Maybe it’s the relative lack of sun during the short winter days or just hormonal, but I’ve been down about the kids today. We’ve decided to throw a Princess themed party for her majesty with a really great entertainer to manage the event. She’s started Judo and seems to be doing well, but I still find her outbursts disturbing and her total lack of manners confusing. She sees and hears when I speak, how I say please, thank you and excuse me in many situations, yet she’ll just push past people and when I suggested she say “sorry, excuse me” first, she seemed insulted. She didn’t understand why she should be apologizing. This turned into a long explanation that the word “sorry” does not always imply that you did something for which you should show regret.

And poor Matan seems more and more frustrated with his lack of language. Plus, he’s become totally unmanageable at times. He’ll run off toward something dangerous like a street and if he sees me coming after him, he’ll just run faster to get away. Karen and I have both tackled him on occasion. He also throws temper tantrums half the time I try to hold his hand to cross the street and is always undoing his safety belt. He’s figured it out on the booster too.

Just last week, when Karen was in her two weekly Judo classes, Matan disappeared. The first time, he crawled under a fence that surrounded a work area with tractors. It was next to the school and had been closed off to keep the kids safe from the building materials and vehicles. He refused to come back when I called to him and just laughed and ran around throwing sand in the air. I couldn’t crawl in the tiny hole that he had gone through and almost cried with frustration trying to figure out how I was going to get in, and then back out with him again. I managed it eventually, through another hole in the fence, and at the urging of two teenage boys who had ridden up on bikes and offered me helpful advice, “hey lady, you better get your kid out of there. It’s dangerous”. Thanks.

The following class I needed to hand the instructor Karen’s paperwork and then planned to leave with Matan to avoid a repeat of the previous visit. When I finally got to the instructor, I left Matan right at the door and walked towards her. Exchanged 1-2 sentences, turned around, and Matan was gone.

I searched everywhere, but couldn’t find him. The school security guard was getting ready to leave and I knew it was now or never so I grabbed him and asked his help to find my lost son on the school grounds. We were lucky in that the guard had been at the gate of the school the entire time and was confident that Matan did not leave the grounds. We eventually discovered Matan locked in a hallway that connects two buildings. Both ends had been locked but the hallway was enclosed but outdoors, so that must have been what kept him calm. He exhibited absolutely no signs that he was upset at being lost for more than 10 minutes and most of that locked in a clear plastic tube.

Someone laughingly suggested a halter leash. I’m not capable of walking around like that. I’d be happy to do it if it was acceptable, but refuse to give my gossipy neighbors the opportunity to stare at the crazy mom who leashes her child.