And then my heart skipped 10 beats.

Monday, November 14, 2011
We are slowly coming into our new routines. I am constantly trying to think ahead and choose the best scenario for whatever given event I want/needs to take place. For instance, in order to leave the house, a very precise sequence of events needs to occur.

1. If I want to leave the house showered and presentable, I have to get up before Ryan and shower then.
2. Henry needs to have his diaper changed and be dressed well in advance of departure time.
3. Time of departure is completely dependent on Claire's feedings. If she eats at 8am, her next feeding will be at 10, and thus, we won't be leaving the house until 10:30 at the earliest. After the 8am feeding is complete, Henry would then need to get dressed (like I said, well in advance of said departure time).
4. Henry gets his shoes on and coat out. Diaper bag is packed.
5. Dogs go outside one last time.
6. Claire eats.
7. Claire burps.
8. Dogs go in their kennels.
9.Hopefully Henry gets his coat on.
10. Out the door we go.
11. Clock starts ticking. We likely have 1.5 hours before Claire wakes up screaming to be fed.

One of the things that is a bit of a struggle (yet seems so simple) and I've tried it both ways is who to get out of the car first. If I get Claire out first, her carseat sits next to Henry's door while I get him out. I don't typically park by anybody, but there is always the risk of somebody not watching, even if I have her as close to me as I possibly can while still allowing the car door to open. (Does that make sense?!)

Or, second option is to have Henry get out first, and stick close by me, hang on to my purse, coat, etc. while I drag the heavy car seat out. Henry is a very good boy in public (for the most part). We've never really had any issues with following safety rules.

Up until today, when my heart skipped 10 beats.

We went to visit my preschool and the teachers I worked with on a daily basis (my last visit was with the rest of my special ed team members). Once I got everybody in the car, I put the giant diaper bag in the backseat, but pulled OUT my wallet, knowing we were stopping at McDonalds for lunch. I only wanted to carry my wallet in, instead of the heavy diaper bag in addition to the heavy car seat. I was trying to again, think ahead and make life easier on me.

We get to McDonalds, I order the food, the food is quickly put up on the tray and money is asked for. Only, as I search through the diaper bag (that I somehow brought in anyway), I can't seem to find my wallet under all the diapers, dirty poopy clothes (Claire had her first blowout while we were at school visiting). I frantically take everything out as the line builds up behind me and can't find the wallet. Did I leave it all the way back at school? I literally had no memory of why it wasn't in my diaper bag.

So I kindly tell the lady I left the wallet in the car (when in reality, I was by this time convinced that it fell out of my bag at school and we were going to be leaving the chicken nuggets behind in exchange for a toddler who would likely begin to scream bloody murder because said nuggets (and french fries) had to be left behind.

I explained to Henry that I think I left my money in the car. I open up Claire's side of the car to check the back seat, while I instruct Henry to stay right next to mommy and Claire (on the inside of the door). No wallet in the back seat. 

Then, my memory finally starts to work and I realize the wallet is on the front seat. I take the 1/2 a second to reach up to the front seat and grab my wallet. When my feet touch the ground, Henry isn't there.

My heart skipped its 10 beats.

I yell his name, and he comes running around the back of the car. He must have thought we were leaving and went to his side (though he has never done that yet).

I scooped him up as fast as I could, and without trying to cry, explained both calmly and sternly as best I could in 2 year old language why we would never, ever, ever do that again. For once, he was ok with my explanation (lately, he shuts down and gets really quiet and pouts when he's reprimanded for something).

I take a bunch of deep breaths as we head back inside. Pay for our food and we sit down.

As Henry sat there quietly eating, his 2 year old mind at ease, (likely only thinking about the yummy apples he was eating and if mommy would be willing to share some of her strawberry lemonade) I couldn't help but think of how dangerous it was and how something bad could have easily happened if a car was going by at that very second.

And then some tears started to fall as I sat in that McDonald's booth watching Henry eat. We couldn't be more blessed to have these two awesome kids. I wanted to freeze that exact moment. Henry completely content, cute, and chomping away with not a care in the world while I sat there still trying to recover from my near panic attack.

I realize that this likely won't be the last close call I face as a mother, and am prepared to worry about these two until the day that I am no longer here. I just hope these incidents are very far and few between.

Henry was pretty quiet for most of the meal (aside from asking for some of my lemonade and telling me how yummy it was). After a long moment of silence, he looked up at me and said

"Mommy, fun at school today".

Now that is something I hope he repeats, and repeats frequently in the future.


Karen said...

Oh no ! You must of been scared out of your mind! Give Henry a big hug and kiss from us! and ready him four bedtime stories tonight..


Tom said...

Sounds terrifying - no worse feeling than your child not being where you think they ought to be. I also hope these kinds of things are few and far between for you guys. Our worst one ever involved Ryan and his "walk to the mini golf" in Maine when he was about 5 years old. Absolutely the most helpless feeling in the world!!

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