Last week my dear Mum had a health scare and spent a few scary nights in the ICU of a hospital quite a distance away from me. I am happy to report that Mum is doing well, out of the ICU and feeling a lot better.
On my way to visit my Mum yesterday, I thought I would call in to the local shopping complex and get her a pressie.... you know... slippers, jarmies.... because clearly comfy slippers and fluffy Jarmies will aid in your recovery, or something... I don't know but it is the done thing.
Looking through the piles of PJ's at Kmart, I was struggling to find anything my mum would wear... so I bought some slippers and on the way out I saw them.....
A whole rack of old lady track suit pants, complete with the crease down the front, in various shades of bland.
I had to get her a pair.
Considering she had a major health scare, I decided that now was the time for her to own her first pair of old lady track suit pants.
It sounds mean, but if you knew my mum you would know that she would appreciate the humour.
Mr Emma's Brain and I were taking it in turns to lug Ms Two around as you do when you are in a hurry... We were not game to let her down to walk with us for a few reasons..
1. Toddlers are slow, they walk slowly, they talk slowly, they talk to everyone... very slowly in a language not native to those they are trying to converse with.... It is painful when you are in a hurry.
2. Toddlers are slow, except for when they are not... like when they spot a Dora display on the other side of the store. Such displays can invoke speeds that would make Matt Shirvington wear Under wear.
As I spend far too long sifting through crappy cotton PJ's with crappier logo's on the front like.. Why stop dreaming when you wake up... or Beauty sleep in progress.. and Mr Emma's brain and I had reached our limit. Ms two had to walk, our backs just cant take it.
The minute her two year old feet hit the ground she was off... Mr Emma's brain and I sighed and took off in opposite directions, sure that we would trap her in at the next isle...
However in the next isle there was no Miss two... or the next isle... or the next... With every passing isle we gathered speed and hysteria.
I started screeching her name, I could hear the panic rising in my own voice.
I am not the kind of person who yells in public... I am more of a "wait until we get in the car" through gritted teeth kind of mum, accompanied by a pinch or far too firm hand grasp.
Oh yes I do.
This time though.... I did not care how loud I yelled... I did not care who was listening.
With every passing second, my panic was rising... My mind started doing mental calculations.. How close is the exit...? How far could she have gotten by now...? Where is the car park from here?.......
What if somebody took her?
I felt Icy with fear.
I am not sure how long it had been... It could not have been more than a few minutes of searching when I yelled to Mr Emma's Brain to..... notify the service desk.
It had come time to let the staff broadcast our bad parenting all over the complex..
Just as I turned to start looking in another direction I felt a tap on my shoulder, from another mother, baby on hip and toddler in tow.. "excuse me" She said... "Are you looking for a little girl with a purple shirt with red curly hair?"
"YES!!!!! Have you seen her?" I pleaded.
"Yes" she replied.. "she is over there hiding underneath the clothes rack.... She is laughing at you."
I could have kissed her.
I ran off to the offending clothes rack, Mr Emma's Brain had beaten me to it.
I got there just in time to see him plant a firm smack on her nappy... you know the kind that comes from heart bursting fear.... It did not hurt her, physically, It was a shock, a scare.. Why are my parents behaving like is?
Did we feel bad?.. No. Not even for a second.
People around us stopped and stared... Little children stopped to revel in another child getting into trouble... One couple looked like they may say something....
Then I started yelling.. "Don't you EVER! Run off from me again, It is NOT safe!, I couldn't find you!! I was very scared, That is VERY naughty"
Immediately the onlookers continued on their way.. Smack justified.
One mother, the one who looked like she was about to say something put a hand on my arm and said that she had lost her son in Myer last week, and she knew my terror....
Miss Two burst into tears, So did I.
Thank you to the very kind mother in Kmart who found my Miss two and informed me. Thanks for the kind lady who made me feel a little less like a bad mother by sharing her experience.
Have you ever lost your child in a public place?
Do you think that there are times when a big Smack is justified??