I picked up my oldest son from art class today. It’s right up the street, literally 100 feet away from my own front door. I have this spectacularly awesome neighbor who teaches some of the neighbor kids art on Saturday mornings. The younger siblings play at my house–totally unorganized play time, just run around and do whatever you feel like—terribly artistic. Their moms sit with me at the kitchen bar or on the couch or living room floor, and we try to have little conversation snippets between mediation, arbitration and answering of tiny people’s questions about setting up a game or someone’s jumping off the furniture—you know the questions. It’s delightful, and I look forward to it every week.
And I headed up the hill after art and playtime, to pick up my older son, while my younger son stayed home with his father. I swear my husband was in the kitchen snarfing down leftovers because I walked right by him and said, “I’ll be right back”. And I can’t be sure, but I really thought he said, “okay”. And my son was literally 20 feet from the snarfing when I left. (My spellcheck is saying “snarfing” isn’t a word. Really? Are you sure?)
And five minutes later while chatting with the art teacher 100 feet from my home, I catch a glimpse of a small child, resembling my 4 year old. He was wearing the same clothes as my 4 year old and was running towards me like my 4 year old. And wouldn’t ya know—he was much like my 4 year old—only he wasn’t wearing any shoes (in Phoenix—in summer—over a trail of asphalt—what the f*#@) And he’s yelling, “Mom, you left me home with no one to watch me!” Damn, it IS my 4 year old. And although I usually treasure this small child running towards me, I treasure it less when he’s yelling that I left him at home alone—in public.
It’s not that I actually thought I had been a bad mom. I just knew that it really felt bad. And I KNEW I had left him 20 feet from my husband. But we all know that can end badly because well, I had made some assumptions. I had assumed that being gone five minutes did not need a special note and accompanying pamphlet. But alas, maybe it freaking does.
(Of course I’m going to blame my husband! Whose blog is this anyway? When he starts his own blog, he can mention how I didn’t specifically say, “I’m leaving our son.” In the meantime, I am still the better parent!)