What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?
Or is it what doesn't kill you makes you a certifiable loon?
I think it's the latter. Or such was the case yesterday as I stepped outside of myself and watched a little bit of a horror dramady unfold starring: crazy Grace. Played by: crazier Grace.
But first let me throw a spoiler at you so you don't worry and think that someone died ...
Let me explain.
Cozy up to your screen of choice.
Yesterday I woke up to pouring rain and two giddy little toddlers because it was FINALLY the day that they got to go to school.
(which is Sebastian for, "big ships and helicopters" ... in case you aren't fluent in Patton toddler)
Julia had missed the past two weeks because of spring break + illness and she has just been raring to GO! GO! GO! back to the promised land that is preschool. She loves her circle time, and her Jesus songs, and her organized play. Loves it.
I was so insanely taken aback and baffled that after I helped them put their lunches away, had hung up their jackets, and was walking out with Theo perched on my hip when Julia had a meltdown that trumped all the other meltdowns she's ever had. She ran over to her mothership, started clinging to my leg and begging me not to go and shattering my heart into a million pieces. None of my kids have ever had any sort of separation anxiety and so I couldn't pull from my file of, "been here, done this, it will be fine" and eventually left her with a teacher and walked out before I had a meltdown of my own and called Simon wondering if I did the right thing.
[I've since consulted with veteran mom Rachel and she confirmed that I need to stay firm and that it's just a phase ... hopefully tomorrow is okay ... because I shouldn't be having heart palpitations and anxiety attacks about preschool drop-off, Julia!!]
So. That was that. That was awful. Theo and I pulled into the post office parking lot down the street from Julia's newfound prison (formerly known as: her heaven) while I was still being talked down from the, "you're sure it's okay I left her?!" limb of nutso by Simon via phone when I absentmindedly tossed the keys to Theo who was crowing in his car seat.
I gathered my things.
Got off the phone.
Got out of the van.
Closed my door.
Walked around to the sliding door to retrieve Theodore.
Could not open sliding door because it was mysteriously and suddenly locked.
Looked at Theo who was laughing like a maniac and waving the keys at me.
Tried all the other (LOCKED) doors.
Tried the (LOCKED) trunk.
And then I full on F-R-E-A-K-E-D.
I called Simon who couldn't wrap his mind around how Theo had figured out how to click the lock button on the remote over the course of .01 seconds but eventually suggested I Google a locksmith.
I had visions of a locksmith located 28 minutes away, with his feet kicked up on his desk giving me some sort of time estimate along the lines of, "we can be there in 2-4 hours ... maybe" and all but hung up on Simon. [I'm sorry, Sime]
While I was debating what on God's green (so green! thanks to the still pouring rain) I should do ... a gentleman pulled into the parking lot and I approached him (please note -- the rain was still pouring so at this point I look like a drowned rat - hair color: dirty albino) with tears streaming down my pathetic face and his suggestion? Call AAA. And then he shrugged his shoulders.
So ... I had to take the action bull by the horns and I sprinted across the parking lot and around city hall to the fire station. What? You would've done the same. Guarant.
I think the firefighter that came to the door to answer my frantic knocks (rapid fire pounds?) took one look at me and thought that I was going to report that someone had died and was probably pretty relieved when it was just ye old yawny, "toddler locked himself in the minivan" situation. He told me to calm down and then he told me to calm down again and I looked at him with wild eyes and faked some calm before he told me they'd be right there with a truck.
I sprinted back to the scene of the negligent parent crime where I found shoulder shrugger with an umbrella fit for Goliath's patio furniture standing and keeping watch over (a still laughing) Theo. Which made me cry more.
About .03 seconds later I heard sirens and saw flashing lights and out popped an extra large fire truck -- into traffic -- to save crazyhorse's day.
Five fighters popped out of their chariot and had (a still laughing! still waving the keys around!) Theo free from his plight in about 53 seconds flat.
I owe them some baked goods.
And some liquor.
And maybe an apology.
Tell me you've done this.
Or not ... in (sane) hindsight the worst that could've happened would've been that Theo would've been really scared and started crying really hard which would've reshattered my heart after Julia's initial morning shattering. But - the reality was that he was never in any real danger because it wasn't super hot or cold and I really didn't need to go into psycho stage-five-save-my-child's-life-now-or-die mode. But I did. And I blame the pregnant. And my standard everyday barrel FULL of fun self.
And oh! I almost forgot to relay my two favorite parts of the episode:
1. When the rescue squad gave the little rascal a hat for his troubles. Nothing like a little positive reinforcement for the naughty.
2. When I went into the post office after the 8 minutes that shaved 8 years straight off my life expectancy and my buddy (the shoulder shrugger) gave Theo a big smile and said he made him miss his grandson who had to be about the same age as Theo, "around 4, right?" ....