Trust the Gene Genie

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Outtasite, outtamind

I sometimes forget I have a third child. I know, I know, that sounds terrible. But I swear I'm not a bad father. Really. It's just after having only two kids for four years, I forget we've got that third one. I mean, she hardly makes any noise.

It started shortly after we brought her home from the hospital. Becky and I had the girls and we were going grocery shopping at WinCo. We started walking inside and halfway across the parking lot, Becky realized I wasn't carrying the baby. I had left her in the car.

Look, we take the girls to WinCo a lot. I was used to it only being the four of us.

Then, a month or so later, it was Sunday and we were going to church. Which is always a production, trying to get the girls dressed, ready, in the car, out of the car, across the parking lot and into the chapel. We walk to the front and sit down on our pew when Becky, suddenly near-shouts, "Where's the baby?"

Yes, I had once again left her in the car. So I walk back past the entire congregation, out the doors, across the parking lot to the car and retrieve Elsa, who was as happy as could be sitting in her car seat. That was, like, last fall. I haven't forgotten Elsa in the car since. I'm now used to pulling three kids out of the car when we go somewhere.

But I'm not always used to having her at home.

Last Saturday, Becky had left to go run some errands and the girls were taking naps. The weather was nice and as Claire and Leigh awoke, we decided to go try a little visual science experiement I'd picked up the night before at the County Office of Education. You have a picture of the sun, roughly the size of your face and this tiny image of the earth, roughly the size of a pen tip. You stand 75 feet apart and, to scale, replicate the distance of the earth to the sun (96 million miles, in case you were curious).

Well, to do this, we had to leave the apartment and walk across the parking lot to a patch of lawn near the swimming pool. It was fun. Both girls took turns holding the sun and waving at each other from really far away. We walked back to the apartment and got the bikes out of the garage so the girls could ride. At about this point, Becky comes home and sees us milling around in front of the garage and asked how we were doing. All fine, I say, happy to be outside with the girls. She then asks if Elsa is still sleeping, obviously seeing that she's not with us.

And I realize, Elsa's not with us. She is in fact still upstairs sawing logs. I smile at Becky and slip inside like I know what I'm doing and like I've known what I was doing for the past 20 minutes, to check on Elsa. She of course is fine and slumbering peacefully in her crib. Which she continues to do for, like, the next hour.

I'm telling you, the girl is too quiet for her own good. Anyway, needless to say, I'm now really getting used to having a third child. And I'm sure I'll never forget about Elsa ever again. And did I mention my parents once left my youngest sister home alone as the rest of us drove off in the station wagon to spend a week with some relative in some neighboring state? And Becky's parents once left alone her at a park? I'm just saying.


urpy said...

What the CRAP!! For the rest of you readers, you can imagine my shock as I'm reading this story and learning for the first time that he forgot about the baby again and didn't tell me about it. Please don't view this as an indication of the strength of our marriage...

I think you're lucky Elsa wasn't crying in her crib when I came inside or you'd still be facing the wrath of an angry mommy.

But as always, this is an entry I need to print out for Elsa to read some day. Even if it's only to make her feel better about forgetting her future third baby in the car.

ThomG said...

Well, all I can say is good thing Rob's nickname isn't "Butterfingers." See, I think that would be worse. Don't drop the baby.

steph said...

Holy crap, I'm laughing so hard I have tears streaming down my face. My nose is now running as if I have been crying for a while. My favorite is the one of you forgetting Elsa at church. I can just imagine a family coming in and then the hubby leaving and coming back with a baby. It kills me!! That has to be my favorite posting that you have done so far!!!

Kim said...

This post is almost as hilarious and it is horrifying. Did your parents really leave Diana when your family was going out of town? That is classic. I was once left at the bowling alley. I just can't imagine forgetting a BABY. Has Becky ever forgotten her?

Great post Rob.

Urpy said...

Never. I never have and never will forget our precious little baby. I'm the good parent--well--except for all the yelling.

diana said...

As the story goes Mom and Dad got all the kids in the car and were a little ways away when they realized I was in my car home! I think I'm scarred from that. They also left me at a park and came back 20 mins later to find me in the loving arms of a stranger (I was a little older then, but not much). Elsa is really quiet though, not that that is any kind of excuse but seriously! she is a very content child. My little boy (who is roughly the same age) takes three naps a day...30 min each. In fact he's about to get up now so I have to go... I want an Elsa!!!

Anonymous said...

Well -- Diana can identify with Elsa after the "being left at the park" incident.

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