The other day, I took a desperate run to Wegmans. Desperate, in the fact that if I didn’t absolutely need some essentials like milk and orange juice, then I would have waited for a time when I didn’t have to bring three kids with me.
The trip started off poorly, with both boys losing their iPods within the first few minutes of being in the store because they wouldn’t stop running around the deli section, only narrowly missing an elderly person or two, in their antics.
The trip just went downhill from there.
I lost the boys.
Well, I didn’t as much lose them as I left them (only momentarily) because they wandered off to see the coco pop machine at Wegmans and I was ready to move on to produce. In case you’re wondering, this is the coco pop machine.
I thought they would follow. They didn’t.
Thoroughly annoyed, I returned for them a few minutes later, only to find that they weren’t there. Now, let’s get something straight about me and my parenting philosophy. While, in theory, I think free range parenting is an awesome idea, I am more a student of paranoid parenting. If my kids are out front for more than a few minutes, I begin to believe that someone will steal them. If they wander from me in a store, ditto. If they are left with a babysitter, catastrophe will strike (hell, I sometimes feel this way when they’re with my husband). Not being driven by me, then there will be an accident. Do you see what I’m saying? With my kids, I’m like a fear driven control freak on steroids.
That is, unless I’m at Wegmans on a Friday morning.
So, you see, leaving my kids to watch coco pops (I wonder how they got away with that name) is a highly unusual move for me. In fact, after living in Florida and hearing the story of the boy named Adam (the son of the America’s Most Wanted host) story several times, I don’t even like to leave my kids in the next aisle of Target by themselves.
Then I shouldn’t have to tell you that my annoyance quickly gave rise to panic. Wegmans is big, my children small, and not always the best decision makers.
Little Lady sensed my worry, saying over and over again, “Oh no, where are my boys?” Her concerned voice, though adorable, wasn’t helping as I, now, was breaking out into a jog to find them. One loop, nothing. Two loops, nothing. I had thought about customer service, a full on Adam alert (though not even sure they do that at Wegmans), but I was holding out, telling myself that surely they would appear around the corner any minute.
Nightmare scenarios whirling through my brain, I couldn’t wait any longer, and so I went for help. An employee took their description (it’s true, you won’t remember what you’re kids are wearing) and went in search of them. I left my cart at the desk and went outside, just to make sure they weren’t wandering the parking lot, because, like I said, my boys are not always the best decision makers.
I returned inside empty handed, ready to slip into full blown panic mode, when I spotted the boys, at the other end store, holding hands, following the store employee. If they were panicked, they were hiding it well.
With the Wegmans employee by their side, First Son said, “Mom, we were looking for you. We we’re beginning to think you had left without us.” (Because you know that happens so much).
“Where were you guys?” I asked.
“I found them by the milk,” the Wegmans employee said.
Then, in what can only be described as a sweeping endorsement of my parenting skills, First Son said, “Well, I figured that you were either in the wine section or the mac and cheese aisle. We went into the wine store and didn’t see you, so, we were trying to find the mac and cheese aisle.”
I gave a short, shrill laugh, thanked the employee and walked away to privately tell my sons that they did a good job keeping calm, but, maybe, next time, instead of looking in the wine aisle, they should just go customer service.
Happily reunited, I turned around to make sure the Wegmans employee was gone, and we headed into the wine store. What can I say? My kids know their mother.