A missing child scare leads to wicked fantasies

We had our first missing child scare yesterday. After school, Sydney goes to a neighbor's house and starts her homework. When we pulled up, the neighbor came out and asked if we had her. No...and that panic that parents feel, but we haven't really been exposed to, kicked in. Gallons of adrenaline were pumping in our house as we tried to come up with a plan. Rob left to go to the school to see if she'd missed her bus and I started calling the bus system to ask if the bus was late. They didn't answer, but the message gave a number for emergencies and like a big parental idiot, I called it and talked to the school district police. The person that answered was reassuring me and explaining that it's the first day of school and things are running late, but she'll also try to follow up with the bus system and call me back. That's when Sydney walks in the door, cool as a cucumber and announces "I'm ho-ome". I apologized to the police and thanked them for everything they'd done, which amounted to helping me be calm.

"Where have you been?!?!?!?!"
"Buses were running late." and the confused look on her face let me know she was telling the truth.

I called Rob and he headed home and about 15 minutes later, we were ready to hear all about her day. And, she talked and talked and talked for over 2 hours. The poor thing got so frustrated because she had so many things to tell us, and scattered in there were things we needed to do. She hated that we kept stopping her to ask questions.

We also found out that volleyball practice is after school, 4 days a week, starting today. TODAY???? And, the coach only allows one excused missed practice. WHAT??? She already has a dr's appt scheduled for after school next week. I'm not rescheduling that to take her out of class. That ain't right. So, we'll see. I told Sydney to tell the coach she already had an appt and I won't reschedule. If the coach has a problem with that...well, we'll see. Not gonna borrow trouble. And, the coach strikes me as a little hellcat, so I don't want to have to cross her unless it's important.


This morning, Sydney came out in a black t-shirt and black jeans. Now, I'm as in favor of letting my kid express herself as the next caring parent, but jeez, black? In the hottest part of summer? When it's 106* outside? When I commented (note I commented and didn't send her back to change) she said she only had two shirts that would satisfy dress code.

At this point, I marched to her room and counted 9 shirts that were not black and fit dress code. There were more that were black and there were more that had school logos on them.

That's when I had my first wicked fantasy of the day. I fantasized about taking my good sharp sewing scissors to that black shirt and making her wear lavender.

Then, when we got back to breakfast preparations, she just leaned against the counter like she was impatiently waiting on a servant.

My second fantasy was shredding some paper, cooking it in water and force feeding it to her.

This is what it must be like to parent a 7th grader. At least I'm finding it less and less necessary to shout. I find myself smiling privately as I fantasize about exactly what I'd like to do to her (if there were no witnesses.)

Have a great Tuesday. Lane


Vesuviusmama said...

I completely understand the panic - I had a missing child incident with my 7-year old last year for a full hour before I found him at a neighbor's house. When he opened the door at her house, I couldn't even speak - I just cried.

I can kinda understand your fantasies, too. I have them, although mine don't usually involve bodily harm - they involve me living my life alone in my own quiet, neat as a pin house where I only have myself to worry about. I know that, in reality, I'd be lost without my family, but that doesn't stop me from fantasizing. It keeps us healthy and sane, I say!

Sunshine said...

Grins, just think, it's only Tuesday, you'll be able to have a calendar of fantasies - one a day tear away calendar :)


Linda said...

Giggle, you could probably sell that calendar to a lot of people!!

My missing child nightmare goes baqck many, many years! Believe it or not, I found her tucked in the corner of my H2O bed!!! I had looked in that room at least 3 times before I found her. I still remember the panic!

Hang in there, they do grow up!
Lurking Linda

JoAnne said...

My daughter is now 23 and self-reliant, BUT I used to doubt it would happen back in middle school days. I can tell you what you probably already know: Choose your battles! I think you did great today. There was one day when I did use my scissors on a shirt of my daughter's. I had told her it was inappropriate to wear to school and she snuck it anyway. I cut it up right in front of her. I set guidelines for apparel and let her know clearly what they were. If she chose to buy something outside those guidelines, she would not be able to return or exchange it--I would cut it up, too. Since I demonstrated that I could do that, she got the message. She also spent a good deal of middle school dressed in black and one whole year wearing a dreadful black jacket nearly everyday. She said she did it to keep from "standing out" too much.
The other big issue we had was in high school. Nothing is worse than being in the company of a sulky teenager who doesn't want to be with you as you "do something together." Finally, I told her that she could choose to go or not to go, BUT there would be certain functions she had to attend and I expected her to not be sulky. It worked really well. In fact, I think that us not expecting her to go actually got her to go and have a good time more often than if it was an issue. Anyway, good luck! And keep up with the fantasies!

Elizabeth said...

Lane, you truly are wicked ;).

xo -E

Becky said...

Good job, Lane!! Black in itself isn't so bad, but the all black Goth types just make me cringe. I know they are trying to express themselves, but can't they just draw a picture....or write a story???!!!! lol

Coloradolady said...

How many days left of this school year?!?!? LOL
My, what a day and a scare you have had....I would have freaked!

Good luck with the schedule from here on out....sports are so great for kids...but this is TEXAS and well...sports takes the lead in this grand state! Volleyball is a great sport, my daughter played through high school! You will all have a great time going to all the games....it is a lot of fun!

Love your fantasies....I have had a few myself!

Mamma Bears Fault said...

Imagine the fantasies you would have if you had up to 100 of that age per day? The joy of teaching Middle School - I know, I should be listed as clinically insane :)

It is refreshing to know that you did actually panic, and have concern when you thought Sydney was missing - I see so many worthless parents. Harsh, but unfortunately very true.

Continue to be patient (I know, it gets VERY HARD) but someday the wiring in Sydney's brain will actually connect to all the right places and the over-abundance of "drama-trauma" will have been worth it...well most of it :)

Take care - Elizabeth

lw said...

I used to fantasize about riding off into the sunset (leaving the teenagers behind) on a Harley. My plan was to get jobs playing saxophone in sleazy dives, get drunk a lot and not phone home...but then I went right back to washing laundry, explaining to teens why they couldn't have boys spend the night, and asking why all the clothing had to be black.

Cynthia L. said...

I love that you have fantasies about the torture you would inflict on Sydney. In fact I think you should save up a weeks worth and have a blog theme "Fantasy Friday" I am sure all parents could relate!

There were times I had to walk away from The Baby and do a lot of breathing before I could face her again. You and Rob are good parents and this too shall pass.