I took the children on a seemingly fun trip to the library this afternoon after picking Maggie up from school. Maggie got out of the car first and was waiting for us in the huge grass island that was right in front of our car. I was unbuckling Nicholas when I heard Maggie talking to someone.
“My mommy told me to wait right here in the grass. That’s our car. She’s getting my little brother.”
I showed my head to be sure the woman saw me. I felt fine with doing this and in fact, we do it all the time. Maggie waits on the sidewalk, or grass island or whatever is safe while I get Nicholas out and we walk wherever together.
As we passed the woman, who turned out to work at the library I heard someone say “We found her.” Two women moved to head inside. I asked if someone had been lost. The first woman told me yes, as she was heading in. It now seemed much more logical that she was not criticizing my parenting skills, but in fact, looking for a lost child. The second woman told me they were doing a drill. They practice in case the situation arises where a child is lost. I told her I appreciated that they practice for those situations.
Anyone seeing the foreshadowing here?
Relax. No one got lost.
We went in and did our normal library things. Except today is the first day that Nicholas has felt very comfortable with the library surroundings and kept testing the limits.
I had my eye on him the whole time. I swear. I’m not being sarcastic. I did. I just didn’t feel the need to chase him, thereby making it a game. So I gave him a little leeway, though he was always within my eyesight.
He wandered, with me following, but again not chasing, over to the adult section. He snuck in the door as someone was walking out. I followed and even chuckled a little as his ingenuity. Then he turned the corner and I reached out to take his hand, but not before the same library worker asked him where his mother was. And then I pop around the corner. I think if she could have called DCFS she would have. I still feel I did nothing wrong.
We went back over and got Maggie and our books/videos/ CDs and headed to the checkout. To the same library worker. And I had a fine. To add to my apparent incompetence at keeping my children in tow, I couldn’t even get my books back on time.
As we were getting the books checked out, Nicholas tried to do another dash away. I asked Maggie to hold his hand. (Thereby delegating my parenting duties.) She held his hand before he made it to the door, but since I’m not a total loser-parent, I was also right behind to make sure no harm came to either of my children. After finally picking up the 33-pound runaway, I returned to the counter where I swear she was sneering at me. We got our things and left. If only parenting was as easy as sitting on the sidelines judging others…