Well, she did it again. This time it was all her own doing. We were at Josh and Emily's last weekend, visiting family. There were at least 20 people there, including about 6 kids. This kind of commotion makes Reese nervous, to say the least. She usually finds refuge in her daddy, who sits quietly on the outside of the chaos, staying as far away from socializing as he can. But this time, he had to leave to do some work at Mom's, so Reese was stuck with me. I like to visit and be involved in all the chaos. I forget that everyone doesn't enjoy this. I assumed that Reese would love playing with all those kids, and therefore, didn't pay much attention to her. She was with her big sister, after all, so no worries. Right? Right. Until Big Sister runs through the living room two or three times and I don't see Reese. "Avery, where is Reese?" I ask. "I don't know. I haven't seen her," Avery replies as she sails past me, chased by at least three boys bigger than her.
No biggie. She's probably with Macy, her almost-2-year-old cousin. Nope. No Reese in Macy's room. In JD's room with some of the younger kids? Nope.
Ok, I'm starting to worry. I call Aaron to see if she went back to Grammy's with him. No, he hasn't seen her. I think he's joking. He's not.
I start to panic. And the panic catches on. At least 4 people, who were supposed to be in mourning and enjoying fellowship with their family, disperse throughout the house yelling for Reese. A few of the men go outside to yell for her. Some of them have no idea who she even is, but they are helping. Some of them probably don't know me, but they are helping. I'm mortified at the disruption I am causing, but mostly I'm worried sick about where Reese could be. I go outside and look in the street first. I pray she isn't there, because I'm afraid my legs won't move if I see her walking on a shoulder-less road where cars whiz by way too fast. She isn't there. I relax a bit, because, as long as she isn't in the street, she is probably ok. But I imagine she is scared. I picture her, wandering out in the yard, looking for her daddy and sucking her fingers and crying.
This scenario goes on for what seems like 2 hours, but was probably more like three or four minutes. Finally, Josh comes in, holding Reese. "I found her!" he exclaims. She looks fairly proud of herself, although it's hard to tell when her mouth is full of fingers. Josh explains, "She was in my closet...I've been in there 10 times, but never saw her or heard her. Then I saw something move under some of my pants and saw her feet."
That little toot. She did it on purpose. I'm sure all the people made her nervous and she needed some alone time. Or she just felt like messing with me. Who knows?
Sheesh, What won't a middle child do for a little attention? It makes my eyelids twitch to think of how not prepared for this parenting gig I really am.