Monday, May 28, 2007

Huge loss of Mommy points

Last Wednesday evening AJ had his 1 hour baseball practice at 5 pm. His practices are just up the hill at the school the kids attend. I dropped him off and told him I'd pick him up after practice. I needed that extra time at home. It was to be a busy evening with variety of tasks to be completed on a variety of time tables. Brownies to be made and baked for 27 minutes. A marinade to be made and simmered for 3o minutes, before marinating meat for 15 minutes. These and other things needed to be done before dinner. I set to work and tried to eye my schedule. Significant chopping, measuring and stirring required for the never-before-tried Spicey Apricot Ribs Glaze. Finally, I finished the marinade, put the meat in it, and took out the brownie box to glance at ingredients. I realized I had no eggs. Thinking I could head over to the neighbors to borrow eggs-I consulted my watch to check if they would be home from work. Oh great! It was 6:30, of course they would be home from work by now.
I was supposed to pick up AJ at 6:00!!!
I sprinted to the car and floored the mini-van out of the cul-de-sac and up toward the school. While the school is only about 1/3 of a mile away, part of the route is a busy, curvy road that has no sidewalks. As I rounded the second curve-there was AJ, safely walking on the edge of the road against traffic. Dressed in his black baseball pants, matching A's jersey & hat, he was comfortably rambling his way down the hill.
I jumped the car into a driveway and motioned for him to get in.
"Mama where were you?"
"Alex, I am SO SORRY! What were you doing?"
"I was walking home."
"Mama, why didn't you pick me up?"
"I made a HUGE mistake! I am so sorry!"
And with no real distress in voice, "That's okay."
He said he thought about asking coach John for a ride home, but then felt shy and didn't do it.
As we drove to the store to buy eggs we rehearsed potential options should this same event repeat itself.
On the way home I asked him if he had felt scared, he said "maybe a little".
It continues to amaze Pops and I about what causes distress for him. Loosing a tooth was much higher on the stress scale than my forgetting him. AJ did show some really good problem solving skills. Of course he should have talked to someone. But he did wait for an appropriate amount of time, and then he started to walk home. He was going the right way and he was safely walking on the edge of the road. Pops and I felt proud of him for coming up with those ideas.
Unfortunately, I still have taken a huge hit on my cumulative Mommy points.


  1. 1. AJ is a very bright, capable child! It's great that you can recognize that and be proud of him, despite how scary that moment was for YOU.
    2. Just in dealing with daily life in the quirky tribe, you've scored enough mommy points for about 100 kids and a dozen life times, so missing out on a couple here and there is not going to make a difference in the long run.
    3. While of course noone wants to forget their kid anywhere ever, of all the circumstances, this was probably the best one. It was for a short period of time, still daylight and good weather, in a safe place that he knew and could walk the way home from. And it gave you a perfect opportunity to rehearse an emergency plan with AJ that you otherwise may not have thought of putting into place, and in the abstract might not have made any sense to him. So now if you are facing a real emergency (or even just are running late some time), he'll be even better prepared for what he should do.
    4. What the fuck is his coach thinking???? Did he just leave a 2nd grader at school without knowing what was going to happen to him???? Even a totally typically 2nd grader shouldn't just be left somewhere by the adult in charge of the group unless that was the pre-arranged plan.
    5. You are a totally awesome Mama!!!!!!!!!

  2. oh dear, oh wow.

    how terrifying... Amiga I am so, so sorry. My stomach really, really hurt while I was reading..but as DT mentioned.. how wonderful to figure out what a super smarty pants AJ is. And seriously, with all of the mapping he does.. He probably could have gotten to the Carquinez Bridge right? This was the best possible set of circumstances to have this play out. What a relief to know that AJ handles himself with your same calm demeanor.

    by the way... where was the contact list that the coach surely has? Even when I was a kid, (and the world was safe ha!) our coach would go to the **pay phone**... and give a reminder call home. Coach is an idget. Jeesh.

    and stop with the points.. remember if you ever wonder if you are a good mom, you are...bad moms don't ever ask the question.

    oh yeah and the brownies were delicious.

  3. Amiga, as horrible as it may sounds I know quite a few people that spaced out time and were late to pick up the kids. The difference was that a responsible adult was with the kids and waited with them!
    What if you were in an emergency?!

    This doesn't make you loose any Mommy points...
    a different story for the coach or who the hell was in charge of these kiddos.

    To AJ: Good for you,keeping your cool and coming back home!