Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Because You Love Me

We had our carpet cleaned today and my sainted friend, who swapped kids with me all year for homeschooling, took my kids yet again so they would be out of the way and not running in and out on damp carpets.

On the way home from picking them up, I decided it would be a good night NOT to serve them all dinner at home. I'm sick of Wendy's, our fast food restaurant of choice, where we tell the kids they can each have two items from the 99-cent value menu--so I decided to splurge and take them all to Chipotle for something healthier than a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and a Frosty.

We had eaten and were getting ready to leave when Chicklet4 said, "I gotta go potty!"

I handed the keys to Blondechick14, so she could take Bantam2 and the other boys on out to the van. "Go ahead, honey," I said, pointing to the nearby door. The restaurant was empty and she'd already been in there once. "I'll be right here," I said, sweeping up rice with a napkin.

She headed for the door, then turned around. "Mommy, come WITH me."

Finishing up with the table, I said, "All right then," and followed her into the bathroom.

"I thought you might leave me," she explained.

"Oh, no," I said to the metal door as she closed it. "I would never leave you anywhere." (On purpose, I added mentally, breathing a quick prayer for help to keep that promise.)

From the other side of the door, she added confidently, "Because you love me."

Oh, yes I do, honey, loads and loads--and I'm so glad you know it, precious little daughter.

On the way home I asked the other kids if I had ever left them anywhere, besides that time which I remembered vividly, when I left Bantam7-at-the-time at the high school where we had just finished one of the musicals. I was pulling up at the cast party with a 15-passenger-vanload of kids when I realized that Bantam7 was not among them. (Fortunately all it took was a cell phone call to get him some reassurance and a ride to the cast party.)

Bantam12 remembered a time after church when each parent thought the other had him with them, but Dad didn't get far before someone called his cell phone and he turned right around. Blondechick14 related an old memory of being left at Aldi once when she was five, but I have little to no memory of this, so it must not have been highly guilt-producing, whatever happened.

Hmmm, 6 kids and 16 years of parenting--and we've only seriously left somebody somewhere once or twice possibly.

We must love them.


G's Cottage said...

Oh yes, this will become post fodder. And sometimes they hope to get left for an extra few minutes of "activity" and think nothing of making sure you take all the guilt.

I don't remember anyone saying they worried that we might leave them. I guess I need to take a family survey and check my memories.

Fe said...


We were travelling the Nullabor from Perth on the west coast to Melbourne on the east coast of Australia with my cousins. We had a car and caravan so were travelling slower than they were in their camper.

I think it was Mundrabilla, basically a couple of hours drive from _anywhere_. My aunt and uncle had stopped before us, and everyone had used the loo. We overlapped by a couple of minutes before they headed off. We were getting ready to leave when one of my cousins came out of the loos. This was in the 70s, so no mobiles... we just had to wait until my aunt and uncle came back:-) Fortunately it didn't take long:-)