Tuesday, November 22, 2011

the day he stopped being clingy

We were at the library.  Not the little branch library, but the big huge 4-story library downtown.  There was a sturdy wooden dollhouse in the children's area that Meego liked to play with while I got books for us.  That day, there was another little boy about Meego's age playing with the dollhouse.  Meego was just 3-years-old and rather shy, so I was glad there was a "peer" there for him to play with. 

As I selected a few books, I kept my ears on the dollhouse area and watched Meego and the other boy play with my peripheral vision.  After getting some good stories, I went to retrieve Meego and go to the checkout. 

He wasn't there.

What I'd thought was the sound of both him and the other boy playing turned out to be just the other boy talking with himself. 

It was the worst feeling in the world.  Where was Meego?  I walked past all of the bookshelves in the children's area, searching each aisle.  No sign of him.  He wouldn't wander off without me, would he?  He was usually so clingy, I'd never had to worry about it.

After what felt like hours but was probably just a couple of minutes, I realized he wasn't in the children's area, so I had to expand my search.  Damn, that library was huge!

One of the staff saw me looking and I told her I was looking for my toddler son.  He was wearing a blue fleece hoodie.  I felt like the worst mom in the world, but at the same time, I was glad to have another set of eyes looking for him.

She said, "There's a storytime going on downstairs.  Maybe that's where he went".  She said she would go check while I continued to look on the main floor.  Surely, I thought, he wouldn't go all the way to the next floor down.

More hours minutes passed with no sign of him.  Then I saw the woman who went to check downstairs.  "Yep, he was at storytime", she said, nodding towards the stairs.  I turned and saw Meego working his way up the stairs in that awkward way that 3-year-olds have of navigating stairs. 

I still felt like a sh*tty mom, but it was the best sight in the world.

Today's NaBloPoMo prompt:
"What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you and why?"



Anita said...

I have a "lost the child" story too. My (then) 18 month old walked away from us at Disney World. My husband thought I had her; I thought he had her. What a nauseating feeling to have when you realize the kid is lost.

And like you, our "minute" seemed much longer.

What a way to show his independence!

Anita said...

The independent kid being Meego. My kid was looking for us - I think. :)

Rock Chef said...

We have all had moments like that - probably one of the worst feelings in the world...

I must confess that when I saw the title I half expected the post to be a husband/boyfriend story ;-)

terri said...

I know that feeling. It is awful! We lost a kid at a theme park, of all places. He was maybe 4 or 5 years old. The place was packed, and he was nowhere in sight. Thankfully, he returned to us shortly, but I also remember it feeling like an eternity until he was safe with us again.