We were walking home from school. The sun was finally out and the weather was warm for the first time in forever. Our five combined kids in tow. The big boys running ahead to the nearest corners and the two smaller ones trailing behind. Doing their cute little waddling runs like drunken hobbits. The baby in the stroller. She began telling me about an article she had just read during some much needed self care time that morning. The horrors that befell parents who for maybe a lack of sleep or heightened stress levels or nothing more than the unfamiliar, left their babies in cars. Went on about their days. Only to return to quite possibly one of the worst things I could ever imagine happening.
I frequently hear comments about how much my shit is together. But here’s a dirty little not so secret. I left Maddox in the car.
Don’t worry, he’s fine and no worse for the wear, but I am.
I took my father to a friends house to check out a garage he might possibly rent. I brought Maddox, We pulled up to the corner of her block. Got out of the car, locked up, and went up to the house. We met with her husband outside and started chatting it up. I inquired as to whether my friend was home with her two sons. When I went upstairs I found her in the nursery. We chatted until she said ” I didn’t think you would come because I didn’t think you could get away from the boys.”
I bolted out of the house, To the end of the block. Threw open the door and there he was with a single tear on his cheek. It had been roughly fifteen minutes. Thankfully it was a temperate early evening. But still…
I forgot my baby.
It’s not so secret because obviously I’m sharing this experience. I am, most certainly, not perfect and I have honestly never forgotten one of my kids before. But what I am finding now with three is that it’s incredibly difficult to keep track of all of them all of the time.
Today I was able to leave Van and Maddox at home while I brought Charlie to school. Half way down the block after drop off I panicked because I “lost” Van. I even have a habit of looking for an imaginary fourth child all too often when mentally marking my boys whereabouts. Even knowing how many kids I actually have, is an issue.
Proof positive that babies are zombies because zombies eat your brains.
At any given moment I have one. two. or all three boys with me. Depending on whose napping. Whose home and whose got to go where. It’s exhausting keeping up.
If I had all three with me all the time, my brain would not have to adjust. It could settle sleepily into the habit of trying to mentally handle three boys under six by knowing there are three. Look. for. three! But with ever changing situations, my brain has to stay on it’s proverbial toes.
Since this incident we have enacted a roll call.
Maddox. here. (as squeaked out by Charlie and Van)
Dada. ABSENT. HhhAaaaa (Since he is typically at work during roll call)
Roll call happens every single time we get in the car and go anywhere. It allows my brain to reset and most importantly, I haven’t forgotten a kid since starting it!