“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

Life has been busy here in our Level of Awareness.

Maybe a little TOO busy, and not in that conventional overworked kind of way.

If you are the parent of a toddler I want to share with you a hypothetical situation that may save you almost infinite amounts of grief later. Listen, think, and learn.

Let’s just say, hypothetically, that you are working on A Big Project. A Big Project that, hypothetically, involves your embroidery machine. If you had one. Picture if you will, all your crafty thingies spread out on a craft table in your living room or den or craft room or whatever, with your toddler playing happily at your feet, intermittently watching a video. A nice, wholesome, Disney video. It’s an idyllic scene of domestic bliss.

The one ant in the picnic is that the embroidery machine is a bitchy little piece of machinery, because they must hire cut-rate third-world programmers to write software that run the things. In exasperation, you realize that you must reload, for the fiftieth time, the guidance software for the machine. So you trudge to the upstairs room where such things are kept. And, as you are, in your imaginary situation, a computer and gadget geek, there are many, many of “such things” to sort through. Thankfully, your husband, who is, hypothetically, a bigger computer and gadget geek than you are, comes in from cutting the lawn to find exactly what you have been searching for.

As he hands you the software, he mentions incidentally (and hypothetically) that your son let the dogs out into the yard, and oh-by-the-way, where IS Harry?

There is that long, hypothetical moment where you look at each other in blank stupidity as it dawns on your that your clever little toddler has learned to unlock the outside door locks.

Which, hypothetically, results in wild, panicked, screaming searches of the house and the back yard, with your heart in your throat, and eighty million tableaus, none of which end happily, running through your brain.

At which point, in your scenerio, you cave into the fact that your toddler, who hates being in a room without you, has indeed simply wandered off, and you, the hypothetically WORST PARENT IN THE UNIVERSE, somehow missed that fact.

Oh. But it gets MUCH better than that.


Because, at the point where you are starting your full-scale dogs-and-helicopters assault on the neighborhood, two, count them, TWO, hypothetical police cruisers pull up in front of your house and ask you if you are looking for a lost child.


And who does NOT understand why his mommy, the WORST MOMMY IN THE UNIVERSE, is screaming hysterically, when he had a wonderful adventure with the nice policemen. The nice policemen who brought him home and told his, hypothetical parents, that their precious little bundle was picked up two blocks away, on a street that is notoriously known for speeding cars, and in a few minutes was about to be bundled off to the DHS. The nice policemen who never thought to ASK him where he lived, which he was perfectly capable of telling them – as he later demonstrated with 100% accuracy over fifty times in the next two days. Hypothetically, anyway.

A scene of domestic bliss gone horribly, horribly wrong.

I’m not saying this happened.

But it could.

So you might want to think about it.

April 24th, 2008 at 3:17 pm
15 Responses to “Just a hypothetical…”
  1. 1
    Ray Says:

    I understand how it goes… I had many people return me to my mother who always thought I was dead in a ditch somewhere and If I didn’t check in every hour she was calling the police station and the hospitals. It’s all in the name of adventure.

    Doesn’t help you though does it.

    Wait until he’s 16 and the police bring him home then you’ll need to worry.. Or the Father of his girlfriend brings him home.

  2. 2
    Moose Says:

    I always knew he would be getting a ride home in the back of a police car eventually. I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

  3. 3

    That is Hypothetically Horrible and Hilarious.

  4. 4
    jodifur Says:

    Did they report you to DCFS? They would here.

  5. 5
    OS Says:

    Oh, heart in throat. I know that feeling. Just last week Puppy figured out how to get to the keys and open the deadbolts. If you figure out how to Houdini proof the house, let me in on the secret, k?

  6. 6
    Harp Says:

    Yeah so when I was 11, my entire family and I were skiing in colorado. I took the second exit off the ski lift. They did not. (I was behind them and …not paying attention…) I waited at the bottom of the hill for 10 minutes and trudged off to the room. 3 hours go by, in which a full scale search is begun. Ski Rangers. Dog teams. Helicopter. They burst in on me happily watching cartoons. Didnt go anywhere by myself on vacation for years after that. My mom still brings it up.

  7. 7

    Ah. Aha. HA! HAHA!

    Hee hee hee hee!

    Whoop! Whoop.



    Rest assured – this will be funny to you one day. (Judging by how funny it is to me NOW.)

    Honest, I’m laughing AT you, not with you.


  8. 8
    magpie Says:

    Oops. Good thing all’s well, and yes, you will laugh about this one day.

    A police car, huh? Wow.

  9. 9
    Fianna Says:

    I agree, this is a great story that will be funny after a while. I bet Harry had a big time with the police.

    My mom could trade stories with you. Apparently I was a sleepwalker who liked the outdoors. Mom said I woke her up fumbling with the door knob. So my grandfather installed a slide bar lock at the top of all the doors where I couldn’t reach them. Something to think about.

  10. 10
    Steph Says:

    You haven’t told any of the grandparents yet, have you? Because you know what this is … this is full flowering of the curse. You know the curse …

    “I hope your children are JUST LIKE YOU WERE.”

    And yet, I found him coming home in a cop car faintly anticlimatic. After all, he was alone with a sewing machine … I expected a hospital trip to remove needles.

    In all seriousness, I’m glad everything turned out okay. And thanks for sharing.

  11. 11
    Maudeleyn Says:

    Long time reader-first time comments. This hasn’t happened at our house-yet. I’m fully expecting it any time now. And I was just remembering the other day what it was like when my little guy was an infant and I spent sleepless nights worrying that he might turn himself over and stop breathing, and then worrying about falling when starting to walk, and I just thought to myself, wow, I wonder what the next worry will be. I think I have an idea . . .

    I’m glad everything turned out okay.

  12. 12
    gerbil Says:

    Hypothetical chaperoning of Brownie scouts on a hypothetical Bay Bridge Walk here.. with my hypothetical then 5 year old wandered off while i was tying someone’s shoe… and the other chaperones weren’t paying attention. And when he realized he’d seperated himself from us, he SAT DOWN AS I’D TAUGHT HIM. and some well meaning dumbass carted him off to find a police car. so instead of my finding him in two minutes, it took 35. hypothetically.

    and i am going to nail our front door shut.

  13. 13
    Deirdre Says:

    That was hysterical! Even before I scrolled down and figured out who you are. hehehehe…..
    can I add you to my blogroll?

  14. 14
    Veronica Says:

    That was scary.

    My father, when he was five, left the amusement park his family was at and began walking home along the highway. A county surveyor stopped him and took him back to the park and his parents.

    I am so glad he came home to you safely.

    There is no parent to whom such things can never happen. You only find out your kid can work the locks when they do it the first time.

  15. 15

    […] Today, parents are afraid to leave their kids in the car while they run in and pay the bill.  Not that they’re afraid of the children getting hurt.  They’re afraid of some busybody seeing kids left alone and calling the police, who will immediately call Child Protective Services.  In fact, one of the best parents I know came within a hair of CPS being called because her son had learned to work a doorknob. […]