My Mom tells the story of the time (when I was a toddler) that she looked away from me for just a moment, and I was gone. She’d been hanging clothes on the line, and I had been playing at her feet. But in a flash, I’d run off to have an adventure more exciting than hanging laundry.
I remember chuckling a little to myself when I heard that story over the years. Surely she exaggerated! I probably wasn’t all that fast, I’d thought. Mom was probably distracted and not paying attention.
But THEN the years passed, and I had a little firecracker of my own. As a mother myself, I've now come to realize that it truly can take just a moment for all sorts of near-disasters to occur.
This morning I received a reminder of just how quick little arms and legs (and clever little minds) work.. I was sitting on the sofa, perusing a cook book recently checked out from the library. Will was playing with a wooden puzzle on the coffee table in front of the sofa. He abruptly stopped his puzzle, and ran into the kitchen.
I called after him, but received no reply.
I closed my book (marking my page), set the book on the coffee table, stood and walked into the nearby kitchen to see what Little Guy was up to. One minute (maybe one and a half) had passed since he'd run off.
I entered the kitchen fully expecting to see my Little Guy hiding under the table or playing with the radio dial (typical games for him). However, that was not the case. When I spied what he was doing, let me tell you – my heart jumped in my chest (I feel certain this is just how my Mom felt when I suddenly disappeared all those years ago). There was Willie, sitting cross-legged upon the opened dishwasher door, carefully moving knives from one of the silverware compartments to another.
I yelped, “WILLIAM! GET DOWN THIS INSTANT!”
He casually tossed the last butter knife into it’s new place, dismounted from his perch, grinned, and then before I could even pick him up – he’d run off again. And again, I followed - though admittedly a little faster this time.
Lessons learned today:
1. Always trust your Mother. She speaks the truth.
2. Don’t let a toddler out of your sight (even for a minute)
3. Always lock the dishwasher when not in use
4. Wear running shoes
Note: Image is from a Victorian era postcard by Raphael Tuck