Thursday, May 22, 2008

Worst Parenting EVER!


"Mark, I don't want to leave my purse in the stroller parking, so can you grab Teddy while I dig my purse out from all the stuff shoved into the bottom of the stroller?" I persisted.
"Why do you keep asking me that?!? Don't worry, we won't leave one of the boys behind."
I could tell my constant worry and nagging was starting to bother Mark, but in a place as vast and open for child napping as Disneyland, I couldn't help but worry. There are, what seems to be, millions of kids running this way and that, pointing excitedly at the next ride or rushing toward the already crowded Mickey standing on the corner with a hundred kids pushing and shoving in line for that infamous photo. Any awestruck child could easily be separated from his family and within seconds be out of earshot and eyesight! This thought of horror rang though me like an off tune chord. Like any mother, I dreaded the thought of losing one of my children.

I took special precautions to ward off one of my children getting lost in the crowd. Days before we left for Disneyland, I purchased flaming bright red shirts in coordinating sizes to each of my 3 boys and green sweat shorts...sure, they looked like miniature walking Christmas trees, but I would be sure to see those trees being taken or slipping away into the crowd. Each of my boys was also attired with matching sunglasses and a green ball cap. From their comfortable walking sandals to their Holiday screaming attire, these boys had the Summerill stamp. NO WAY would I lose one of them at Disneyland.

As the day wore on, and our feet tired, our run from ride to ride changed to a slow walk. The sun was slowly setting in the California haze and the magical paved roads of Disneyland glistened with a magical gold glow. I felt so happy to be sharing such a joyous time with my family and parents...did I forget to mention that my dear mom was our 'fast' ticket to all the rides. Unfortunately for her, she is handicapped by her aching, hurting, muscle confused feet; so as she putted along in her electric wheelchair, we toted behind to jump the long lines. We saved Autopia (the lawn mower engine, car ride) for last because there wasn't a short line for handicap access. For this ride, she would have to wait in line like everyone else. When the sun started to lower in the sky, and we had exhausted ourselves on nearly every other ride in the park, we made our way to Autopia.

I could see that even though the day had worn on, the line had not shrunk at all. I noticed many others also making their way towards the entrance of the ride. We were not going to be spared a long line at all, so I quickly maneuvered the stroller into the family friendly stroller parking.
"Mark, grab Teddy while I grab my purse, ok?!?" Mark rolled his eyes at me, obviously he was as tired of my reminder as my feet were of walking through Disneyland. I dug through the contents of the stroller, double checking that I had my purse and any other valuables in hand. My dad, mom and boys headed toward the ride, and I rushed over with my purse firmly secured. Next to having one of my boys taken, my next biggest fear was losing my purse. I clutched it close to my body and ran up the ramp.
It had been years since I had been on this ride, and I couldn't help but notice the changes they had made. Now to line up for the cars, you had to walk up a long ramp, cross a bridge over the race course and weave through a maze of bars and chains designed to keep long lines in order. As we neared the top of the long ramp, my Dad leaned over and asked, "Where's Teddy?"
"With Mark." I uttered without a second thought.
"Mark's right here." Dad said.
I looked over at Mark, then back to my dad then back to Mark. At first I felt confused as I scanned the ramp around us, and then horror filled my eyes as I looked over Mark's shoulder, down to the end of the ramp to the stroller parking. As I squinted my eyes to scan the area at least 25 yards away, I could see two tiny kicking legs in bright green shorts passing their time IN THE STROLLER!
I bolted down the ramp. Mark bolted down the ramp, passing me. Dad stayed and slowly shook his head in fatherly disappointed shock.

Luckily no harm had come to our 18 month old toddler as he playfully kicked his legs back and forth in the stroller waiting for his parents to remember him. Mark apparently mistook my extra long acquisition of my purse, for me grabbing my purse and Teddy. He thought I must have been grabbing him, and took the other boys up the ramp to secure our place in line. I fought the urge to yell, I told you so, and continued to enjoy myself and the ride. Needless to say, I kept my eye on Teddy for the rest of the evening, and Mark didn't complain once more about my friendly 'reminders'.


Unknown said...

Life would be without all of its "excitements" if husbands always listens to their wives. :-) My question is how did Mark out run you...

The Van Leeuwen Family said...

That is such a classic disneyland story! I'd prob freak out though. I only have 1 little one & some days I'm shocked he doesn't get left places with as absentminded as I've been lately.

Junior and Marissa said...

You can't say you're a parent unless you've left one of your children somewhere. One of these times you'll have to ask my dad about leaving Janessa in her carseat, in a locked car and not realizing what he did until a considerable time later when he heard his name announced over the p.a.

Jerin said...

Ha - you think you had a scare. My parents lost me in Tijuana when I was 4. I still remember we were separated for quite a while before the police picked me up, took me across town to the station and later reunited me with my parents. It might have been avoided if my Dad had your Disneyland experience first.

Leslie said...

I think the moral of the story here is to invite your older sister to come along as an extra kid tender. I'd totally leave my kids at home to go to Disneyland with someone elses kids, ha ha!

John Ivie said...

hey, isn't that two for you erin?! First at the pool in Hawaii with the famous guy and now Disneyland? You are gonna give Teddy a complex:-)J/K:-)

A. said...

See.. now this wouldn't have happened if you guys would have waited for us. :P

I'm with Judy... how DID Mark out run you?

Rach said...

Ok I can just picture Teady in the stroller kicking his feet, singing songs to himself and laughing at the other people passing by. OH what a horrible feeling!! But a funny thought!! Glad there was no bad ending.

JoMamma said...

That will teach him. He should be talking in no time. His first full sentence will be "Mom... Dad... wait I'm still in the stroller".

Mariko said...

Erin, just yesterday I was washing my dishes and Amaya made it over down the road and around the corner to the Wrathall's, by herself. I frantically ran around both houses and looked in every corner, and when I realized she must have gone outside a man was carrying her up my driveway. I felt crazy lucky that it wasn't some weirdo who found her walking in the street by herself with her mom nowhere in sight.

Carterista said...

Teddy will surely be a well-adjusted child.

Nikki said...

Omigosh how scary!! I am so grateful we haven't been through this yet. I'm a bit overly-paranoid though.

Peggy Eddleman said...

You'll have to tell Teddy "thanks" when he gets older for being such a great source of enjoyable stories for the rest of us!

Unknown said...

This is why I ignored people's harsh comments and evil glares as we paraded around disneyland with our children on child harnesses attached to Beau's backpack...I have pics on my blog from the adventure!

Unknown said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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