Friday, August 5, 2011

Closet Time-Out

I hope no one needs me today because I'm in a time out.

Not one of those "Mommy-needs-a-break" time outs, which I do need, but one of those "Mommy-made-a-bad-mistake" time outs.  The kind of time out I give Cael, except that this time it is for me and I completely deserve it.

I've been on my own for the last few days, and although I'm used to handling the boys alone, I am extremely bored and miss having someone in the house to relieve me, allowing me to pee or bathe in peace.  I don't know how single mothers do it-- they all must have less inquisitive children than I do, or they've invested in a high-gauge steel deadbolt for the bathroom door.

But aside from the need for some "me" time, I've been a bit frazzled by what has been the longest stretch of the worst behavior from both boys simultaneously.  And just in case you're keeping track, it's been one hundred forty-seven hours of screaming, throwing tantrums, refusing to eat, begging to eat, pooping both on the potty and off and a general attitude of "go pump your pistons" toward me, their adoring mother.  I've been busy with work around the house, a number of projects for friends and family, and I finally, accidentally-- dropped one of the proverbial balls I was juggling.

It was a big Mommy mistake.  Big.

While the boys were napping on Wednesday, I decided to knock a few items off my to-do list.  One of the things I wanted to work on was some weeding and maintenance of my backyard flowers that have multiplied like a major leaguer on performance enhancing drugs.  I put my can-get-dirty shoes on, grabbed my sunglasses and headed outside when I had a thought.

Oh, shoot.  Cael's gonna freak.

I knew that Graham wouldn't care because he was sleeping soundly in his crib and couldn't get out until I retrieved him.  But Cael is free to leave whenever he wakes up, which as of late has become impossible to predict.  If I need to be outside during his nap, I will normally prep him in advance to come find me, but today's decision was made on a whim.

No problem, I'll just leave him a note.

I scribbled out a note and tiptoed into his room.  He was out hard; his little arm wrapped tightly around Bloose as though he were a life preserver.  I quietly taped the note to the inside of his door, and headed out to work on the flowers.

Almost two hours later, I thought it was a little odd that I hadn't seen him.  I'd poked my head in the house every 20 minutes or so and glanced at his door, but the house was still quiet and my curly-headed wombat was no where to be seen.  I assumed he was worn out from tormenting me all day, and began to return to the backyard when I had one of those gut-wrenching feelings of panic.

Cael. Cant. Read.

I ran inside and threw open his door to find that he was not in his bed.  How long had he been up?  I ran through the house calling him, but didn't hear anything.  Was he in my room?  Nope.  Was he in the bathroom?  Nope.  The kitchen?  Nope.  The garage?  Nope.  I sat on the couch for a moment to collect myself and tried to think of where he might go if he got loose outside.  Would he go next door?  Does he know how to get to Papa's house?  Is he headed to Boone to ride the steam engine?

Just as I grabbed my phone to call someone to stay at my house while I scoured the neighborhood, I heard a sound.  Rustle.  I walked in the direction of my bedroom, which I'd already checked, and heard the sound again.  Rustle.  I could hear that it was coming from the walk-in closet, so I headed over there and opened the door.

"MOM-MY!!!" (Shouted between sniffles)

"Cael!  Are you okay, honey?"

"Yes.  Where were you?!?"

"I was outside working in the flowers.  I'm sorry you couldn't find me... but why are you in here?"

"I was supposed to go to the closet."

"Who told you to go to the closet?"

"There was a story on my door about a person and the person went in the closet."

There was a story about a person on his door?  --And just then I remembered my note, and how at the bottom I'd drawn a little picture of me outside the door.  Or to Cael, in the closet.

"Mommy just wasn't thinking, honey, I'm sorry."

"Okay.  Can I watch a Thomas?"

"Yes you can!"

And with that, my big boy stood up and headed downstairs.  Once standing, I could see that he was not wearing shorts or underpants and had on one of Daddy's neckties. 

"Wait, Cael.  Why aren't you wearing pants?"

"Because, Mommy.  You just don't wear underpants in the closet."

Whatever, dude.  I'm just glad those cheekers are safe.


  1. LOL....I'm seriously laughing so hard I have tears! Bless his little heart haha


  2. I'm such a bad mom! :) But thankfully he bounces back pretty quickly. Let's hope he doesn't remember this forever!

  3. OMG Isaac and I are cracking up while reading this! That is so funny and sad at the same time. I can't believe he wasn't wearing pants and put on a necktie -- apparently he wasn't THAT distraught! You are not a bad mommy! We all have moments like this, don't worry! You are such a wonderful writer!

  4. Natasha- I wish I'd gotten a pic of him in the closet. He had the tie "on" by wrapping it around his neck 3 or 4 times like a scarf. It was so cute and weird at the same time!

  5. That is amazing! I love his interpretation of your picture.


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.