Corpse Flower, Missing Kid , and a Maimed Leg

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You guys, we know how to have fun around here.

Like really have fun.

I made my kids move this morning so we could beat the crowds (hey, you never know – there could be other weirdos out there!) and get to Foster Botanical Gardens to see the Corpse Flower in bloom.

It was worth it.

The smell of dead fish.

The brown, rotting flesh of the blooming flower that towered over me.

The looks on my kids’ faces, confirming what they’ve suspected all along: their momma is a nutcase.

I wrangled Sweet M into the stroller because hey! He’s 2 and a little cray cray and he also insisted on wearing his shark slippers (though that was short lived and he eventually broke free and went shoeless like the feral little person he is).

After we finished waiting in line to see the Corpse Flower (yes, there really was a line!), they got to run free amongst the gardens with some of their friends who joined us.

It’s been pretty crummy weather here all week. Chilly, cloudy, sprinkling here and there. I know, not even fair to complain when it could be snow like back in the Midwest, but I guess we are acclimated now, so.

Our tiny kid gang was roaming free, but in a group, and I suddenly realized I couldn’t spot…wait for it…Wait…can you guess which child I lost? I mean, it’s not even a surprise, right?

Sweet M. No where to be seen.

He loves to hide these days so I didn’t go into automatic panic mode, assuming he was hiding behind one of the larger trees. But once I ascertained he in fact was not, my heart started to creep into my throat.

Well, fuck.

Only six months into this 4 kid thing and I’d lost one. I’m still not sure if I was congratulating myself for having made it 6 months or lamenting it in that moment, to be honest.

Sheesh.

I started yelling his name calmly. I’ve learned that I’m super calm and level headed in genuine moments of panic. It never fails to surprise me when it’s all done and over, because I feel wild and unleashed in those moments. Alas.

Suddenly I spotted him near the entrance, another momma and her crew talking to him. Sweet M was all chill and calm and I stared running for him because he seemed like he was a million miles away and I hadn’t seen him in years and I couldn’t believe that in the blink of an eye I’d lost him and oh my gosh.

He saw me and immediately burst into tears, the impact of his baby’s day out coming to an understanding. I think in that moment he realized he hadn’t been surrounded by a single person he knew, and he sprinted his tiny toddler legs to me and threw himself in my arms.

I wanted to burst into tears, but figured one of us should keep our cool, and it didn’t appear it was going to be the 2 year old.

So I scooped him up and mouthed “thank you” to the momma who’d been hanging with him and she smiled and took off with her kids. Probably to see the Corpse Flower. It’s all the rage right now.

Then after my nerves returned to a somewhat stable place and we were back with our friends, Miss H, sitting at a picnic table, suddenly said “ow, I scratched my leg.” She wasn’t too upset so I didn’t think much about it, but my friend looked closer and said there were splinters.

I walked over to look, and I’m not even going to lie, I’m so mad I attended to her before taking a photo of the gnarliness.

It was so much more than a splinter. Somehow she’d brushed her leg against a thick, thorny stick and had large thorns embedded in her leg. Some were in there like arrows and I am still amazed I removed them with my fingernails.

She was an absolute champ. I mean, she wasn’t thrilled, but she sat there and let me remove them all.

We finished our morning shenanigans with invading Zippy’s with our nine kids who seemed to mostly keep themselves composed (you guys, seeing my big kids function in society gives me so much hope that one day all of my kids will be a part of functioning, upstanding society and not completely feral. Just saying.)

Now it’s back to a lazy afternoon of baby cuddles, rain, school work, and maybe a movie.

Oh yeah, and I drank a whole coffee milkshake from Zippy’s with my kids being none the wiser so I didn’t have to share a single sip – so I’m calling today a win!

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