Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Great Escape

I firmly believe when life gives you lemons make lemonade cupcakes. (Which I did and they turned out absolutely horrible. But that's not the point. I just mean make good use of what you have which is to explain why I am blogging at 3:30am and eating a freshly crushed peanut butter (I bought it from Winco - man I love that place) and homemade cherry jam sandwich... and drinking a glass of milk - even though I'm allergic to the milk protein.) And on that note I should get this started because I'm most likely going to be sick and/or actually ready to sleep soon.


Let me give you a brief history.

Joseph, my small wiry 3 year old son was determined before birth to be of the female variety. And when he escaped my womb much too early, incredibly hungry and far to quickly for any doctor of the baby type to catch him (One lone delivery nurse welcomed him) I knew he was trouble. As we could no longer name her or now him the name I had chosen before hand we simply dubbed him George... and before the birth certificate could be filled out changed it to Joseph... but George had stuck and a very Curious George he became.

The week we arrived home from the hospital I, like all good single mothers of one autistic boy and one new baby left my one week old (I say one week because it sounds much better than 4 day old) infant strapped in his baby seat on the front stoop of my apartment for over 30 minutes. I say over 30 minutes because it does sound much better than "close to an hour". *ahem* Where was I?

Oh yes.

The first time he showed signs of his curious side was before he could even sit himself up. He could however climb our brick fireplace. Which is where I found him one evening. Not on his baby blanket spitting up where he usually spent his evenings but clinging to the fireplace for dear life and looking a little panicked (though he did always look a little panicked - he was that sort of looking baby) and of course I wrote it off as the most incredibly random adventure a 4 month old could get himself into.

But then on his birthday he grabbed the candle out of the cake and burned his fingers, and when he learned to walk he taught himself to open the refrigerator and tossed a carton of eggs down our carpeted staircase and when he learned to gnash his teeth and roar like a drowning kitten at bath time I finally realised he was of a special breed. The kind of child one would look at and usually consider for a moment if he had at one time been a lost boy. And at other times one would consider sending away. For sanity's sake! (not that my sanity was tainted at all by his older and very particular brother who enjoyed spending 18 hours a day screaming at the top of his ever expanding lungs)

When we moved into the house we currently live in we felt safe that he could be left unattended for a few minutes in our backyard. FORCRYINGOUTLOUD we have a 6 foot pine privacy fence! But he managed on our first June to climb over the side gate wearing just a diaper and run out into the street causing a woman (I'm pretty sure she must have been a Talbot's model) to SLAM on the breaks of her red convertible and come to our door looking bewildered with her yellow cashmere sweater draped smartly over her shoulders and our small and dirty son (who was to remind you only wearing one slightly sagging diaper) dangling from her hands as though he were a disgusting bag of smelly garbage. We stopped leaving him alone in the yard.

And then the next June/July he launched his now two year old wire body through his bedroom window while he was supposed to be napping (Which is why he was only wearing a diaper) and landed in our rock garden. I can imagine at this time him crouching behind a rose bush and looking around carefully to determine his best route to the park.

Being the good mother I am, I had taken advantage of the "quiet time" to drink a cup of tea at my dining room table. And yet, when I looked out front our beautiful large window I promptly tossed my cup and tea all over the room when I saw my small wiry and oh so curious (naked-ish) son riding on the lap of a questionable looking woman wrapped in an afghan driving her rascal. And yes, she is the same woman who collects our cans on Monday mornings from our recycle bin.

And then of course you all remember last summer when the little darling was being less curious and more obedient and had gotten himself locked in our car in 113 degree weather for over thirty minutes (again close to an hour just sounds like I wasn't searching the park and sobbing) only to have heat stroke and had to go to the hospital with the diagnosis from the dr than "10 more minutes and he would have died" (You know, as if that was my plan or something)

And I was actually genuinely surprised CPS wasn't called when the next weekend I brought him back to the children's hospital with a broken nose and blood everywhere covering both of us (and Daddy) from a tumble at the playground...

Or the next weekend when I brought him back with both of us once again covered in blood (and Daddy's office, his bedroom, the bathroom, the hallway, the staircase) from climbing on to the 2.5" ledge of his bedroom window and then falling and biting through his cheek, biting off part of his tongue and ripping that piece of skin between your top lip and your gum.

AND even more surprising that they didn't call CPS when for the 5th week in a row in one summer we came back in missing part of a finger (that is actually a little drastic but he did successfully remove the pads of his "tall man" finger) from climbing up the bathroom vanity to the top shelf and grabbing a razor... which he took to himself.

And now that we're on the same page I'd like to add that ONE mother can only watch one child so full of curiosity to a certain extent. I promise, it's not like I let him go running around naked all the time or plain ol' just never watch him. I'm sure any child could almost choke and die on a match box car... I do watch him. But I am also 8.5 months pregnant and have two other children (one who is to remind you is Autistic and is a bit of a handful and the other a very very clingy baby monkey who is always in desperate need for attention).

*ahem* Are any of you still here?

So on Thursday I was determined to clean my house and have it be *clean* for the weekend. I had definitely neglected kid attention time. The boys were watching Between the Lions and Molly was napping. 10 minutes had gone by and I had rinsed my last dish and I headed into the living room to check on the darlings. Only I noticed immediately that there was only one darling. I asked Sam where Joe was and he shrugged and said downstairs. But 10 minutes later after searching downstairs, upstairs, all the cupboards, under all the beds, the backyard (though my backdoor was closed and bolted as was the front screen door) I began to worry that he had escaped through some means of disappearing and walking through walls when I realised (stupid stupid stupid) that I had cracked his window open in an attempt to air out their room (which in my defense smelled rather zoo-ish) and I very very quickly (Mothers who have extra curious sons have extra quick brain reflexes FYI) realised he must have once again (I haven't opened his window since LAST summer) escaped the house via the front window.

I will admit at this time I was not SO concerned. But then as I searched the car, the front and back yard, a radius of 2 blocks north and two blocks south all while shouting, "JOE" and hoping he was wearing more than a soggy diaper I did start to get concerned and so I did what all 8.5 month pregnant women who have two other children (thank GOD Molly was napping) would do and broke out into loud sobs and walked home and called my Mom.

I looked all over the house again calling and checking the pantry and even the chest freezer (you never know with these curious type) and then looked outside again. I decided to call the police as soon as my mom got there. But I decided to check the garage again and for one split second I thought I heard either a kitten mewing for it's mother or my little Joe calling for his mother. Either way I called louder and heard the answering, "Mommeeee". I ran (this is not only quite the task but probably also quite the site for my neighbors) to the back fence threw open the 6 foot gate and saw across the alley and down the street a bit Joe standing next to a woman and her dog just as my own Mommeeeee pulled up (it took my Dad 6 minutes to drive from the valley to my house - usually a 35 minute drive).

The woman, who lives two blocks away says she was showering and when she came out into her living room she found sitting on her couch and hugging her small dog was a (thank God, fully clothed) boy. When she questioned him: where do you live, who is your mommy and such, he repeated over and over, "I am Joe"... as that is as extensive of a vocabulary as he has.

And she had him for 10 minutes before calling the police and another 10 minutes waiting outside as the police had instructed her to do.

Small recap; my son walked two blocks behind our house, open and closed some random stranger's door and was hanging out with her dog. Holy Jesus.

And I thanked her through sobs. And Sam welcomed his younger brother home by putting his arm around his shoulders and poking him in the chest saying, "You missed Pikachu evolving into Ratchu."

And now we are trying to see if our pediatrician would let us put a little tracking device in his ear like the vet did for the dog... just kidding... but really... I don't know what I'm going to do with this one.

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