I’m talking on the phone, ignoring my kids. They’re supposed to be getting ready for bed. Vivian, who is already clad in red fleece pajamas, is hanging out two inches from my face, trying to get my attention.
“Hang on a sec,” I say to my friend.
“Vivian,” I snap. “Go brush your teeth.”
She stubbornly shakes her head.
I put my hand over the phone’s mouthpiece, so that I can keep up the pretense that I’m a mother who’s in control. “Go,” I say, resorting to single syllable sentences. “Now.”
I resume the conversation with my friend and watch Vivian leave the room, dejected.
A few minutes later, William bounds into the room, clad in mismatched pjs.
“Where’s Vivian?” he asks.
I shrug and struggle to multitask. I start a game of charades so I don’t interrupt my friend. I mime brushing my teeth.
“Nope,” William says. The kid’s good at interpreting body language.
Then I cover the receiver again and say the following:
Laughter comes from the phone. My friend heard my comment. So much for my pretense of normalcy.
William continues, “I checked the closet. She’s not there.”
Vivian doesn’t usually opt to hang out in dark closed spaces, but two days ago, in another Vivian search, we found her when we opened her closet door. She was sitting on a shelf, crying, trying to hide hurt feelings.
I apologize to my friend and begin the first step of any parental search-and-rescue plan: I yell Vivian’s name.
Eventually William finds her. In the time out chair. Eventually I hang up the phone. And eventually I give her the cuddle she so desperately wants.
It’s Whiteboard Wednesday, so I have to ask:
What bizarre statements have you said, heard, or read this week?