I figured I had another two or three years before it happened. Thought Robbie would at least be able to turn a doorknob to let himself out the front door before he tried to run away. But, no.
Robbie got in trouble for jumping on the furniture just before bedtime. So, after dealing with that issue, I went to the bathroom to start the bath water. When I came back into the living room, I found Robbie halfway down the stairs to our entryway. He looked up at me, said, “Oh, no!”, and started running down the stairs. He slipped, and I took off after him.
When I got to Robbie, I picked him up and gave him a little piece of my mind regarding playing on the stairs. And do you know what Robbie did? He squirmed away from me, yelling, “Bye-bye, Mama!” That’s when it hit me. He was running away.
I gathered myself and told Robbie that I’d be right with him. I dashed upstairs, turned off the bath, and made my way to the entry. Robbie looked at me and flew to the door, which he, ironically, couldn’t open. He turned and looked at me, eager to get away and frustrated that he needed me to help him escape.
I opened the door and he ran to the glass door, opened it, and stepped out into the rain. Which is precisely when he realized he wasn’t wearing any shoes. My little cherub looked up at me and said, “Buzz shoes. Please.” This is where the tough love came in. I looked down at Robbie, protected from the downpour, and said, “I’m sorry. You don’t want to live here anymore, so you don’t have any shoes. You’re going to have to get a job and buy some shoes.”
I expected him to come crawling back, begging me to let him come back inside. But he didn’t. He shut the door in my face with another “bye-bye.” He then proceeded to pace across the front porch in a downpour for five minutes, refusing to come in. I’m sure that if he’d had shoes on (or the weather had been better), he would have actually left the porch.
As it was, I had to drag Robbie back into the house kicking and screaming. And soaked up to his knees. I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll be a better mom. At least good enough to make him not want to leave the house in the middle of a storm. After all, when you’ve hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. Right?