The cast: Myself, Foster Elder, Foster Minor
The scene: Our house
We arrive home yesterday afternoon. We all head into the house. I picked up some groceries on my way home, and I’m putting up groceries as the boys take off their shoes and horse around in the living room. I’ve already taken Dante out, and since it is absolutely gorgeous out, I left the front door open, but closed and locked the glass door.
Owen, from the living room: Ari, where are you? Where are you? Mommy, where is Ari?
I think this is a game. I pay no attention. After I hear his question another time or two, I say: Owen, are you playing a game with Ari, or can you really not find him?
Owen: I really can’t find him.
I run to the living room. I say: He’s here somewhere, let’s look around.
My first idea is to look in my bedroom. He loves to play in there. So I look everywhere in there, and in my bathroom. No Ari. I check Owen’s room and closet. No Ari. Same for Ari’s room and closet, same for the boys’ bathroom. Now I am getting nervous. I check the laundry room. And then I have ‘the thought’ – HE WENT OUT THE FRONT. I just knew it in my gut. My heart starts pounding, I am freaking out.
I start to open the glass door and run out to check for him, but it’s still locked. Logically I know that he couldn’t have opened that door. Right? RIGHT? So I station Owen in front of the door to watch outside, just in case he sees Ari. I check every room again, under beds, closets. I stand still and yell for Ari, thinking that he will giggle and give himself away, or yell back if he is stuck somewhere. Silence.
I AM FREAKING OUT. I HAVE LOST MY CHILD.
As I’m searching every room YET AGAIN, I hear it – a little noise from Ari. I can tell it’s him. Where is it coming from? I can’t place it. Owen heard it too – he yells: ARI! No answer. I think it’s coming from outside. I am panicking. But the door is still locked, it doesn’t make any sense. I hear the Ari noise again. I think I am going to start bawling any second.
Suddenly Owen starts laughing. And laughing and laughing. He says: He’s in here, Mom! He’s in the closet!
Ari is in the coat closet right by the front door. The door that I stuck Owen by – when the front door is open, it covers up the coat closet. Ari’s sitting in there very patiently, not crying or laughing, just waiting. Owen thinks this is hysterical. I ask Owen: Did you know he was in there the whole time?
Owen: YES. (Although I’m not sure I believe him – he couldn’t keep a secret for that length of time)
I told Owen he must never, ever hide Ari from me because I thought we lost him! I told Ari to stay the heck out of the closets. Both boys nodded amicably, but I still think they thought this was a great game.
They took at least 15 years off my life. I could have used a stiff drink after that, and I don’t even drink. I settled for a Diet Coke and American Idol. Thanks, children. LOVE YOU TOO.