I’ve never thought of myself as the helicopter mom type who clucks over her children like a mama hen, but it seems like my parenting mantra is “Never say never.”
Last week I got a promotional e-mail for a parents’ night out event at a kids’ play center. It’s a wonderfully well-planned facility, light and bright, run by local parents who seem to know what they’re doing unless they hide the surly teenage workers who bribe kids with Smarties not to take potty breaks. There are tons of things to do, from an art center to two large tree house type play sets. I picked up the phone to call the play center faster than you can ask, “Does that come by the bottle?”
We are very fortunate to rely on our parents for free babysitting but we thought it would be fun to splurge. The girls would have a guaranteed blast for four hours, get fed pizza, and watch a movie all while the hubby and I had an adult night out just a few miles away.
For some reason I was nervous about leaving my youngest daughter, not that the child has a shy bone in her body, but I told Miss C, my 6-year-old, that she was in charge of looking after her. I was mainly worried she’d be having too much fun to know when to stop and take a potty break. After we signed the girls in and helped take off their coats, Miss C took off exploring and Miss A gave me the “Okay, Mom, could you just LEAVE?” three going on thirteen stare. Despite this I still had trouble leaving and kept mumbling things like “Mommy and daddy will be right back” even though no one was listening to me, which is fairly typical. Hubby grabbed my arm and said, “Let’s go!”
We had drinks and dinner at a lovely restaurant within walking distance and before heading to the movie, we snuck a peek in the play center’s large front window. The girls were in the back happily getting their glam on in the dress up area so we walked quickly to our car before we were spotted. As we made our getaway, I looked over and Miss C, in all of her hot pink velvet shirt glory, had practically glued her entire body to the plate glass window, peering out into the night toward our car. Then she looked behind her, said something to the center owner and then looked back out the window and pointed RIGHT TOWARD US.
Crap! She’d seen us. We took off and the hubby said, “Don’t look ... don’t look!”
Later that night when the girls were telling us about all the fun things they’d done, Miss C looked at me and said. “You know what, mommy? You know what was really weird? I saw a lady who looked just like you out in the parking lot!”
And for once I just kept my mouth shut. There’s a first time for everything.