, maybe it was being stuck in an elevator for ten minutes and unable to reach the “1”, whatever it was my boy was rather subdued on the way home.

I am not in high hopes that he has learned any lesson, but I certainly hope his Mommy has. I thought this post was going to end up being funny. But reliving it has just made me exhausted all over again. Goodnight!

Family Game Night…

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Norman Rockwell always makes it look good, doesn’t he? He draws the family eating and, yes, someone’s feeding the dog under the table and, yes, someone’s getting awkwardly squished between a couple of over affectionate great-aunts, but it’s lovely, because it’s … what? Beautiful? Americana? Reality? Well, allow me to play Norman Rockwell for a moment and paint you the picture of our evening.

James and I ran some errands with the kids this afternoon. We hit five stores in an hour and a half so, really, we were doing quite well.

We even managed to get home at the right time to start dinner. Of course, as any mother of small children will tell you, there is no right time to start dinner. In my experience it is impossible to get food in the mouth of a child before they are “starving”. It is actually hopeless because whenever you start cooking, they will still smell the cooking before it is done.

But, I was doing ok. I was cooking. I was cleaning as I went along. To be sure, there was a LOT of screaming going on in the background, a few time-outs were being doled, but it was mostly out of the kitchen if not behind sound proof doors. And then, my eighteen month old has learned how to move the stools around. So now, you turn around and when you turn back there’s a baby trying to stir the pot or pull the knife into his face, for example. Basically I was Shiva in the kitchen this evening trying to have three arms to baby’s two.

And then I snapped. I yelled. My husband got the ol’ “Why aren’t you in here helping me?!?!?!” bit. I honestly can’t remember passing the point where I realized I needed help. I went straight from “I got this” to “I needed your help five minutes ago”, straight there.

So dinner began with Mom delivering a four point apology:

“I’m sorry I snapped.”

“It was wrong because no matter how angry I am I should still speak to you with respect.”

“In the future I will try to recognize my breaking point before I get there and take a deep breath before I speak.”

“Will you forgive me?”

Everyone said yes. It seemed to me that my husband said it rather smugly, but that’s probably just me.

So then we decide to ice the cake, so to speak, and make it a family game night.

My six-year-old picks Blockus, a fantastic game requiring four players and about a zillion tiny pieces.

It was a bit of a disaster. The eighteen month old was continually wedging himself into any portion of empty chair he could find and diving at the board. We were pushing chairs in and passing water glasses across the table in a sort of baby avoidance dance we are rather practiced in at this point of our marriage. After about eight rounds the baby slowly picked up a piece and when I went to take it away he released it, dove for the board and finally succeeded in casting the pieces asunder.

As we pulled him away he yelled something sounding very much like, “Attack!”

We began again. My four-year-old was losing interest fast which was fine because she was basically using a kamikaze strategy that was not doing anyone any favors. My son began to get upset that he was being blocked during a game of BLOCK-US. And I end up playing with the baby sitting on my shoulders. I think he ate the bobby pin out of my hair because I can’t find it anywhere.

The game ended rather abruptly when a moment of frustration from my eldest child sent the pieces asunder for the second time almost an hour after we had first begun our bold strike for family togetherness.

We put the kids to bed after that. That was forty minutes ago. The baby keeps grabbing the blinds and making the most spectacular sound slapping them around, which has the others cracking up. We’ve gone in there three times already.

I was hoping by the end of this blog, they’d be done…

Nope. Here goes Dad. He’s putting an end to my daughter’s singing. Oh, now she’s crying.

“What is she crying about?” I ask when he comes out.

“She wants to go to sleep,” he shakes his head, and smiling a little adds, “At least we’re all going for the same thing.”