We had a medical issue last night which kept us all up till about 2 am, and I will share more about that on Monday, but we can summarize it by saying the gal over at Banner Health Poison Control is a Rock Star, and my son is utterly unflappable in the face of danger. I, on the other hand, was a hyper-ventilating maniac who tried her very best to remain calm but am afraid I failed miserably.
Ok, so you can also add exhausted to that list. I was awake at my usual 6am despite my best efforts to ignore my internal clock.
I'm a follower of the Free Range movement of parenting. I try, really really hard, to make sure my kids have opportunities to exert and test their independence without me hovering over them. I am not a fan of helicopter parenting. I allow my kids to bike around the neighborhood and even home from school without me. (*They know they'd better wear helmets or I will keep them under lock and key until they are 30. And, they know our neighborhood has eyes all over and I WILL hear about it if they don't) So, when Oldest has a game, Middle and Youngest are allowed to stay at the playground at the park. They are about 500ft away from us, know where we are, and have had a great time all season playing with the kids who show up at the park. Were they to come to the game, well, let's just say the amount of boredom that would ensue would not be pretty for anyone involved. It has worked out well so far.
The game ended, and I was going to retrieve M and Y from the playground, and then head home to make lunch. But they were not there. Not in the bathroom, not on the swings and not climbing the play structure.
Two parties were taking place across the park, so I triapsed over there to see if, maybe, they decided to invite themselves to a party with a bouncy house. Only, they hadn't.
Call to Husband - Can't find kids... need help looking.
Parked Oldest under a ramada near the bathrooms and Husband and I split up to search. And search.. and search. No luck.
We walked around for about 20 or 30 minutes, unable to locate our boys or find anyone who had seen them. Here is what went through my mind:
- This is not the sort of place where someone shows up with a gun and takes two kids. Family friendly park, and way too crowded.
- They would not have wandered off and gotten lost because Y was in flip flops and would have protested the long walk.
- It is possible M is passed out somewhere from low blood sugar, but that is highly unlikely given the episode from last night and the Double-Bubble gum he was chewing last time I saw him.
- Should something have really happened to them, what hellish sorts of things will people say about the rotten mother who left her kids on the playground?
I'm not planning on taking back any of their independence, but see, now THIS is exactly WHY the have cell phones at their young and impressionable ages. M's was, of course, completely discharged and therefore totally worthless.
We are starting a new electronic-device routine pronto.