Yesterday we went to Theiss Farm with friends. It’s one of these places that has all kinds of produce and in the fall you can pick a pumpkin and have fun in Pumpkin Land. Basically a farm-based playground for all ages, Pumpkin Land is where my story begins…
So, the kids and I are there without Daddy. We are only slightly frazzled (as opposed to the usual super-frazzle which is a mainstay of any mommy-only outings that involve deadlines and appointments because we are NEVER on time). The events leading up to leaving and in the van should help explain why I was only a little frazzled…
12:00pm – arrive home from a morning of grocery shopping during which the kids fought the entire time in the little “toddler-friendly” cart. We also spilled their animal crackers all over the baking aisle in Schnucks…SORRY!
12:30pm – Receive a call from Jenny inviting us to Theiss Farm…this AFTERNOON!!! “Yeah, this will be fun!” I say, convincing myself as much as Jenny.
12:35 – feed the kids lunch: Ack! They won’t eat. I have pork chops, ground beef, and yogurt that all need putting away. Oh well, I guess they’ll have to go to bed hungry. Dear God, please let Emma fall asleep (she has been shirking her nap lately!)
12:50 – put kids down for their naps.
12:55 – Take a shower.
1:00 – Fall asleep on the guest bed downstairs. I was exhausted because I had stayed out REALLY late the night before and I had a little wine headache going on. Ahh, the drama when a SAHM finally gets out of the house on a friday night!
3:30 – I wake up to the sound of Timmy (who is directly above me in the nursery) banging his crib against the wall, thud, thud, thud. Arg.
3:31 – panic! “Oh, my gosh it is 3:30 and the kids need baths and my hair hasn’t been dried and we need to leave in a half hour!)
3:32- Run upstairs and get the kids out of bed. “Okay kids, let’s have you watch a video while I dry my hair and get your clothes laid out.”
3:45 – Fix the kids a bowl of oatmeal. Sit and spoon feed it to two children who can feed themselves in the interest of cleanliness.
4:00 – bathtime.
4:15 – chase naked toddlers around the house to get diapers and jeans and socks and t-shirts and fleeces and shoes and hats and pacifiers and sippy cups ! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
4:30 – Timmy cries almost the whole way there because he wants out of his car seat.
4:45 – Almost there! Emily opens her sippy cup and dumps it on herself. She is soaked. Good thing we have extra clothes in the van…I don’t know how clean they are but…whatever.
4:50 – We arrive, I change Emma, take out the double stroller and load ’em up!
5:04 – we are playing in pumpkin land after running into friends and while I am taking a picture of Timmy and the billygoats, Emma disappears. There are kids everywhere of all ages and this is an enclosed area but it is huge. I walk around looking for her waiting to call out her name so as to not startle anyone at this point and before I know it I have gone in and out of the same ‘areas’ more than once. I can feel my heart racing. A sense of panic starts to come over me. That shrill mother’s voice that communicates to all who hear it that the fruit of her womb cannot be spotted makes people stare. I am now running around this Pumpkin Land and then… I turn around and across the whole stupid little farmer-in-the-dell theme park, Em is there just wandering around enjoying the sights!!! I take off for her and smother her with hugs and kisses and tell her I was worried. I do my best not to cry and make a fool out of myself. I succeed and we pass through the moment like it never happened. I tell her and Timmy when we are all reunited with our friends that “we are never going anywhere without Daddy again!”

Back to that voice, that shrill voice of panic. I hope and pray that I do not hear it again anytime soon. And if you are a parent I pray that you don’t either. And if you are not a parent, I can only say, when you hear that voice coming from a panic-striken mom or dad say a little prayer that their panic will be relieved and their child will be safe.

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