In the human breeding world, there are hierarchies within parenting. On a macro level there are:
- Perfect parents
- Parents who think they are perfect
- Parents who are just trying to keep their kids alive and breathing
- People who should have a gonadectomy at the earliest possible opportunity
Within each of these sets exist a number of, which include extreme parents, oblivious parents, survivalist parents, and individuals who should never engage in the act of copulation if they are in possession of viable sperm and/or ovaries.
I believe 80% of humanity falls within the third group, with the remaining percentage scattered between geniuses and idiots. Most of us (the 80% that is) make mistakes, learn from them, and strive never to repeat them, while idiot parents seem to always be placing their children in harm’s way. Perfect parents never have to worry about this, because they’ve never made a mistake with regards to child rearing, while parents who think they are perfect sit in perpetual judgment of all of us. This brings me to the point of my post today, MOM Squad…for I did something a few weeks ago for which I deserve harsh judgment.
I saw a little girl running pell-mell down the road yesterday afternoon as I was on my way to pick up the girls from school. She looked to be about 5 years old. She was scrawny and dressed in faded orange capris and a red and white t-shirt. Her little braids bounced with every stride she took. I looked around to see if I could find her parents and saw no one. To my horror, just as I turned my head, she ran into the road – directly into oncoming traffic – without ever looking up from the pavement.
No, no! She wasn’t hit by a car. There were definitely angels on guard for this child, and a Roswell police cruiser was directly in front of me. The officer turned on his lights and stopped traffic and called the girl to him. She took off down the road. In my rear view mirror I saw him corner her off and get out his car again. I would have gone to offer my assistance, but I had my own child to pick up. I knew she would be okay. Someone was going to be in big trouble with the cops, I thought. And today it isn’t going to be me!
You see, as a card carrying member of the 80%, I am trustworthy enough of a human being to watch another person’s offspring without inflicting severe damage upon them. At my house, the worst thing that could happen to a child is that they get dirty, because I’m a firm believer that kids are better people OUTSIDE of my house. Idiot parents don’t understand this, and therefore keep their children cooped upside watching TV for days on end. When they are set free, they don’t know how to act. I found myself in the care of two such children, one of whom heralded “The Incident.”
******Lights Fading Out*****
I stood looking at Kim like she was absolutely crazy. I had already been watching her kids for the last 12 hours, and now she wanted me to watch them 12 hours more. It wasn’t that I was without sympathy, it was just that I could not comprehend how she thought this was okay.
Kim works nights at a local bar, and for whatever reason – and certainly without giving me due notice – decided to pick up the day shift the very next afternoon. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I was only supposed to watch her kids at night. Her kids hadn’t seen her in 24 hours. No one seemed happy, except for this foolish 20-something brunette grinning sheepishly at me.
“I’ll see you later, stinkers!” she croaked to her kids, who of course began to whine.
2 year old Kacey clung to her chest and 4 year old Korey looked at the floor in resentment. She didn’t care though. She had tips to go make and broke Black men to go chase. I rolled my eyes and told her babies to give her a kiss goodbye. The kids, my four and her two, sat down to finish breakfast. I went outside to throw away some trash. A flock of sleek black crows was feeding on debris in front of my carport.
That’s odd, I thought. Crows have never come to my house before.
I should have known it was an omen of things to come.
My phone rang. It was Douche Bag.
“Hey, can Nadjah come see me today?” he asked.
“Sure,” I replied. It wasn’t his scheduled week end for visitation, but one less person complaining in my ear for the day was fine with me.
“Cool. I’ll meet you at the Krystals in 15 minutes,” he said.
I hung up and went to get Nadjah ready.
And then I realized I had a problem. I had six kids, and only 5 seats in my car. Crap! I formulated a quick plan. I would take the 3 youngest and leave Aya and Korey in the house with the door locked. Krystals was only a half mile away. They would be fine, I assured myself with trembling fingers buckling the babies into the car seats.
“You’re going to leave us here?!” wailed Korey!
“Look,” I said sharply. “I’m going to drop Nadjah off and I will be back in 5 minutes, okay?”
“But you’re going to leave us here without a grown up??”
I looked at the little boy suspiciously. Was he going to rat me out to his mother? I didn’t have time to worry about that. The sooner I left, the sooner I would get back.
“You’re going to be fine, Korey,” I said firmly. “I’m locking this door. Don’t go outside and don’t open it for any reason until I get back. Understand?”
He nodded and I turned on the TV for him. He should have been accustomed to that. It was hardly evident that he was mixed race, he was so pale. All the boy did was sit at home and watch the television. No father to take him out to play ball. A mother that didn’t care about anything but finding a Black man, ANY Black man to love her. I felt sorry for him. I could deal with that later though. Right then, I had to drop off Nadjah.
“Aya! I’ll be back. Don’t open the door, okay?” I yelled up the stairs.
“Okay!” she yelled back.
I drove off with my heart racing. I always know where my kids are. I didn’t like this a bit.
When I got home and parked the car, I saw that the door was cracked. It shouldn’t have been cracked…I’d locked it!
I ran through every room in the house, screaming their names. They were gone.
******Lights fading in*******
“I’m sorry, you did what now?” asked Mom 5X.
“I called 911,” I repeated.
“How long were you gone?”
“Four minutes. Exactly 4 minutes. I left at 10:27 and got back at 10:31,” I mumbled.
My friend laughed heartlessly.
“Girl, I wouldn’t have called the police,” she said with certainty. “I would have been too afraid of going to jail.”
“Yeah, I know. But I had someone else’s kid, and I couldn’t find them!”
“So where were they?”
“Riding their bikes,” I snarled.
Yes, Reader. As I was breathing each word hysterically on the phone to the operator, Aya and Korey came peddling around the corner with silly grins on their faces. I was relieved, gobsmacked, and furious. I told the operator they had shown up and assured her all was well.
“Get in the house!” I screeched when I’d hung up.
I was so blinded by worry and fury that I gave them a quick swat on the bottom and sent them upstairs.
“No TV for the rest of the day!” I yelled at no one in particular.
I got the rest of the kids out of the car and locked the door. Suddenly, there was a knock. I thought it was the cable guy (whom I had assumed had absconded with my missing kids), so I swung the door open with a smile. It quickly dissipated when my eyes beheld a burly officer. He was responding to a report of a missing child. Just as I explained to him what had happened, another knock came to my back door.
“That’s probably my partner.”
“No, it’s the cable guy,” I said confidently.
Suddenly, I had two White officers in my home, which was stuffed with kids, 36% of which did not belong to me. I assured the cops that all was well, and that I had NEVER left the children in the first place. ( Call it an instinct to lie to the police).The burly officer didn’t say a word and let me keep talking.
“We’re here! We’re fine!” I squeaked. “Do you want to see the kids?”
“Yes,” he said.
I called Aya and Korey down to prove that they were safe. Suddenly, Korey began to sob uncontrollably. That little $#@!#^
The two police officers looked at me accusingly. I explained that he had not seen his mother in 24 hours because she works at a bar (ugh!) and that he probably missed her. I offered Korey the phone so he could call her. His waterworks ended as quickly as they began. He chatted gaily with the officers, one of whom was fingering his handcuffs.
Sweet Jesus. That little Negro was about to send me jail!
It seemed like an eternity before they left, but not before they took my address details, my driver’s license details, and the names and dates of birth of the “missing kids”.
I was furious and shaken. I sent Kim a text and told her I could no longer watch her kids after that day. This was HER fault! If she hadn’t left her kids I would have room in my car for all mine! I cursed Douche Bag too. If he hadn’t asked to get Nadjah on an unscheduled weekend, this wouldn’t have happened either!
Mom 5X saw it differently though.
“Girl, you never should’ve called the cops at all. You weren’t even gone 5 minutes!”
Of course, she was right. Silly me for thinking the police were here to help regular citizens like me in our hour of need!
There are things we will all do as parents that we will regret later or know in that moment that it might not be the best decision: like feeding the kids cereal for dinner or letting skip a bath before school. But that? That experience took me to a new low.
What would you have done?