Last night, I decided I really needed to get out of the house for a bit, so I thought I might as well run to the store and get one of those take-and-bake pizzas at Wal-Mart for dinner... since I am not feeling very domestic these last days of pregnancy. Nephi really wanted to go with me, but Sam, lounging on the couch in his underwear, told me he wanted to stay home with Daddy. I was fine with that, who wouldn't be? So I left Sam with Ben, and took Nephi to the store.
We got back about an hour later.
Nephi and I walked in and Sam was no longer on the couch. Ben was fast asleep.
I called out to Sam, thinking that maybe he was in the bathroom or snooping around in Ben's office area -- he always looks for treats in Ben's stuff when he thinks he isn't going to be caught. But Sam was no where in the apartment. So I did what just about any mom would do... I started to panic... and freak out. Then I went and slapped Ben awake yelling that Sam was gone.
I ran out of the house in panic and scanned the parking lot yelling out for him. No sign. I ran to the back yard to see if he went out to play in the snow... no Sam. I went back out front and went over to the parking attendant. Now normally we don't have a parking attendant, but if there is a game on campus they use our parking lot for fans and charge parking fare. Last night there was a basketball game and so lots of people were walking around our place.
The parking guy saw my panicked look and before I even opened my mouth he asked me if I was looking for a little boy with blond hair named Sam. "Yes!! Where is he!!!??" I called to him. He told me that Sam had come appeared about 30 minutes before and he was greeting the people walking to the game. They told me he was all dressed in his boots and coat and they thought he might have just gotten lost so they called the police and they came and got him. He wouldn't tell the parking guy where he lived, only that he lived "by the sandbox" and pointed to our backyard and that he ate pancakes for breakfast (the highlight of his day).
Ben, at this point, came out with "I am the worst dad in the world" face on, and I let him hold that thought for a few seconds for a little revenge for not watching Sam better. I was relieved that Sam was with the police, and the parking guy had their number just in case we showed up looking for Sam, but I was so sick in my stomach and I just started crying and shaking... I couldn't help it. Every horrible, worst scenario was running through my head. And as ticked off as I was with Ben, for some reason, I could really only blame myself. I shouldn't have left him... I should have just taken him to the store with me. I knew Ben was tired. I should have just sucked it up and took both boys with me.
Sam had never done anything like that before. And I was physically and emotionally sick about it.
The police were fast to get there and they asked us some questions to verify that Sam was really ours. I thought we were going to be chewed out for not being better parents, but they were actually pretty nice about the whole thing and actually had a fun time driving Sam around. Apparently he had been very entertaining. He told them his name and when they didn't say his last night right, he actually spelled it out for them. He told them that he had pancakes for breakfast and lived by the sandbox. The thing that really impressed the officers was that when they put him in the car and then they themselves got in, the driver didn't put his seatbelt on, and Sam let him have it! I mean, Sam really told him how naughty he was for not wearing his seatbelt. The cops thought it was pretty funny to have a five year old telling THEM, the seatbelt law-enforcers, about safety. I held Sam when he got out of the patrol car and told him he scared the life out of me and never to do that again! The officer thought I was telling Sam off because I was crying... but I wasn't... and he told me not to be mad at him, that he is a smart little guy and he did the right thing in the situation. I wanted to say, no, leaving the house when Daddy went to sleep was not the right thing... erk.
They asked me if I had child safety stuff on my door and I told him we have every kind we are allowed! With a kid like Sam we take no chances... but he is so blasted smart!
Anyway, it all ended up alright.... but even now, the next morning, I am still sick about the whole thing. What if he decides to do it again? Wakes up before me... or leaves while I am in the shower or something like that. I am totally unnerved! Right now I am trying to focus on the fact that he is safe. That for some reason there is a small army of angels watching over him. And that he is asleep in bed right now and I am awake first...
Now, if this experience didn't put me into labor... I don't think anything can!!