Wednesday, March 7, 2012
As I said the other day, the moment we entered The Skokie Exploratorium, Elijah took off to become leader of the Jungle Gym People.
It was impossible to track him the whole time. So, while hanging with Luca, my panic rested at about 15%, while occasionally jacking up to 88%. At which point I’d whip my head around the room, desperately trying to spot Eli’s floppy blond mop among the other 100 floppy blond mops in the rafters and nets and slides.
I tried to tell myself it was virtually impossible for him to be kidnapped at the Exploratorium. The parents were there to get a break from their kids and the thought of taking home an additional one was as appealing as driving a nail into their kneecaps. And there was a little gate with a tricky latch at the entrance, which everyone knows is a kidnapper’s Achilles heel.
But still. If I lost him, that would be it. Game over. I would cease any and all function as a human being.
At one point, I hadn’t seen him in a few minutes and I thought, “I’ll count to twenty. If I don’t see him by the time I count to twenty I’ll freak out.” 17…18…19…floppy blond head. Whew.
On the ride home, I wondered if anyone had talked to Eli about strangers.
“Eli. What would you do if someone you didn’t know tried to take you?”
“I’ll kick them and say, ‘Get away from me!’ and run away.”
Oh, good. Clearly Diana is ahead of this. But I continued my pop quiz.
“What if the stranger had candy and said you could get chocolate if you came with him?”
“I don’t like chocolate.”
“What if they had all the Star Wars movies and a bunch of Star Wars toys? Would you go with them?”
“Oh yes. Definitely.”
Wrong wrong wrong. I explained that no matter what a stranger said or did, if he (or she) wasn’t clearly sanctioned by mommy or daddy, he was to never, ever go with them. Ever. Never. Ever.
“Dad, can I play games on your phone?”
This was his was of saying “Message received, father. I will never go with a stranger. For no other reason than to make sure you don’t go insane.”