I now know why people use these.....and I will never question their intentions EVER again. In fact, when I'm done with this blog, I'll be googling the InStyle version of baby leash.
We had plans with some friends to go to the Children's Disovery Museum in Sausalito. Doug came down with the stomach flu, so needless to say I didn't get breakfast in bed. He was in no shape to tackle crowds of any kind, so we left him behind with a bottle of gatorade and a good-luck note.
The museum is directly on the other side of the bay and overlooks San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge. This would be the first time we visited, and didn't know what to expect. I read that they have a 2.5 acre outdoor play zone that includes look out towers, pirate ships, a gravel pit with shovels for pretend construction, and tons of tunnels and caves. aka. Mini heaven for the 2-5yr old crowd, pure hell for the 30-40 year olds. Kids were darting in and out of caves, playing catch me if you can. Parents were playing zone defense because man on man just wasn't working.
Jack took a real interest to the construction zone. He shoved gravel in and out of dump trucks for a good 30 minutes. I decided we will be installing a gravel pit in the backyard this Spring. Who needs sand when we can have tiny rocks to track through our house.
Nate on the other hand took an interest in a non adult friendly pirate ship on the other side of the play zone. It was just large enough that the kids could easily move around and get lost in the ship's cabins, but just small enough that no parent could go in for a rescue. And if you did, you felt like you were in that movie Elf, where he's a giant in a little person world. I went in to rescue Jack, and stepped on a few little people in the process. I knew for the safety of others I needed to exit, and quickly.
Then it happened, that one second that you turn your head and your child is gone. He must be destined to be a sprinter, because I'm sure he would win the 100 meter toddler dash. I of course kid about this, because if I didn't I would be throwing up. I've never lost either of the kids, and this was the first time that pure panic set in.
Thank God Greta and Craig were there to help with the search party. I started screaming JAAACCK, and then realized he doesn't speak, so it wasn't like he was going to say, "I'm over here mom". Which of course caused me to panic even more. In those 20 seconds a lot goes through your head. What is he wearing? How should you describe him? Oh God, did he head to the water, the woods, through a tunnel, off to grandma's house? Where the hell did he go? And then of course you start looking at all of the parents and realize they are most certainly judging you saying, "Should have put a leash on that child." Then I remembered Jack was wearing his Valentines day red shirt. Thank God for Valentines Day, and my necessity to dress the boys in holiday t-shirts.
After what seemed like eternity, but was a only a few short minutes, Craig spotted Jack heading back to the gravel pit as if saying, "What's the big deal. I just needed to report back to work."
I knew at that moment Jack will be strapped into a stroller until he's at least 10. Not until I buckled him in to his car seat did my heart start beating again.