Not sure why we thought having three kids would be a good idea.
When one of them has something to do, the other two have to go along for the ride. Sports, activities, doctor appointments...you name it.
Abby had soccer practice this past Monday evening. Because of issues with when the field was available this week, she practiced with extra girls, meaning there were lots of parents around that I had never met.
This is important to know before I continue.
So, Abby was practicing with her team in the ridiculously cold weather (someone please shoot that blessed groundhog), while I chased the boys. Correction-I chased Noah while Caleb was actually being pretty good.
I chased Noah around the track, I chased him away from the parking lot, I chased him up the bleachers...I was pretty tired. Amazingly, he was not.
It only took a second.
He went under the bleachers, which he has done before, but then he usually sees a dead end and comes back. I noticed that he did not come back right away this time, and when I bent over to look for him, I could not see that little blond head anywhere.
You parents all know the strike of panic that hits you in the gut and sends all sort of irrational fears to your mind? Yeah, I know you know it.
I quickly followed the bleachers to the end, while telling Caleb to not go under the bleachers, but to stand still. I found precious Noah, on the other side of the bleachers, through a fence that was open, standing in the middle of a huge puddle.
Puddle is too kind of a word. More like a pond.
As that child of mine waded back to me (remember-ridiculously cold weather), I grabbed him and got back to the front of the bleachers. That is when I looked over and saw Caleb in tears.
This is where I got frustrated, because he was standing near a pile of adults, crying and holding a hand to his nose, and not one of them looked his way. No one.
Apparently, he did not hear me say to NOT go under the bleachers, so he went, trying to help find Noah. Somehow (because he is a boy) he managed to hit his nose on the bleachers when standing back up.
He is quite talented that way.
So, I took him over to the sidelines to grab Abby's water bottle, which contained ice (sure, ice water for a ridiculously cold day-why not?) and while I attempted to stop the swelling, I realized that Noah had not followed us.
I left Caleb on the sidelines, holding a water bottle to his head, and went in search of that crazy son of mine. After a few minutes of not finding him, the real panic began to set in. Did a stranger take him? Did he go out to the parking lot? Did he fall down somewhere?
I asked a dad who was standing nearby if he saw a little two-year old go by and he just looked at me with perhaps a bit of sympathy, but mostly confusion. I know parents heard me ask that question, yet no one stopped their conversations to help a scared mom find her little boy.
Finally, one mom (who I already met the previous week and she is awesome) came by and started looking. We then heard the footsteps above us and I found Noah walking along the top bleachers. I had even looked there a second before, but he must have been laying down on them.
After retrieving the little monkey and checking on the bruised guy on the sidelines, Abby suddenly came up to me, in tears, because her heel hurt.
Thankfully, Nick arrived then and stayed at practice so that I could take the monsters home. But, not without a few looks my way from the strangers as I drug my crying six-year old away as he was whining for his dad and holding his bruised nose and while I had a crying, wet two-year old in my arms, who just wanted to run straight into the busy parking lot.
Go ahead and judge, perfect parents. Or, is it more like go ahead and ignore? Perhaps they have served their time and do not feel the need to help out a mom that is clearly in need of aid.
As a mom who is writing this at 1:00 a.m. because she is waiting for the second load of puked on clothes to get done in the dryer because of a sick kid, go easy on those moms that you see in public. The ones who are raising their voices and have bags under their eyes. You have no idea the kind of day they just had and chances are, many days repeat the same.
Oh good, the dyer is dinging at me. Now I can go to bed and start it all over again in a few hours.