We have all seen, met or even known one of “Those Moms.” A mother who lets her child roam around the playground, for example, for the most-part unattended and unsupervised. A mother who pays no attention to her child who may be bullying or hurting another child, intentionally or not. The mother who is too busy chitchatting away with her friends, so engrossed in conversation she temporarily forgets she has children, or simply assumes other mothers will keep a watchful eye on her child. I have been known to shout out a “hang on!” or a “wait a sec!” to a child dangling from monkey bars or in mid-cartwheel, but I try to have an eye on all of them. (This does prove difficult at times when I only have 2 eyes, but three children.) I, admittedly, have looked up, mid conversation, to ask aloud “where’s Alexander?” Christopher is usually kicking the soccer ball around with his friends, Rebecca is never up to anything bad and Alexander has a tendency to wander from place to place. He usually has an entourage comprised of Christopher’s friends and the playground is safe and enclosed and there is no way he can run off, but still he is Alexander and we can not let him out of our sight…
Yesterday morning we were at the skating rinks for Rebecca’s lesson. I had all three with me as Don was out of town. Christopher had his Nintendo DS and I knew he would stay busy with that. (He lost arcade $$ privileges because he couldn’t get his act together on time yesterday morning causing Rebecca to be a few minutes late.) I had lots of things to help entertain Alexander who can be nightmarish there. He always wants to take the elevators (it’s a double-decker ice rink!) or the stairs up and down, up and down. And while I usually let him have a little fun I do not like Rebecca to be unsupervised (by me) on the ice.
I started out with a game plan that worked very well. We all sat at the counter, on the high stools, overlooking the rink. I indulged the kids in junk. Christopher chose a chocolate covered donut with fall-colored sprinkles, and Alexander chose a pink frosted donut with fall colored sprinkles. Christopher ordered a small hot chocolate and Alexander a small chocolate milk (whole milk, milkshake-like!) The boys settled in nicely. Christopher attacked his donut with a vengeance (such treats are not commonplace here!) and Alexander guzzled down his milk, licked some of the frosting off the donut and decided he’d had enough.
Eventually Christopher went to check out the games he was not allowed to play and Alexander and I kept busy with some of his alphabet toys and then index cards, pens and stickers. We made up a game. We would place the stickers (circles of varying colors) on the index cards and have to turn them into pictures. We came up with a car (very Beetle-like), a triple–decker ice cream, a flower, Alexander holding a couple of balloons, etc… This surprisingly kept him totally engaged and on my lap. I did not let him down until Eileen, Rebecca’s private skating coach, appeared through the window. I put Alexander down to talk with her about starting our private sessions again. I kept peering around the corner nervously checking on Alexander who was standing by the sliding doors. All of a sudden I hear a shriek that is just like Alexander’s and run out to see the lower part his arm stuck in the sliding door. I guess he had been standing off to the side when someone walked though the double doors, causing them to open and getting stuck on Alexander’s little arm. Before I could even get to him two men pulled the door off of his arm. I pulled him up to me and hugged him as hard as I could immediately imagining the worst. We had been so lucky. But for some minor swelling, redness and a small scratch his chubby little hand was OK… Honestly, I would love to say this will never happen again, but we all know Alexander, and even if he was the only child under my watchful eye he would find trouble or trouble would find him and with magnetic power he would be pulled to it. Alexander’s nickname is Owie. It is quite fitting.