Thursday, January 24, 2008

Adult Supervision Required

I offered to babysit Maddie's best friend, Ethan, next weekend so that his parents could go out and have some alone time. I haven't watched him in a long time, and the kids always have a crazy good time. Hhhhmmmm. I wonder why it's been that long? And, why is she taking so long to answer? Oh. Crap. She. Remembers.

Last Spring, the playgroup that I belonged to decided to meet at the zoo. I invited Ethan to come along. Everything was going great. It was a beautiful day, the animals were active, and all the children were getting along fabulously.

After looking at the animals, we went to the playground. There is an enclosed jumpy area for the smaller children to play in. As always, we took off all of their shoes and let them run around. The moms were all talking about different things. No big deal.

I glanced up and saw Maddie spit on a boy. The only word to describe the emotion I felt is livid. I was livid. I told her to apologise. She wouldn't do it. Is "livider" a word? I took her by the hand and marched her outside of the play area. I swatted her bottom and explained what she did wrong.

We went back to the play area and I told her that she could continue playing after she apologised to the little boy. As she was sitting there, sulking, I walked over to the other moms. I rolled my eyes, and shrugged. Where's Ethan?

I look up and see one of the kids in our playgroup run by- outside of the gazebo area. What the. . . ?

"WHERE IS ETHAN?! He. Was. Just. Here. How did he get out? I was watching them the whole freakin' time. How am I going to tell my friend that I lost her kid? Oh crap oh crap oh crap. I lost a kid. At the zoo."

I try running out, but I don't have shoes on, the bouncy mat was no longer any fun, and I was trying to keep my eye on Maddie, so that I wouldn't have to say that I lost TWO kids at the zoo.

Ethan was chasing the other girl in our playgroup- in the actual playground, away from anyone in our group. Apparently, while I was having my "talk" with Maddie, a few of them escaped the super safe, enclosed area. And wouldya look at that- Ethan had a goose egg knot on his forehead. He told me that it didn't hurt, and I never really found out how it happened.

When his mom picked him up that day, the first thing she noticed was, obviously, the bruise on his head. "Oh wow! What happened to you?" she asked. Not wanting it to sound worse than it was, I answered for him. "I'm not really sure how it happened, exactly, but I think he hit it on the slide, when I los-, um, couldn't find him. But, um, he says it doesn't hurt. Right, Ethan? Tell her it doesn't hurt. Tell her."

He hasn't been back to the zoo with us. In fact, I don't think I've babysat him, alone and without another adult present, since.

LouLou, go to dinner with your man. Justin will be with me the whole time. I promise.

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Sarah O. said...

Back when she was in preschool, my daughter absolutely always chose the wildest boys as her best friends. When any one of them came over to play, things eventually got out of hand.

Even though our house was childproofed to a ridiculous degree, our little guests would always manage to bang their little heads on one of the very few existing hard surfaces.

No kidding, I seriously considered stocking up on various shades of bruise-hiding makeup.

suchsimplepleasures said...

well, if she doesn't leave her son with you...i'll trust you to watch mine...all 5 of them!!! gee...aren't ya sweet for accepting that offer!!
i knew i loved you for a reason!!!

btw...hilarious post because, it reminds me so much of when my big ones were little!! oh, the good old days!

Anonymous said...

Now you know missy that is has NOTHING to do with you keeping my son!!!! And you have kept him since silly! As a matter of fact, I think you kept him that very next weekend.

Amy said...

Oh how funny! You know we call Kathryn Houdini because it never matters where we are or if I'm staring right at her, that little bugger will just disappear!

lattemommy said...

This is why I never ask questions of my babysitter when I get home - as long as they're alive and well, I don't want to know what might have happened in the interim!

dlyn said...

How many times did I go through a nightmare like this when I watched kids in my home? Too many, which is why I don't do it anymore. Glad he was ok!

Kellan said...

This was a scary moment - losing someone elses kid - right?! And then they are hurt?! I'd have been fearful - I'd have been paniced. You seemed to have handled it quite well - spitting and all! You'll do fine - they will just be in your house - right? This was a good story - thanks - as always. Kellan

Irene said...

Wow. That would definitely cause me to go into extreme freak out mode! I don't know if I would have the guts to try it again. But then again, it usually only takes one scare to make sure it never happens again.

Sassy said...

Kids have super powers, I am tellin' ya. We just need to hone in on ours! Like the ability to vaporize them when they throw temper tantrums!!!

You got tagged over at my blog (sorry, i will secretly fill it out for you if you are exhausted, wanna beat me up and really need a weekend off, shhh, don't tell anyone)

Pennies In My Pocket said...

It's amazing how little ones can just disappear like that. I think you handled it perfectly. As far as the bruises go, I think that if a kid doesn't get a good goose egg from time to time then something is wrong. lol Kids bump themselves constantly.

Great post .... I was sittin' on the edge of my seat the whole time! lol


Amy said...

I have had one of those moments at the zoo with my own child. It is terrifying!

Suburban Turmoil said...

That day will forever live in all of our memories, I think. It marked a turning point in our lives when our kids went from sweet little toddler-area babies to hooligans running amok on the playground.

I posted about this day on my blog last year!

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