Wednesday, November 14, 2007

She's a Wanderer, yeah a wanderer...she roams around and round....

Kira freaked me right the hell out of my skin last night. We were at Mark's basketball game, and she told me she had to go to the bathroom, and I just did one of the "yeah, fine" things that happens when you are deeply entrenched in the watching of a sporting event involving your child, and so she took off.

And didn't come back.

Eventually at halftime I figured this out, and started looking for her. And looking. And freakin' LOOKING. I looked all OVER the damn school, and out on the playground, and around the building, and through the whole school again, and again, and asked people as I passed if they had seen her (no one had), and was getting more and more frantic, and had asked the principal and the guidance counselor and the custodian and was just about ready to start screaming for someone to find my little girl, when I passed through the gym again on the start of another round, when I saw my parents waving at me from the bleachers and Kira was sitting on my dad's lap. So I went *back* around and told the principal and the custodian and the guidance counselor that I had found her. Turns out the *guidance counselor* found her in the *music room* (which I had looked in, but didn't see Kira), and told her that her mom was looking for her and she'd better get back. By this time I was giddy with relief and the resulting anger (the how-dare-you-scare-your-mother anger).

I had missed part of the third quarter, which pissed me off even more, and I just told Kira that she was in such trouble I didn't want to talk about it right now, and settled it to try to enjoy the rest of the game.

Which wasn't really possible, partially due to the huge surge of adrenaline that had drained me out, and partially because the other team was really stomping on us (pretty literally--very physically aggressive team--they really took our boys to school). At some point our coach decided it really wasn't going to be possible for us to win and he started cycling out the experienced players and putting the newbies out so they could get some minutes and game experience. I thought that was really great of the coach, that it mattered more to him that the team develops than to keep the point spread low (which he could have done if he had kept the veteran team members in). So we lost by a considerable chunk, but the new guys got a taste of game and a few of them really developed visibly, i.e. the kid who whenever he received a pass would stand rooted in spot and immediately pass the ball back out, actually dribbled and tried to bring it to the hoop. That was pretty cool.

Anyway, after some jokes with other adults about fitting Kira with a buzzer that goes off whenever she's more than five feet away (or a GPS chip), at home I spoke seriously with Kira about how unsafe her actions were, and that as a result I am curtailing her ability to wander during events. Now she's going to have to sit right by me during the entire game, and if she has to go to the bathroom, she's going to have to wait until halftime when I can take her. She wasn't really happy about that, but she did understand that what she had done wasn't responsible. And we did the whole hugs-and-I-love-you's and all is well. mk

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