This morning after the Zella’s mom cancelled for babysitting (poor Zella has the flu 🙁 I decided to take a shot in the dark and call same day for childcare at Bally’s usually difficult to get. They actually had an opening from 10am-11am so I jumped on it. Usually what happens at Bally’s is that Anni cries the moment she sees me even look at the door and most of time I can manage to only get in 20 minutes of cardio while the poor childcare workers hold her the entire time. I spend the whole time feeling guilty and pray that she will not be in counseling someday for abandonment issues while her Mama selfishly worked out. Today there was a different story!! I told Anni we were going to the gym and she could play while Mama worked out and
I was sure to stress coloring and the big girl slide as carrots in front of her if you will. When we got to Bally’s I braced myself but she eagerly went right over to the slide and started playing. I told her I would be back and she gave me a hug and slobbery kiss, no tears, no meltdowns, notta. I stood there stunned, almost not knowing what to do (duh – GO workout!) so I left her and happily went about my sweating it up on the elliptical way. I even ran over after 10 minutes to check and she was actually running from the plastic house to the slide completely fine! MY CHILD! It was awesome. So when I picked her up I told her how proud I was and that I would treat us to a “special lunch.” We headed over to Noodles, and co. because I had a free dish coupon and she scarfed her mac-n-cheese while flirting with the man mopping the floors (it is really adorable what a 17 month old can bring out of a “tough” looking man).
After the yummy food that was even more yummy as I did not have to A. cook it or B. clean up after Anni I decided since we were in Evanston I would run a few errands for a baby shower I am helping with this weekend. The only downside of this plan was that I had no stroller (which actually would have not been easy to navigate through the snow & ice filled sidewalks) or the more useful baby backpack. No need I thought, just a few stops and I can carry her. We hit Borders, Barnes and Nobles and then one other place when all of a sudden Anni looked at me and started saying “baby!” It was then that it hit me: Where was the baby? The so called “baby” is one of her most prized possessions given to her by Grandma Rhoda and to say she is attached to it is an understatement. She always knows baby’s whereabouts, sleeps with her, “feeds” her and generally is seen carrying her everywhere these days. I panicked as I searched though my purse, our coats, no baby. CRAP! I knew what must be done but with minutes before my meter would run out I was a bit flustered. I ran back to each place we had been carrying my purse, bags, and my 26 pound little girl (who with full snow gear is more like 30 pounds) who was now repeating with more and more gusto “baby?” “baby!” “baby?” I suddenly had a flashback to losing my own security object, a small cat bean bag thing that had been through hell. The poor thing only had one eye left and most of the stuffing had long been gone and this cat had even been through surgery with me as a baby. She was well loved and I took “kitty” everywhere and once lost her in Kmart luckily to be found after some tears and serious searching. In the midst of my flashback I became determined to find Anni’s baby and even prayed that God would help me find her. I was on such a mission that in between the first and second location I stepped into a huge puddle. Now this would have been no big deal if I had been wearing my crazy rain boots but I was still in workout gear and my shoes had mesh all over which is helpful to allow air in but also served to now completely soak my sock. But I pressed on towards the goal of reuniting Anni with her precious baby (and me with my sanity as what would I do if we lost it?). We entered the last stop Barnes and Noble. I searched around the help desk, and rode the escalator up and down (as we had 5 minutes earlier for “fun”) and even asked the help desk, no doll. I was getting worried. As we were about to leave a man rushed in through the front doors and there in his hands was “BABY”!! He had just chased down another mom to see if it was her toddler’s doll, what a nice man! Anni immediately screeched and hugged baby and thanks to this man’s extra effort a catastrophe was avoided.