When we got pregnant with GraceAnne the advice came rolling in; and along with it, funny stories about what other moms did in their post-partum deliriums. So many stories were about leaving their child--carseat and all--someplace while they went on as if they'd never had a baby. The prospect of this mistake terrified me and I never laughed at one of those stories. Thankfully, even though I had MONO and was exhausted beyond all measure, we managed to never leave GraceAnne anywhere.
Until today. Of course today is Sunday so we went to church. Actually, it happened like this. We go to church at 9:20am so we can eat breakfast before Sunday School. Violet woke me up at 7am and went back to sleep at 8:15am. I thought, "I can get about an hour of rest if I lay down now!" I was already dressed, and Violet was dressed and bathed. The next thing I remember, Allan is saying to me, "it's 9:20." I just looked at him and he walked out of the room. Violet woke me up at 10am. I went downstairs, found I was alone; checked for the car, saw it was gone. Figured they'd all gone to church and let me sleep. So I decided to plop down on the couch, feed Violet and then strap her to my chest and walk to church. That's what we did and I made it to the church, (about 4 blocks away), around 10:20am. I said 'hi' to lots of people in the fellowship hall who were oohing and aahing over Vi in her front pack and sunglasses. Then I sat down with my class, who all smiled and said 'good morning.' The seat I chose was next to Allan and Trish. After a few minutes, Allan turned to me and asked, "did you bring GraceAnne with you?"
I inadvertantly left my 4-year-old daughter at home. Of course the panic rose up in me immediately and I said "KEYS!" I sprinted out of the church and drove about squalled tires out of the parking lot and drove 50mph home, crying and pleading with God to 'PLEASE let her still be sleeping!'
She wasn't. When I found her she was at the top of the stairs crying silently. I picked her up and carried her into her room and held her and squeezed her and gave her kisses and told her I was so sorry. She said 2 things to me: "Where's Daddy?" and "I wanted you." I managed to get her dressed and her hair combed without crying too much because I didn't want to scare her, but I was a wreck.
After letting her pick her own pretty dress for church and taking her out for pancakes and taking her to Mosaic Madness where she got to make a mosaic unicorn she seems to be okay, but I am still a ball of nerves. What a schmucky mom!
The difference between those women's stories and mine? When they realized they'd left their infants, they went back; only to discover the babies sleeping peacefully in their carseats or playing happily with their hands. When I came back home my baby had been wandering the house calling for her mommy and found no one. She had already moved past the wailing stage, which is always first, and gone to the silently weeping stage--reserved solely for those moments when mom sucks the very worst. Those other babies will have absolutely no recollection of the event whereas I'm praying my baby doesn't have issues of abandonment forever. *sigh* Someone kick me.