Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Binky Purse and a Lost Lightning McQueen

Have you ever had one of those moments when you would do anything to keep the peace, to stop the crying, to keep your children from killing each other, to keep from killing your children? (figuratively speaking, of course!) Well, I have. And last night was one of them.

Zack was a titch sick and overtired from a long day of summer play sans nap. And when he realized that his Lightning McQueen, the Disney Cars matchbox, was lost, he lost it. Now some kids have blankies, lovies, stuffed animals, and even binkies. Zack has Lightning McQueen, and we’ve probably bought and lost five thus far, all to keep the peace. And those odd times when Lightning doesn’t make it with Zack to the end of the day, I can say, “We’ll find him tomorrow, Son,” and he will, begrudgingly, go to sleep. Not last night.

First Zack fell to the floor and thrashed, crying until he nearly hyperventilated. And then, for 30 minutes, he screamed until his sister and brother started to yell, “Mom, make him stop. We can’t sleep!”

Now I know Dr. Phil would have advised me to let Zack cry it out. Because how long could it take, really, for a three-year old to cry himself to sleep? Hours. Possibly days. So at that moment I would have done anything to end the hysteria and get my sick and tired boy to sleep. I would have fed him marshmallows and kool-aid if it would have helped. I would have promised him a Hummer for his 16th birthday. I would have stripped to my skivvies, painted a face on my belly, and danced on his dresser. But none of those would have worked. Lightning McQueen was all he wanted.

That’s when I remembered a post I once read by Heather B. called "I've been handbagged..." that told of a toddler attached to a purse full of binkies (13, to be exact). After a visit with family, they realized that the binky purse had been left behind. Unfortunately the family lived a ways away and they were nearly home when they made the discovery. Scratch that—when their daughter made the discovery. What followed was a binky debacle that included a meltdown of dizzying proportions and a quick run to a 24-hour drug store for an overpriced purse and 8 packages of binkies. Anything to keep the peace. Ever been there?

So it’s ten o’clock and I’ve reached that point where I’d do just about anything. But I’m certain my Lightning McQueen options are limited. I had to go to three stores before finding the last one, and two of those stores would now be closed. (Note to self: in this case a purse full of Lightning McQueens may be a good idea).

Instead I ran through the last few hours of Zack’s day to determine where, exactly, Lightning McQueen could be. Then I remembered; before dinner sometime he had carried a bucketful of cars to the neighbor’s house to play. I don’t remember seeing Lightning after that.

So call it what you will, tantrum-induced delirium or the urge to follow my mother’s frantic advice, I had become desperate. I was in a dark, dark place, people. So at ten o’clock last night I sent my oldest son to the neighbor’s house in attempts to retrieve Lightning McQueen (I know, it’s shameful. I sent my son to do my dirty work). It’s 10 o’clock, remember, and as soon as Kaleb knocks on the door (by the way, I’m cowering in the garage, watching) I realize their house is pretty dark. Sleeping dark. I try to call him back, stepping from the shadows as I do. In that exact moment the dad answers the door, in boxers and a t-shirt.

We woke up the parents. They woke up their children. And together they searched their playroom for the missing Lightning McQueen. Not only that, but they apologized to Zack (who was, at that point, alternately crying and hiccupping) for not being able to find him. I know, these people must be sainted before the week’s end. Okay, okay--and shame on us for waking them up.

So after all that, I carried Zack to his bed where he finally fell asleep. Yet again proving that Dr. Phil deserves to be as rich as he is (facetious people. I’m being facetious.) Also proving that sometimes temporary insanity is a good defense for bad parenting. And also also proving that parents can choose to be extremely sympathetic when they see another parent reach that breaking point.

Thanks, neighbors.

16 comments:

Karen said...

I'm thinking you need to bake that family a big batch of chocolate chip cookies and take them over when they are still warm. Crazy or not, you did what every mother would have done (or at least thought of doing) in that instance!
Great post! I stumbled it!

pinks & blues girls said...

I am sure every parent has been there! That's why you have more than one kid, right? To make sure you always have an older one to do your dirty work!! :)

Great post! That purse filled with Lighting McQueens may just be your best bet!

Jane, P&B Girls

Mama Zen said...

P&B girls said exactly what I was thinking!

Becky said...

So true...I am guilty of sending the older one to do my work ALL the time. I know there was a reason I waited 8 years to have my 2nd & 3rd children. :)

Candygirlflies said...

Haha!! I am NOT alone!!

It was my post you were reading, about the pacifiers in the purse...

http://icanflyjustnotup.blogspot.com/2007/06/ive-been-handbagged.html

Good luck, my friend. I'm afraid that you and I are BOTH going to need it...

Anonymous said...

I have so been there. Anything for a moment of peaceful sleep. M

shauna said...

Candygirlflies,
I hope you're not offending by my inability to relocate your blog. I'm so glad you commented. I remember initially finding that post through My Minivan, but was unable to relocate you searching through all her past posts--but I'm so glad you visited because I loved your blog and since writing this post have been especially anxious to find you again. So I've changed my post to probably attribute your information. I salute you in all your binky purse glory (may I fill my purse with enough Lightning McQueens to bolster us against the trials ahead).
Shauna

Candygirlflies said...

Just SOOOO delighted you're reading, thanks so much for mentioning my story!!

Your blog is a riot, too-- always enjoy catching up with you.

Keep in touch, and good luck getting your little guy to carry those cars around in a bag... Trust me, it's WAAAAY easier!! (Just DON'T. LOSE. THE. BAG!!!)

CGF xoxo

JaniceNW said...

Hey is Phil ever there when the kid has been screaming for an hour?? Huh?? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. You do what you have to do. Been there, done that.
Hug

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

The things we do for our children...

Poor kiddo!

How about getting a backup, you know, for when this inevitably will happen again!

Angella said...

I would have done the same :)

Thanks for your sweet comment! Looks like we have the 2 boys, 1 girl dynamic in common :)

Gustogirl said...

Haven't we all had moments like this. I am glad you survived and that your neighbors were such good sports!

Mrs. Smith said...

So funny. So true. Oddly enough my four year old son watch the screen transfixed as I read this because of the picture of Lightening McQueen. In his hand? A white car he got from a fast food meal long ago that used to be Lightening McQueen!

Mrs. Incredible said...

You'd better save this post and show it to him when he's older... the things we do for sleep, I mean love.

PS - Thanks for visiting my blog!

pinkmorning said...

great post. i always enjoy reading your blog.

LikeAstaR said...

wya too funny.. WOndering what the draw to lighnting mcqueen is? My nephew loves him -er-- it as well.