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?