"Oh My God! The baby! I forgot the baby!"
I was halfway down the street when those words knocked against the inside of my head and then shot out of my mouth. An elderly lady at the lights nearby chuckled as I leaped into the air (circled her three times - if my movements were being narrated by Robert Munsch) and sprinted back to the community centre where Scarlett was in the drop-off babysitting service.
I left her there an hour earlier to workout and instead of fetching her when I finished, followed a pressing urge for caffeine to Second Cup.
I bounded through the gym doors a free woman, breezed past security staff at the centre and ordered a chai latte.
"Would you like cinnamon on that?" the barrista asked.
"Oh yes," I said, noting the beautiful, sunny day I was about to set into.
I checked for my purse, made sure my credit card was nestled in my wallet. "I've got everything," I said to myself as I left the centre.
Everything except my kid - oh, and my mind. I seem to have lost that, or misplaced it, or forgotten that I had one.
No harm done. My daughter - whose blue eyes light up at the simplest pleasures, like when I show her a roll of toilet paper - was none the wiser and well cared for.
I wonder how long it will take her and Hudson to realize their mother has scrambled eggs for brains?
Hudson might be cluing in.
Many a time have we driven from a parking spot only to hear a "thuuuud, clunk, craaaack," before I remember I left one of his toys, a coffee mug, part of our stroller on the roof of the car instead of packing it IN the car.
"What did you do mummy?" he asks in a sweet voice.
But more than forgetfulness, my fuse is shorter than ever before. I've always had a "problem" controlling my tongue, but time was I had it on a shorter leash.
On our way back from a week-long family vacation to Florida a couple weeks ago
— a highlight of the trip was when Ted turned to me and said "what would I do without you?... Who would feed the kids? I mean, I would hire someone to take care of them and have to remind that person to feed the kids!") —
an entire floor of Miami airport went silent listening to me scream at the top of my lungs and curse in every language I know because we got locked off our flight.
We had finally made it to the check-in line after returning our rental car and navigating our way - me pushing two strollers at once and Ted corralling five pieces of luggage, carry-ons and a car seat - across about 40 miles of airport, when a sleepy-looking American Airlines attendant told us "it's an hour before checkout, you can't get on your plane."
I ran over to one manager, who directed me to another who directed me back to the first guy. He looked at my panicked face and told me to screw off. "First of all," he said, when I begged him for help, mistakenly believing his name was Lewis, "My name's not Lewis..."
I lost it.
"Why is mummy yelling?" I remember Hudson asking Ted.
I'll bet Ted came up with a good answer. His brain totally works. Thank god for that!
.... we had to park our caravan in rainy Florida one more night and do that whole 'getting to plane thing' one more time the next day...