The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Thursday, August 18, 2005

No Whammies, no Whammies, STOP!

I've always, as 80s game show fans will guess from this blog title, been one to press my luck. One more drink in my old bar hopping days, 5 more minutes at a playdate with a clearly too cranky child more recently... I never seem to be able to call it a day when I'm still having fun. Usually, I get lucky. Sometimes, it doesn't end as well. Today, I got the Whammy. Big time.

It had already been a slightly crazy morning. The first week of Julia's swimming lessons coincided with the last week of her art classes today, sending us running all over town in pursuit of enrichment for my 3 1/2 year old (insert eye roll here). By 11:00 when art ended, Julia had already been instructed in the back float, the doggie paddle and the art of using scissors and glue. Evan had been corralled in his stroller waiting for his sister not once but twice. We should have called it a hectic morning and gone home to relax. Fat chance.

Instead, I took a friend up on her suggestion that we go to the playground. We spent a happy hour there, all 4 of our kids climbing and sliding and playing together beautifully. At about noon, she looked at her watch. "Do we push it and go for lunch?" I looked at the kids, who were all enjoying each other so much. I thought about the long, empty afternoon that stretched out before us. "Sure," I shrugged. "Why not?"

Why not indeed. As we pulled up near the diner, I noticed a terrible odor -- Evan. Changed him in the trunk of my car, tossed the diaper, grabbed the kids hands & into the diner we went. As Julia sat down with her friend Alexis, I took Evan to the bathroom with me so I could wash my hands. I watched him reach into my purse and pull out my keys. Except there were no keys. Evan was playing happily with the key fob that locks and unlocks my car. But the key itself was nowhere to be found.

A frantic search ensued -- the bathroom, the restaurant, the street, in and around my car. I looked. Lauren looked. No key. It was fast approaching nap time at this point. All of the children were fading. And I had no way to get mine home.

In the end, I suppose I should just be grateful that I wasn't alone. A ridiculous amount of shifting of children and adults and car seats enabled me to drive Lauren's car to my house to locate a spare key with the crankiest of our children strapped behind me, then swap out kids when I returned. We all got home safely, albeit an hour or so later than anticipated when we decided to get a quick bite to eat. I'm out the cost of a new key (of course it had to be an expensive computerized one) and the full lunch tab, but it could have been so much worse. If I hadn't realized my key was missing before we'd said goodbye to our friends, I'd probably still be sitting downtown with my kids right now and I'm fairly confident all 3 of us would be crying.

This isn't the first time I've pressed my luck nor is it the first time I've hit a Whammy. It won't be the last. But this time, as always before, I was incredibly fortunate to have a friend who was willing to help bail me out. The moral of today should probably be "quit when you're ahead," but I'd prefer to think of it as "surround yourself with good people." I've never been good at the former, but the latter skill has saved me from sticky situations countless times.


At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Gretchen C. said...

Is the key inside the trunk? Just an idea. Thank God for good friends, anyway.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

I'm going to look for the P.S. post -- just *where* is that key? Here's where our lives do NOT run parallel -- No, not the keys thing, I misplace mine hourly, but I am one to not press my luck. Whammies? Never heard of 'em...(yeah, right)


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