I doubt that I will be allowed my Mac while in prison, so I thought I'd better say goodbye.
Yes, I am going to jail. The clink. The slammer. The big house.
I knew it too. You know that niggling feeling you get telling you that you shouldn't do something, but then the child's incessant pleas wear you down and you give in?
Oh, you don't give in?
Yesterday was one of those days... I just wanted to read a book. Out of my leaning tower of unread treasures, I pulled out "The Lovely Bones" and have been desperately trying to get past the halfway point for days. Yesterday was beautiful and sunny. Perfect day to sit in the garden and read... but there's a birthday party coming up, kids play dates, husband's school/work/gym schedule etc.
We began by running everywhere. Well not running, because just being out in the sun would have been nice, no, we were clamped into our car where the only sun rays that would hit us would be bounced off the pavement and up through Miss Ky's Princess window screens.
This day is typical for me except now I have four tornadoes reveling in their Easter holiday as companions.
I dropped one mini cyclone off at a friend's house. I kept the three more-difficult-to-navigate-around-breakable-things with me to go to the craft store to find party things.
They broke me. I was scanning the store for wine by the time I needed to check out (and no, I don't drink...yet).
We went to Mickey D's. They got balloons, talked in helium voices that for some reason didn't elevate my headache. We headed home.
There was a lorrie accident and the traffic was moving about an inch per minute.
Miss Ky, with her impeccable timing, chose that moment to ask me to pull over on the A47 so she could poo... in a country where everyone carries doggy poo bags in their back pockets and I don't have a dog so I don't have anything. We frantically rip the car apart for any used tissues, dried up diaper wipes or old candy bar wrappers. Nothing. Did consider the banana peel.
I weighed the consequences of either putting a child out on the asphalt or letting her defile her seat and pressed on. By the time I pulled into a village, she had fallen asleep.
At home, I needed to hang some towels on the line, the Miss still needed to poo and then it would be time to go get the child from his friend's place. The seat by the apple tree in the garden beckons me and my book. I refuse to look at it while I hang my towels that will just be on the bathroom floor tomorrow.
The younger boys had begged to go to our village park while I stopped off at the house...
The park, the only park, which sits in the middle of our tiny village of maybe 20-30 houses. In our village too small for a store, a post office, a school, a nursery.
Like a good mom, I told them, "No, you're too little".
They worked me.
They debated with me about how they could both have a phone that I could reach either of them and vice versa. They "could play until it was time for (me) to pick up the fourth child. It would be 30 minutes", they said.
I justified it with the thought that if I lived across from the park, I would let them be there all of the time, exact same age, the same way I let them play in the fields by our house and the neighbors comment about stopping what they are doing to watch them play and laugh.
I live one street away from the park.
I chose to trust them and let them have the childhood I had-- one without a mother watching their every move.
and you knew there had to be something that went wrong,
one sent me a txt, "R U still at home?"
I was getting in the car so I rang him. Nothing. Voice mail.
So I rang the other phone, nothing, instant voice mail (which means the phone is off).
I went directly to the park, I didn't pass go, I didn't collect $200.00 or my wits or anything else. I am going to tell them off for not answering. Only...
they are not there.
It is time to pick up the other one. The older one who could be out alone where he is, but I had made a commitment to a mother to fetch him by 4.00, not 4.30 or 4.15. So I went to get him. He was another 3 miles from where I was and where those other two were supposed to be.
In my lightning return to the park, (I had rung each boy a minimum of 4 times. No answer) they were there, on their backs in the grass enjoying the last of the sunshine.
They met the ugly face when they got in the car. They received my lectures of loss of trust. Truthfully, I was telling myself off for doing something so stupid, but I wasn't going to tell THEM that.
After the dust cleared, little guy says, "Mum, there was a man and a mum and a baby in the park and the man asked me how old I was".
"You talked to someone you didn't know in the park?!"
I called for the older brother, "A1! What was my reluctance about letting the two of you go to the park without your older brother?"
"Where were you when your little brother was talking to a stranger?!"
"I was there."
Yes, the man had asked him his name and age as well,
and of course he gave it to him.
Stupid stupid stupid me. I'm going to jail for neglect.
And I still haven't read my book.
Do you suppose I will get a little down time to read it in jail?
Before anyone (troll-like) berates me for the sheer stupidity of letting two young boys play in a park alone-- don't bother. I've already been much more hateful to myself than you could ever imagine. And I have a delete button.