Guess this goes under the True Confessions section of this blog because what I’m about to admit to an event that happened many years ago and I still can’t believe it happened.
I had been home recuperating from my third C-Section (loads of fun with three kids under the age of four!) and as anyone who has gone that route of 150 stitches inside and out they won’t let you drive for a number of weeks. Being the independent working mom, this was always extremely tough to take. But I had a great support group of women because my husband is one of eleven and there were five sisters who were great to have in the immediate area.
So after about five weeks of being cooped up in a house with a newborn and two toddlers I was a little crazy in the head! After all… I was used to working and running around like a chicken with its head cut off and this was pretty much the day before computers and the Internet. Phone calls were where it was at and so many of us spent a lot of time on the phone. (Yes, the kind of phone that was hard-wired and had rotary dials on them!) Then, one of my sister-in-laws called to see if I needed anything or if I needed to run a chore or two.
I was elated! A little bit of other scenery for a while! We were going to my bank downtown so I could do a little banking. That just meant I needed to get some money out to buy groceries.
So I dressed my two toddlers and got myself ready and when my sister-in-law came to the door I was ready to go! It was great to see her and we chatted all the way to the bank.
Now you have to know that my third child (yes, you guessed it… Katie) was the quietest little baby I ever had! She was the perfect newborn! Nursed well, slept through the night, never fussed… she was a miracle baby. But for those very reasons I did something I never thought as a mother I would ever do. While my sister-in-law and I are standing at the teller station in the bank with my two (yes, two) toddlers, the bank teller recognizes me and said, “Oh, Mrs. Ivers, how is the baby?”
I can’t tell you the terror that went through both my and my sister-in-law’s bodies when we realized that…
WE LEFT KATIE IN THE CRIB AT HOME SLEEPING!!!
I dropped everything on the counter and we both raced out of the bank and raced back to the house. All the time envisioning that a gas leak blew up the house or the place burned down or the baby choked or God knows what else!!!
How could I do that? How could I forget my third child like that??? I was beside myself!
Well as it turned out we got back to the house and there was quiet little Katie (Yes, she was once a very quiet child, I know it’s hard to believe) sleeping peacefully in her crib and didn’t even notice we were gone. Whew! Can’t remember how long it took to come down from the adrenaline high!
I did confess this mishap to my husband who recounted a story of a family vacation when he was one of nine siblings. His dad and mom had stopped at a gas station to fill up and a number of the children were using the rest room. As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one who has done this deed… my father-in-law drove off and left one of the kids in the bathroom! No one noticed for miles at which time they returned to pick up the lost sibling. He tried to make me feel better by telling me this story, but I still felt like a terrible mother.
The reality of it all came to me soon after as I realized that because I wasn’t the one driving to the bank I wasn’t in the routine of gathering three kids up and buckling them in and making sure everyone was secure before driving off. I was used to doing that with two! Of course this still didn’t assuage my guilt, but I really did understand how it could happen.
So there ya go! Forgive me Kate! I never did leave you at home again…. Or when the fourth one came along.
That was because the older ones would always remind me!