I sat and watched my youngest boy run and play.
We spent the evening eating and playing at McDonald's. Its truly my definition of hell on earth, but I was ready to do anything for a break from the dark and cold that's been keeping us indoors and making us all stir crazy. I could have sat outside the glass-enclosed germ box, but Will is only two.
My husband laughs at me when I say that. "Hey - take it easy on him! He's only two."
"He's almost three."
"Yeah? But he's not yet. He's still two for another month."
True, he's usually the instigator of the UFC-style take downs that occur in my living room, but he's my baby none-the-less and I'm going to milk this last month of babydom for all its worth. So I sat in the cootie laden aquarium, close to the play structure, with my book.
I watched as he came flying down the slide without a single ounce of fear. Over and over again he climbed the stairs, crawled through a tube and flung himself into the dark tunnel of the slide. Every time, without fail, he'd come out at the end, jumping up and down, clapping his hands.
"I did it! I did it! By myself!"
I told him I saw...that I was watching...but before the words were even out of my mouth he was off again, climbing stairs. I sat back with my book.
His brother, by contrast, tired of the slide after just a few times and found the video games at the far end of the room. At one point, I saw Will walk over and put his brother in a head-lock. (Parents with girls will know these as "hugs".) Satisfied that neither of my children were the ones screaming, I went back to my book.
A few minutes later I did a kid count. There's Nick...no Will. Must watch the end of the slide...he'll be out any minute.
Except there was no Will. Don't worry. He's in there somewhere. He probably just met up with a little buddy inside the tunnel...watch the end of the slide...
A few minutes later there was still no Will. I contemplated looking like the spaz of a Mom who takes her purse and goes crawling into the tubes and slides to look for her missing child, but again told myself he couldn't have gone very far.
I gave it just a few minutes more before my brain started asking itself, But what if he did sneak out the door as someone else left and he's out in the restaurant crying, looking for his Mom? Or what if someone took him?!? They could be long gone by now! YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE TO LOOK FOR HIM -- YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT GUT INSTINCTS!
I decided that the less-spaztastic thing to do would be to have the older boy go in and look for the younger. So I got up and walked over to ask Nick to do just that and there's Will...playing the video game...too short for me to see behind the console, explaining in his made-up not-quite-English English how the game works to some other boy.
He's completely fine. Without me.
And he's only two.