The phone rings as I got out of the shower.
Twins’ Mom: Are we still going to the park?
I looked out the window at the wet, overcast day. Then I heard the sounds of fighting.
Me: -Then I said – OH CRAP!!!
Tornado A had decided that he wanted to follow Tornado E and Sweet Girl, who jumped from a platform three stairs high. He slithered on his stomach over the edge. He was now dangling.
I had arrived two minutes too late to get the best ramada next to the playground. I snagged the larger one that was up a hill.
I raced down the hill.
Tornado A let go. He fell on his butt. He stood up, looked around, and ran after his brother.
I stopped. I looked back at the ramada to Sweet Girl’s mom. She shrugged.
Sweet Girl’s Mom: At least, he’s not hurt!
Me: Before I forget, here, Cop Dad.
I handed him a container.
Cop Dad: What’s this?
Me: You brought over that with cookies last time I watched KJ. So I’m returning it.
Cop Dad: But there are cookies in it.
Me: Yes, well, it’s customary to return a container full of something.
Twins’ Mom: Let me get this straight. If I lend you a container, you’ll fill it and return it.
Twins’ Mom: Let me try one of those cookies.
I held the leash of the twins’ dog as the moms ran to do other things. I kept an eye on all the kids, especially the tiny red-jacket tornado.
Twins’ Mom: Look at her. She looks good with a dog. She’s a total dog person.
I turned and raised an eyebrow.
Loud Mom: Yes, but I wouldn’t wish that on her right now. Look at her plate.
Me: The rule is we can get a dog as soon as everyone can pick up after themselves. Now that their father is gone, they may actually get one one day.
Sweet Girl’s Mom: Um, Fae. Did you lose Tornado A?
Me: No. I.
I scanned the playground. No red jacket. No blue flannel jacket either. No bright-Perry-the-Platypus-blue jacket either. Huh. I scanned the park. Long past the playground, past the bathroom, about 30 yards away or so, I spotted a toddling tornado. He was toddling after his brothers and the Boy Twin, who were a good ten yards further away. Oh Crap. I race down the hill, passed a breast-feeding mom. Then I relied on my theater training.
Me: (Using The Voice) BOYS!!!
Four boys stopped in their tracks. They turned around and looked at me.
Me: (Using The Voice) COME ON BACK NOW! (I twirled my finger in the air, the sign my boys now to turn around and come.)
Four boys walked back to the playground.
I walked back to the moms. With a cocky grin.
Me: See that.
Sweet Girl’s Mom: Yeah. All of them stopped and turned. Even the Boy Twin.
Twins’ Mom: He’d be afraid not to with that holler.
Me: I was meant to raise kids in the country.
Loud Mom: No, you were meant to raise a dozen boys.
Twins’ Mom: And a girl!
Me: Um. You know I’m not married and-
Loud Mom: (Puts her arm around me) Don’t worry, sweetheart. You’re still young. You have plenty of time.
Me: Tornado E. Five Minutes.
Tornado E: But, Moooooommmmmmmyyyyyyyyy!
Twin Boy: Don’t worry, Tornado E. I have three minutes.