So Elizabeth and I have been hitting the park this week. It’s been very nice out, but in typical Wyoming fashion we now have like 5 days of rain forecast. That pretty much sums up my day so far and it’s only 1:00 in the afternoon.
The day started off OK, Elizabeth wanted to go outside or go to the park. I said ” we can’t today sweetie it’s cold and rainy out, we’ll have to find something to do inside.”
So she decides to eat breakfast and watch cartoons and I’m all “OK, you do that and I’ll catch up on folding some laundry”. I’m in my bedroom folding laundry for about 20 minutes when I realize it’s awful quiet in the living room and there’s no way the Imagination Movers are THAT engrossing. So I finish folding the shirts in my basket and come out to the living room to check on Elizabeth and….
SHE’S GONE!! The front door is standing wide open and she’s nowhere to be found!!
I enter full on panic mode. She’s tried to go out the front door a couple of other times so we put one of those Safety First door things on. They make the doors really hard to open, you have to squeeze the plastic thingy to turn the nob. She CAN NOT work that thing! So I figure Joey must not have pulled the door all the way closed when he left for school.
I run outside (still in my pajamas by the way) and I’m calling and calling her and she’s nowhere to be seen. Some guys working on the house across the street say “we didn’t see her, she isn’t out here” so I run back in the house and search it from top to bottom. In my gut I KNOW she’s outside but I dutifully search every nook and cranny and cupboard. Then I am really panicked so I throw on a sweatshirt and some shoes and fly out the door.
I go down the street where she and her brother sometimes ride their bikes and she’s not down there. I turn around to look up the street toward the main road that leads to our subdivision and my heart drops. There’s a police car up the road at the fire station which borders the main road. I swear I lost 10 years off of my life walking up that road. I just KNEW she’d been hit by a car up there and I am cussing myself like crazy for not being more diligent, not making her watch cartoons in the bedroom with me, not hearing the door open, etc…
Thankfully when I was about 50 feet away they heard me frantically calling her name and the policeman and another man came to me and I say “do you happen to have a 3 year old little girl up here??!!” the policeman says “yes and she likes candy!”.
I can not even tell you the emotions at that moment. Fear, relief, self loathing, you name it I felt it. Thankfully two passers by happened to see her at the fire station and stopped with her. They took her in to the fire station and called the police.
I am a crying, shaking, blubbering mess when we get in to the fire station and I go running to Elizabeth and scoop her up in what I’m sure was a choke-hold/hug. I say “Elizabeth you scared me to death!”. About that time they all look at me funny and I’m like “what?”. Then one gentleman says “what’s her name again?” I say “Elizabeth”. He says “huh, she was saying something like Missy”. DUH! I say “did she happen to say Sissy?” He says “Yep, that’s it!” I say that’s her nickname. (Note to self we have GOT to start calling her Elizabeth or she’s going to kindergarten as “Sissy”).
So, the policeman then gets my vital information and says “how did she get out?” I sheepishly tell him what happened and that we have taken precautions to keep her safely in the house. He then says “do you have a sick baby at home?” I’m just dumbfounded. I say “Um, no sir, SHE is our baby, the youngest we have, her brother is 10 and at school” Then it dawns on me. She’s been playing non-stop with her all better baby. It’s a baby doll that comes with a doctor kit because she’s sick and they have to make her feel better. I explain this to the policeman who looks at me like I’m completely off my rocker. At this point I just burst out in hysterical laughter.
After considering that for a few minutes he finishes getting my information. I get down on my hands and knees and kiss the feet of the two gentleman who stopped to whisk her to safety and thank them profusely, so they can be on their way.
The policeman asks if he can follow us back to our house and I of course say “sure”.
On the way back down the street I am giving Elizabeth a stern talking to about NOT EVER going outside without mommy and daddy.
By the time we get home I’ve stopped shaking and am starting to regain my composure. The police man is not far behind us and comes in to speak with us. He tells Elizabeth she CAN NOT go outside without mommy and daddy and MUST stay in our yard, etc… and all the while he’s kind of taking in the house and me. He asks to see the safety thing on the door and I show him and I tell him that the funniest part of ALL of this is that we discovered the safety latches several years ago when Joey at almost exactly the same age did the EXACT same thing!! The difference then was he took the dog with him and the neighbors called the animal control to get our address. Also he was only outside for about 5 minutes and it was a big neighborhood with no really busy streets and lots of concerned neighbors who helped him get home safe. Just to add to the irony, I was doing laundry that day too!! The laundry room was in the basement and Joey was napping on the couch upstairs. I literally turned my back for all of 5 minutes and he wanders out of the house! <sigh>
So the policeman tells me they had the exact same thing happen yesterday and it’s “that time of year” and I thank him again and he leaves with another stern word to Elizabeth about staying in the house and yard.
After he left and I managed to calm down I had a few thoughts:
1. These kids are trying to kill me, seriously
2. While he was talking to Elizabeth in my living room I didn’t think about it but after he left it occurred to me he was looking at the pictures on our wall. No doubt trying to make sure she really did live here. Also, he was probably listening for the sound of our “sick baby”. I just realized there’s a picture on my wall of my kids and my nieces and nephews, it’s quite possible he thinks I lied my ass off about the sick baby! Hopefully not!
3. Laundry IS the devil!!
4. They took Elizabeth in to the fire station where she played with the kids who belong to the gentleman who found her and had candy. She’s going to think the fire station is the best place in the world and I am going to literally have to sleep with one eye open.
Thankfully she really can not open the door by herself. I had her try after I shut and locked it. I always check that door when Joey leaves in the morning to make sure it’s shut tight for this very reason, apparently today was just my day to be a complete and utter failure!!
As soon as the policeman left I called my mom to tell her about all of this and while I’m on the phone with her Joey’s teacher’s cell phone comes up on the caller ID on the other line. I put my mom on hold and click over…
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW…