Monday, May 3, 2010

The danger of living near your in laws

It's not what you think.

This morning, as I do most mornings, I brought Eden into bed with me to cuddle her back to sleep. She tends to wake up at about 6am and if she stays up at that point, she is tired and cranky way too early in the day. So I try to put her back to bed until Maddie gets up, an hour or two later. Sometimes, I sneak out of bed once she is asleep, but this morning (and most of the time now that I'm a pregnant), I fell back asleep with her.

When I woke up again at about 7:30am, she wasn't in bed. I didn't hear the girls playing or talking so I made a quick tour through the house. I did not find them, but instead discovered that the front door was wide open. I stood at the door scanning around for them and calling their names but saw and heard nothing. I raced back to my bedroom for my phone, grabbing my husband's fleece on the way. I ran around the outside of the house but only found an indoor riding toy in the backyard. Even though it would be impossible for them to manage it, I looked inside the above ground pool to make sure they didn't some how climb inside. Thankfully, there was no evidence of them in the pool.

I assumed that they had gone to my in-laws house, since we walk there often now that we live a few hundred feet away. As I made my way through my back yard and another house's yard, I called Seth. He was leading the opening service at the school so he didn't answer. I wanted to call the church phone but my phone hasn't had a screen display for some time now and I did not want to take the time to locate the church number. So I went ahead and called 911. I knew it was premature but I had no way of knowing how long they had been out wandering around. If I didn't find them at my in laws, they could have been ANYWHERE. I was crying while explaining to the dispatcher the situation. I was also calling the girls and running across the large backyards.

I kept thinking that even though I was positive they intended to go to grandma's house, would Eden keep up or even want to follow Maddie? They could have ended up going separate ways, and Eden would not be able to figure out where home or grandma's house was. They is a thickly overgrown field bordering the neighborhood and as I walked, I keep my eyes in the brush for movement. And then of course the possibility of someone snatching them was in the back of my mind.

Arriving at my in laws house, the door was opened a crack, and there was Maddie's face in the window. Eden was lounging on grandma's couch, with a spoon hanging out of her mouth. They had climbed onto the counter and retrieved the sugar bowl and were helping themselves by the spoonful.

I let the 911 operator know that I had found them and they were fine. I don't remember what exactly I said to Maddie but she said to me, "We just walked to Grandma's house, Mom. Why are you acting like this?"

Maddie was wearing her pajama t-shirt, a tiny pair of shorts she usually wears under skirts and shoes. Eden had on her pajamas and no shoes or socks. Both were as happy as larks and saw no reason for me to be upset.

I got out the defibrillator, restarted my heart, grabbed the little runaways and went home, hoping that the entire neighborhood was not seeing me in my pajamas. Maddie still not understand my wide eyes or near hysteria. She was thrilled with herself since she had watched for cars as she crossed the street. She had just wanted to go see grandma, after all. The fact that grandma wasn't even home didn't seem to matter to her.

And so, we now have high up locking devices on our doors leading to the outside. I've tried numerous times to explain to Maddie how bad and scary that was but she truly is not comprehending. Maybe I should just tie her to her bed after she goes to sleep...?



Jenn said...

Ok, even though I knew you would not post this without a good ending, I still cried thoughout the story, knowing exactly how you were feeling. Jason did that recently here...that feeling sucks!! Thank God they were fine and of course for new locks!!!

Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...

We too have locks that are high and hook and latches, Matthew didn't go that far but he went across the street to "play with kids" and of course gave me a heart attack.

Jennie said...

My heart was racing just reading it! This is definitely a story you will be telling in your family for years to come!

Joyful Blessings said...

I felt so bad for you Kayte, that is not something that a parent ever wants to experience. My dad took me out of the crib and played a cruel joke on my Mom one day, she was only 18 he was a policeman, she was next door when I was napping, you know the whole woman needs to be at home thing in the 50s was pretty strong, she did not have a car and her piano was sold....anyway, dad not only took me, but emptied drawers on the floor to look like a burglary, my poor mom. She never got over that she was always afraid we might be stolen. Mean Dad of the 50s.

Kayte said...

Ah Cheryl! That was a BAD joke! Once Seth started to do a joke involving the girls being hurt (not as extreme as your Dad's joke) but I could sort of tell it wasn't real... I said, If this is a joke tell me right now because I have no sense of humor for this. He gave it up right away. He'll have to think of another way to "get" me!

jen said...

OK My heart is pounding so hard even though you told us they were at Grasndma's in the title. I am so sorry you had to experience that.

missionarymomma said...

Oh! This is my greatst fear - not the being at Grandma part but the not knowing where my children are. The truth is they can disappear so quickly. Even without understanding the reason - your sweet girls are old enough for training - and I can tell from your blog you are a wise Momma. Your oldest daughter especially can be trained to ALWAYS ask Momma first before going outside etc...The only problem with the high locks is if ther would be a fire. Oh, the many choices we make as parents. You will laugh about this one day sometime after your heart returns to normal :-) the story will be funnier to ou and bring you more peace if you train your girls so that you have the peace of KNOWING they will obey by NOT going outside without asking Momma or Not going to grandma's without Momma etc... Blessings and I am so grateful or the ending. I am really surprised that 911 did not come out anyway. I always thought that if you called they had to come glad that didn't happen.

Joyful Blessings said...

I agree with the locks and fire thing, Grandma Fadden, Todd's Grandma, what a real treasure she is, I love her, she has lived on the same big farm in Washington since she had her 6 children, three were triplet girls. She told us a story last summer, about one winter so many years ago when her children were young and she was in the barn doing chores, she locked the kids in the house so they would not come out in the snow and catch cold. Brain, Todds dad, her son, was about 4 and the triplets were playing on top of the STOVE, caught something on fire( he said those girls were always getting into mischief) anyway he was beating on the doors to get his mom's attention but she could not hear him, smoke was filling the house, and she just happened to walk by the back door and heard him pounding, opened the door, took him in her arms and cried "Oh Son I will never ever lock you in the house ever again"...end of story. I thought locks were a good idea too until I heard that.

raising3princesses said...

Ugh! My heart stopped! Nothing is worse then when you don't know where your children are! I think children should have little beepers on them like for lost keys!