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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Adventures in Babysitting Day 6--Green Means Go, No Stop, AHHHH!  

So, we went to the Science Factory today--a terrific hands-on museum for promoting science and engineering. To get there, you have to park across a busy street, walk up to the stop light, cross the busy street, walk back down to the museum, and then enter. It takes all of 5 minutes--ideally!

For those of you who do not know our oldest son, Chase, you have to understand one thing about him for this story to make sense. Chase thrives on structure. He reads speed limit signs as we drive down the street. He also reads construction signs, just in case we aren't aware that there is "shoulder work ahead." He understands that wood and plastic aren't conductors of energy, because someone in school once told him "those were the rules." These signs and rules RULE, literally.

So, when we get to the crosswalk, we wait for the light to turn red--of course--before crossing. Everyone is in pairs, holding hands. Not thinking, I am in front with the 3-year-old. The almost 9-year-old quickly follows, holding my 5-year-old's hand. And, Chase and his cousin--only 6 weeks younger than him--take up the rear. We start crossing the street. It isn't a wide street, so it doesn't take long. But, when we get to the other side, I notice Chase--across the street still, waving his hands in the air, screaming something--oh! wait! that is a full fledged wail, and doing the antsy dance. Do you have to go to the bathroom, Chase? Are you playing monster? Is this a joke? What on earth? Then, I see the real terror in his eyes!

Apparently, I didn't push the button--you know, the one that changes that silly hand into a countdown, giving the official go-ahead that you have 10 seconds to get your bum--or your booty bum as Connor calls it--across the street. My mistake? I walked across the street when the hand still signaled for us to stop even though the light was red and all cars on that busier than busy street were clearly stopped. I am the adult, right?

But... Chase, not knowing how I wasn't getting hit by the barrage of cars that should have been continuing down the road at lightening speed, decided we were all pushing the rules too far and decided to take matters into his own hands and stay behind and mind the mindless motion on the lightpost. How could we NOT mind the hand? So imagine this... Antsy dancing boy screaming in fear for his family members to not ide. Antsy dancing mom screaming in fear for her son. A long line of cars on a very busy road all stopped completely stunned by this spectacle. Drivers trying to solve the problem. Right-lane driver motions for him to walk. Left-lane driver decides he has had enough of the show and peels out. I am screaming--but can't be heard--for Chase to stand still. He wavers, but keeps his eyes fixed on the hand--FORTUNATELY!

Thanks to a very tall African American man who came to our rescue, Chase was delivered to us in safety. Even though he didn't push the button either, Chase was so afraid to let go of his hand--totally uncertain as to what to do at this point--that he let the considerate man walk him to safety--to where he promptly told me that I didn't follow the rules.

I scratched my head, decided I should have pushed the button, and then immediately wondered why a hand signal has WAY MORE CLOUT than my rules. Maybe I should hold up my hand at home more often when I want him to STOP! Hmmmmmm!

What next?

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