Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Day I Fogot My Daughter

I first mentioned this little embarrassing moment of parenthood in my blog launch post. I think I have made elusive suggestions to it here and there and I have had a few people ask about it, so here is my secret confessions of one of the most un-ninja moments of my child rearing days..... the day I left my 10 year old daughter at Fred Meyer.

It happened years ago, on a sunny Saturday afternoon. I had just gotten done working and needed to run to Fred Meyer to get a few things; Aaron wanted to come with, so we headed out the door. Just as we were getting into the car to go, Jess came running out the door to come along with us. She climbed in the backseat of the car, and off we went.

I can't tell you what it was about, but I do know that Aaron and I were animatedly engaged in conversation all the way to the store - about a 5 mile drive. I remember this because Jess was quietly sitting in the back seat, since we were already in the middle of our conversation, and she didn't want to interrupt us.

We pulled into the parking lot and got out of the car. Jess said "I'll be in the toys, come get me when your ready to leave" and off she went. Of course, this all amongst Aaron and I still carrying on our conversation (I guess it must have been good one). We then proceeded to meander around the store, getting what we needed, jabbering away. We were having a great time out together. Good company and good conversation.

Once we had all of our things, we went through check out, loaded up the car and headed home. It was a nice little outing with Aaron. Not too long, but just the two of us and it was nice...... you see, at this point my brain was already shut off to the fact that my daughter, just 20 minutes previous, yelled at me that she would be in toys and come to get her when we left. She was so quiet on the ride to the store, and disappeared the second we got there, that we both completely forgot she even bummed a ride with us in the first place.

We got home, got the groceries put away, and I went looking for the kids to find out what they wanted for lunch. I found Jeff in his bedroom playing video games. Okay, so here is where my parenting moment gets even better! You thought I was bad enough leaving my sweet little 10 year old at the store, well wait till you hear this......
Me: "Jeff, where's Jessi? It's time for lunch."

Jeff: not looking up from his video game (of course), "I don't know"

Me: "What do you mean you don't know? How can you not know where your sister is? You have been home with her this entire time!"

Jeff: sort of looking up at me this time, "Well, I don't know. She is probably out playing with Becca".

Me: as I'm walking out of his room mad, "I can't believe you don't know where Jess is!"
I started looking around the house for her and calling her name. I even went outside, asked the neighborhood kids if they had seen her (of course non of them had because she was at the store where I had left her!) and wandered back into the house again. At this point we had been home for about 20 minutes and I was starting to get a little worried.

I was walking down the stairs to express my concern to Aaron and solicit his help in finding her, when BAM! It hit my like a ton of bricks where she was. "Oh CRAP!!!" I yelled, and ran upstairs as fast as I could to grab my car keys. Aaron had heard me and ran up the stairs, "What?! What's wrong?". "WE LEFT JESSICA AT THE STORE!!!!!!" The look on his face mirrored how I was feeling at that precise moment.

We both ran out of the house, got into the car and peeled out of the driveway. I think I drove about 70 miles an hour all the way to the store once I got out of the neighborhood. I dropped Aaron off at the door while I found a parking place. Just as I was getting to the front door myself, Aaron came walking out with Jessica.
Not so proud moment number three - do we tell Jess that we forgot her? But you know kids, they are smarter than you give them credit for. She looked at the car and the fist question she asked was "Where are the groceries". Dang! Caught. So, we had to fess up and tell her what happened. She just looked at us for a few seconds and said, "I thought it was taking you an awful long time. I was debating on whether or not to come looking for you, but you told me to stay in toys, so that's what I did". 

What a good kid! We all got a little laugh out of that.

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