Have you ever said something and cringed as the words came out of your mouth?
“All you had to do was check in. If you had checked in, I wouldn’t have to worry and you wouldn’t get in trouble.”
Christopher has a new friend in the neighborhood and his new friend has a trampoline. I’ve seen enough AFV’s to be scared to get on a trampoline myself. I know I can’t hold his hand or stand by and watch, saying, “Be careful or watch out”. I’ve got to extend the leash. But it’s hard to relax when he’s not here. Now I know how my parents felt.
As much as I hate to admit it, I am carrying on the check in tradition.
Christopher’s first check in was on Monday. I had him put on his watch and I told him what time to be back. When five o’clock arrived, I kept looking out the window and up and down the street. At ten after five, my eyes were narrowing as I looked at my watch. I walked outside and he was riding up the driveway. “Hi mom, am I late? The big hand is on the twelve.” I took his wrist and looked at his watch. We weren’t synchronized. He was on time.
On Wednesday, I started with 30 minute increments. When he came home responsibly, I extended it to forty minutes. Forty minutes passed. Fifty minutes passed. One hour passed. I went outside. If I had a megaphone I could call him from the back porch. I didn’t hear any screaming, no crying, no sirens. Let the boy play. Maybe he misunderstood.
I tried to relax and I started cooking dinner. I hear the front door open and see his face appear. He’s looking at me with stretched, what’s going to happen to me eyes.
I glare, “You are late.”
He says, “I was having too much fun.”
He said with stretched eyes, “We were playing popcorn and I won and his mom gave me this to get a free frosty at Wendy's”, handing me a coupon.
I glare, “All you had to do was check in. If you had checked in, I wouldn’t have to worry and you wouldn’t get in trouble.”
His eyes were even bigger. I was looking at Mini-me through my daddy’s you didn’t check in eyes. That was enough punishment for me and Christopher. I was so taken back by the words that came out of my mouth, the only other words I could mutter were, “Go take your shower”.
Today I started in 30 minute increments again. I said, “I don’t care how much fun you are having, you better check in when the big hand gets on the two.” He appeared in the window of the computer room from outside, sweat beads glistening from his forehead, just staring at me. I sent him on his way with 50 more minutes. “You rule mom! You rock!”