Let's get this straight. I think I'm funny as hell. And at least 41 people would agree with me. Now with that said, my kids also think they are funny as hell. To which I would reply: not as funny as you think you are and you are going to be a lot less funny when I bring the hammer down on you. Join me in this story. For parents, this story will probably bring back memories. For non parents, this will prevent you from having kids and staying child free as you whisk around Europe drinking Mojitos and meeting interesting people with names like Claude and Pfifer.
I was in the bathroom because that's the way all of my stories seem to start. The kids were watching their beloved Dora. Life was good. All was serene, gentle Hispanic music played in the background as I continued my current reading "The Grapes of Wrath." If you walked into my house and ignored the huge mess laying all around us, you would think "Wow, what a great dad. I want to bone him." And I would be ok with that.
I just finished a chapter and decided that the kids had been unsupervised for long enough. I wash my hands (or did I) and came on out. I found my daughter watching Dora and even singing along. But where was her brother. It is unlike my male minion to miss this cartoon.
"Little Hoss" I said. "Where's your darling brother."
"Don't know" she replied. Her answer was short and curt.
I don't like it when I don't know where the kids are. It usually means something is going to get broke and a cat might get tossed out a window. I would be ok with that second part. PETA can suck it.
I looked downstairs and couldn't see him. I walked through the living room, the kitchen, the play room and the dining room. No Bubba Hoss. He must be upstairs.
I went upstairs and checked his room. No Bubba Hoss. I went and checked his sister's room. No Bubba Hoss. I went and checked the bathrooms, my room and just in case, the spare bedroom that no one is allowed to go in. I looked under beds and I checked all the closets. No Bubba Hoss.
Now the parent part. For those of us who have found ourselves in this situation know the feeling you start to get when you can't find your kid in under 15 seconds. Your mind starts to wander, imagining some pretty dark stuff. Your heart sinks a little and the adrenaline starts to flow. But then you find them 10 seconds later and you laugh at your silliness. I had been looking for my son for 2 minutes, no kid. I start to become very concerned.
I go back downstairs. Now I'm calling his name. I'm not just saying it lightly, I'm yelling it. No answer. I start checking cabinets. My walking pace has quickened. I start opening closets that I missed before. Nothing. No answer to my calls. I'm starting to get a little panicky.
I head back up stairs and rip off my sweat shirt. I don't know why I did this but I remember I started to feel restricted, like I was having trouble breathing. I was going on the offensive and my blood was up. Because now more horrible thoughts started going through my head.
I'm almost jogging as I go through the house upstairs once again. Now I"m opening all the closets for a second time and doing a thorough. I'm flat out yelling his name and waiting for his answer. Nothing, not a sound.
I start thinking that someone has come into my house and stole my kid. It didn't occur to me that our downstairs bathroom is located directly between both doors and I have very loud dogs. They bark their heads off if a fly so much as lands on the window. But my mind wasn't right, I couldn't find my son.
My next thought is that he is hurt somewhere and just lying there helpless. Now I am jogging as I head downstairs. I check the basement thinking that maybe he got curious and somehow figured out how to open the door. Or more than likely, Little Hoss opened it for him. I search the basement which isn't hard, it's not finished and doesn't have much in it.
But then I realize that if she could open the basement door, she could open the back door or the front door. I run to the backyard and see nothing. I run to the front yard and see nothing. What if Bubba Hoss decided take a little walk around the neighborhood?
I'm at the point where I'm losing it. I'm terrified. My breathing is short and quick. Little Hoss is following me around the house yelling her brother's name as well. When I abruptly change direction she complains because she can't keep up. My temper is short and I tell her to button it. I ask her if she knows where her brother is. She says no. I don't know if I can believe her.
I head back up stairs because that is where my cell phone is. I'm going to call the police first then my wife.
"911, what's your emergency?"
"Hi, yeah, I was taking a crap and my son has gone missing. I think he was kidnapped or mailed to Russia by his big sister."
That would be a fantastic call. At this point, I want the whole national guard here.
I grab my phone and flip it open. Now I can't breath at all. I look over at my daughter and she is sitting on the bed smiling. ?????
I look where she is looking at.
Behind my bedside table, behind the sheer red curtains in my bedroom, I see the distinctive top curl of my son's hair. Below that, just above the table, I see his beady little eyes. I couldn't find my son for 15 good minutes. I yelled his name. I threatened his very existence. I came within a foot of him.
And he kept quiet. He didn't utter a single sound or a word.
I look back at his sister.
"We got you!" she says.
My son jumps up and pushes his melon head out of the curtain, laughing, laughing, laughing.
I feel like I want to puke. Then I want to hug him. Then I want to send him into time out until he is old enough to check into a nursing home. I want to do all these things at once.
Instead I just hang my head on the footboard of my bed, taking in deep breaths. One after another. For a good 10 minutes. All the while both of the minions are laughing like there is no tomorrow.
I decide to do two things when it's all calmed down. First, I'm going to call my own mother and apologize for ever scaring the shit out of her. After that, I took both kids and forced them to eat cookies and watch cartoons. Sitting on my lap. With my arms tightly wrapped around them.
Yes, you got me. You got me forever.