Thursday, April 03, 2008

One of the Special people: Part 2

I cannot hide my many failings from my innermost circle of friends and family. That I am often unaware, scatter-brained, suffering from bouts of short-term memory loss with growing frequency is no surprise to them. But I can generally get away with appearing somewhat collected to the outside world. Yeah, I've got four kids under five. No problem! They leave the house fully dressed--usually--with their hair brushed at least 30% of the time. And they rarely have globs of jam on their cheeks. But sometimes, I just plain give myself away. . .

. . .like when I lock them all in the van at the mall.
Let me plead my case! I pulled into a spot directly line with the entrance. It was a chilly day, so I wanted direct access to the door. How's that for maternal foresight, right? Then I got out of the van, and set about kitting myself out in this fancy baby carrier. Maybe in was one of the straps, maybe it was my flailing arms as I wrestled with the complicated baby apparatus, but somehow my door got locked. And then it swung shut. It wasn't me, I swear, the van must have been parked on a slant.

Tug. My door won't open. I move to the sliding door. Tug. Won't budge. Now I'm frantic. Run to the other side of the van. Tug. TUG! Trying to breathe. Scan the parking lot. Spot a responsible looking woman with a toddler getting into her car. I think, she's clean, well dressed, and has a kid in tow, I'll trust her-- "Hi! Can you PLEASE help me? I've locked my kids in the van. Do you have a cell phone?" The woman most helpfully mentions that she just heard about a free service the mall offers for unlocking vehicles. What?! She offers to watch the boys. I run as fast as I can, keeping in mind I'm still on post-C-section-take-it-easy orders. Get to the help desk. Try not to cry as I explain my predicament. The ladies are incredibly kind considering I feel I deserve jail time. They send me back out to wait with my boys.

I peek through the windows as best I can, (stupid tint), and see that the baby is sleeping, Gabriel is wide-eyed but ok, and tears are streaming down Elijah's cheeks. Of course he's crying. Mom's run off and a strange, though well dressed, woman is hovering outside his window. I yell through the glass; I'm so silly Lij! I can't open the doors! Someone is coming to help me. Aren't I so silly? He nods, pops his thumb in his mouth and sits contentedly. Silly is something he knows I do well.

Minutes later three men come by with walky-talkies. Actually, thinking back, it was two men in official yellow coats, sporting security badges, and one shaggy looking teen who really looked like he wanted to be anywhere else. Little brother perhaps? Anyways, the security guys tell me the "lock guy" is on his way. They assure me this happens often: "Once every few months," they say, (Often?!), and "I shouldn't feel too bad." One even took off his coat and had me put it on. "I don't know if yellow's your colour but it's warm."

Too make this long story a bit shorter, ten minutes later, Lock Guy pulls up, opens a case full of metal gadgets and pops open the lock on my door. It's actually alarming how easily he does it. He takes my address, (so now I'm thinking maybe this "free" service may not be so free), and me and my boys carry on with our day.

As Lock Guy was getting into his car, he got a call: someone on the third floor of the mall's parking garage now had need of his services!
Two weeks ago one of my dear friends confessed to having done the very same thing with her friends son.

To read "One of the special people" Part 1 Click *HERE*.
Just another episode in the life of a mom who's almost always calm, but nearly never collected.