There we were, leaving Jenny Craig. I had my hands full with grocery bags, the very ones Robbie promised to carry to the car as my helper. We were discussing whether or not he would get a balloon at the grocery. I’d promised him one if he was good during my appointment, and his behavior was debatable. At best.
All of a sudden, he took off down the sidewalk and turned at our car. Behind our car. And kept running. My heart was in my throat. I couldn’t get to him fast enough. Bags were strewn everywhere. I was screaming, “No! No! No!” at the top of my lungs. And. He. Just. Kept. Going.j
I grabbed him a few seconds before a car flew down the road. Someone from across the street had stepped into the road to stop traffic coming the other way. I didn’t even have the where-with-all to acknowledge the stranger’s kindness. All I could think about was how close we came to another tragedy.
I wish I had been able to handle it with patience. With some sort of dignity. But all I could do was scream at my child to stop and panic when he didn’t.
We had a very long “conversation” behind the car. And, after all of that, he had the nerve to ask me if he could still have a balloon. It was all I could do to maintain my sanity. At what point do they get it? Do they ever get it? Are all children fearless? Or just boys? Or, God help me, just mine?
I’m beginning to realize how important it is that Justin and I monitor our every move. After all, why wouldn’t Robbie run into the street? Justin and I barely pause when we cross, being as adept as we are at crossing the street.
Robbie does deserve some credit… When we got to the store, he told me about all the balloons (Santa, Elmo and a snowman, etc.). I could tell he desperately wanted one, but he didn’t dare ask. He just commented on them and said, “Hair cut. Balloon.” And I agreed that, yes, he would have another chance tomorrow at getting a balloon if he was a big boy and didn’t cry during his haircut. So, he sat back with new resolve, and talked all about his haircut tomorrow. We’ll just have to make sure we look both ways before crossing the street.