Thursday, March 22, 2012

Forgotten Child

I pretty much was determined not to share the following story, but due to a situation today, I had a change of heart.

A few months ago, Monkey Toes was running late in returning home from work, so it was just me and the kids.  It was a chaotic night, for some reason I can't specifically recall why, but none the less, I had my hands full.  I welcomed the 8:00 hour as the kids raced around the house, getting ready for bed.  We said our prayers, gave hugs and kisses to each other, and I sent them off to bed.  I sat down in my chair, poured myself a glass of wine, grabbed a book, and just basked in the silence.  Shortly before 9 PM, Monkey walked in the door and asked, "What are you still doing up?"  I replied, "It's only 9:00.  Why would I not be up?"  He then came into the living room and said, "I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to Sweet Pea."  Here, the child had gathered some toys and found a place in the kitchen to play  - extremely quietly if I may add.  Somehow, I missed putting her to bed, which still boggles my mind as I normally tuck her and Pumpkin into bed (they share a room).  For whatever reason, I had forgotten my poor little Sweat Pea.

Since Grandma has moved in, I have become quite spoiled in the morning routine.  I no longer have to rouse all of my troops in the morning, in order to drive the kids to school.  Grandma stays behind with the little ones.  It is a huge time saver for me.  Well this morning, Grandma wanted to go to Mass, so I knew I had to get everyone ready to go along for the morning school drive.  We started out strong - everyone was up in a timely fashion, the shower was running, the toaster was working over-time, and the stress level was kept to a minimum.  And then, it was realized that not all the school-aged kids had their things together.  So it became a rat-race through the house, trying to locate lost items.  St. Anthony was called upon (patron of lost things).  I kept my eye on the clock, knowing that our departure time was drawing close, all the while my anxiety was building to get the kids to school in a timely manner.  Finally I called out, "Let's load up!"  The shuffle of feet and the slamming of doors signaled to me that they were out of the house.  I grabbed my purse and my coffee and followed out to the van.  Once everyone was buckled in I put the van in gear and turned my head to back out of the driveway when I noticed an empty seat.  Sweet Pea was missing.  I slammed the van into park and ran back into the house.  I called out, "Sweet Pea?  Where are you?  WE HAVE TO LEAVE NOW!"  I was met with silence.  So I raced around, continuing to call her name.  I discovered her in Gummi and Cucumber's room, playing the Leapster.  I looked at her and very sternly asked, "What are you doing?  Everyone is in the van, ready to go."  She just sat there and very confidently replied, "I'm not going."

Me:  Yes.  You are going.
Sweet Pea:  I don't want to go.
Me:  You don't have a choice.
Sweet Pea:  I'm not going to school.
Me:  Get in the van NOW!
Sweet Pea:  No.

Exasperated, I picked her up and carried her out to the van, all the while she kicked and screamed and cried.  I buckled her in and off we went.  About two miles into the trip she declared, "I love you mommy.  You're the best mommy in the world." 

Thank goodness for short memories, well at least until Honey Bunches commented, "I can't believe you almost left Sweet Pea at home."  Thank you son for reminding me.  I certainly wish you would have shared your insight with me a bit earlier!

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