First, you must know that Elsa is being toilet trained. That is a crucial detail. It’s been going well, in the sense that she does use the toilet. Almost all the time. However, there have been some rough patches. There have been times in which she has adamantly refused to even try to sit on the potty, even when offered chocolate, or when faced with the prospect of being wet and cold because there are not many potties on our running route around the park. That said, there have also been some surprises. Like, that Elsa can refuse chocolate AND that she can hold her water while sleeping in a stroller that is being pushed around the park.
But that is not really the point of the story. It is a crucial piece of information, however, so it is worth spending some time on.
This is the story: I went to pickup the boys. With Elsa, as always. This was her second attempt to make it through pickup without a diaper. The previous attempt, the day before, was successful. She had even fallen asleep in my arms and not peed on me (or herself). So, yay! Still, it felt a little bit adventurous to take her out on the two-hour trip without a diaper.
We made it to the school. We picked up the boys. The kids were playing in the snow. And then Elsa started doing the dance. I asked her if she had to go and she confirmed. Simon was right there, so I asked him to keep an eye on Oliver and tell him that I’d taken Elsa to the toilet. This was, of course, a bad idea and I knew it. But I thought I’d just be a minute. Run her up the ramp, use the toilet right inside the door, BOOM! we’d be out of there.
That didn’t happen. The ramp was closed, I had to find another way in, I had to find another bathroom . . . blah, blah, blah, we came out of the school and Simon was there but Oliver wasn’t. And Simon didn’t know where he was. A scan of the playground let me know he wasn’t on it. What I didn’t know is whether he had thought I left him and started walking to the train station or if he went into the school to look for me.
I walked back and forth between the two options for a few minutes. Where should I go? Where did I need to be? What would Oliver do? I felt like I couldn’t leave the school until I knew he wasn’t there, but I thought if he had left, maybe I could catch him.
Anyway. It was as I was waffling that I saw a couple of moms and a couple of kids walking toward the gate. One of the kids looked wonderfully like little Squish. I ran up to them and reclaimed my kid. The moms said he had been crying, but he hadn’t made it much past the parking lot. He had thought I’d left him. He was going to find me.
Oh, I felt so bad. Obviously. I knew I should have told him myself where I would be. I made a bad call in my fear that Elsa would wet herself. And I realized that I could have done some better prep-work with my kids. Like if you lose me, stay where you are and I’ll come find you. Because I would never leave you.
So, not even two weeks in and I’ve lost the mother of the year award. Good luck to all you ladies who are still in the running.