Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blind Spot

When I take the kids out to public places, like the mall or supermarket, I try to appear to be all cool calm and collected. On the surface I try to give the appearance like I have everything under control, that I am giving the kids their space, letting them be kids (without them overstepping their bounds) giving them safe distance to discover the world around them. In my head, under the surface, I am working like mad trying to keep everything and everyone in check, targeting dangers, potential awkward or bad situations and awkward or bad people and steering the kids away. Sometimes, no, most times, under the surface, I stress myself out.

Recently, Wyatt has discovered a way, some strange ability really, to always find my blind spot. If we are on the front yard playing Wyatt finds a way to play behind a bush or trashcan. If we are at the playground he discovers something neat to play with under the sliding board where I can not see him. Wyatt's blind spot ability has manifested itself where he disappears in plain sight. We will be walking through a store and in my peripheral vision I have both kids in sight when all of the sudden Wyatt disappears. It is always at that exact moment when he vanishes, where my stress, under the surface, comes popping up to the top. I have mini panic attacks.

"Where's Wyatt?" I snap in desperation and panic, my heart racing thinking that someone may have snatched him up.

"I right here dad." Wyatt responds from a foot behind me, not hiding, just standing in the exact spot I cannot see him. He is always just a step out of my line of vision.

The other day I took Max and Wyatt to the community theater to help with a set build. They played out in the seats as I worked on stage. I kept my eyes and ears open as I built wall flats and whatnot. I must have asked a dozen times, "where is Wyatt?" Only to have a friend say "he is right there" as they pointed to a spot in the darkened audience, where I swear he wasn't there only a second ago.

I was reading Klutz Encyclopedia of Immaturity the other day and I discovered there is a test to find your eye's blind spot. Here is an online version.* I realized that Wyatt must have discovered a way to always be standing in my eye's blind spot. I already feel bad that he is going to suffer from Middle Child Syndrome but now he is learning to disappear on his own.


*How many people just got a face smudge on their computer screens from trying the blind spot test?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

UJ's 40th Aniversary is is April 11th. Are you doing the set for their anniversary party?

Anonymous said...

You made think of Skip. Panic attack combined with a dark theater.

Anonymous said...

You get a blind spot for doing "that" too much as a kid. LW can barely see now for Pete's sake.

SciFi Dad said...

Your brother stole my joke, damnit.

Also? Losing my kid in public? BIGGEST.FEAR.EVER.

Oh, The Joys said...

My parents used to be really involved in community theater when I was young and so I always wanted to play "theater" during imaginary play with my friends. They were all "Wha????" "C'mon! Let's build a set!" I would go all Mickey Rooney on them -- totally obtuse girl.

Wyatt is going to push your limits, man.

Beth said...

Thing Two is the one I lose - often. Middle child as well. Bummer. I guess I never thought it was my problem though... I thought he just was chameleon-like or naturally camouflaged or it was just his superpower. The playground has created way too many panic-attacks for me. Nightmare-worthy.

Anonymous said...

Another Welcome to Parenthood episode. I love it!!! May he never REALLY get lost. That's heart-pounding, breath halting, insanity. May it never happen to you. But I DO smile when I read your stories like this. The small moments of panic are daily in raising boys. Guess who really did get lost as a child in our family? You got it! L.W. twice! You may remember. It was truly scary. Who got into a bad car accident? Right again! the two middle children...and their older sister. Scary again! Parenthood is truly a challenge in all aspects. Change your contact lenses on a regular basis, and you may find the blind spot disappears!

The Absence of Alternatives said...

Totally get the surging panic attack at the moment when you realized your child was gone. You are a better person though: most of the time, my panic attack is followed by surging rage of them scaring me to death. BUT only if they weren't really lost. My youngest didn't get on the train with everybody else at DC Metro. Nobody was mad. We were simply grateful that we found him... Hold your child's hand tightly. Very tightly.

for a different kind of girl said...

This reads like a chapter in my life. I am constantly saying "Lead or follow!" to the boys when we're out in public somewhere just so I can keep track of them. I also spend far too much time telling them not to flap their arms, spin in circles or touch everything they see. Cripes, shopping takes a long time for me!

sari said...

I've never been much for the kid leash but my two year old has been doing this to me so much lately that I've considered it. He's fast, he's small and he likes to run.

Cole said...

Wyatt has a knack for finding your blindspot. Ladies and gentleman, he'll make an excellent ninja someday.

magda said...

I can think of no feeling worse than when you feel "you have lost" your child. The upside is that it sounds as though he always knows where you are.

kcinnova said...

I've got 4 boys and I have to count them -- often -- when out in public. (Three of them are now teenagers, and I STILL do this!)

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