Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

Kiddo Lost and . . . ?


The other day, I heard a noise in the kitchen. Since it wasn’t lunch time, I went to investigate. Guess what I found.

This precious little girl, sitting in her car seat/carrier. She normally a very happy baby I understand, but when a girl’s in a strange place and an even stranger woman starts loving on you, it can be a little disconcerting.

She handled me well, though. 🙂

I soon heard a commotion down the hall. The sweet baby’s bigger sibling had found a place to have fun. This little girl cracks me up. She’s one who, being a very smart child, tests her boundaries very often. That’s Brother Jeffrey behind her.  This one found a bowl of licorice jelly beans and declared she loved them! (Unusual for a girl her age.)

She carried them with her for the rest of the time she was in the office. Didn’t finish them off, though. I imagine the flavor was intense for even a candy lover like her.

But this precious boy, who at his tender years rules the office with an iron fist holding most of us by the heart, nearly killed me yesterday.

I used to be his favorite. When he was upset, he’d occasionally come to me for comfort. That makes a wannabe grandmother feel wonderful! But I’ve been replaced.

His favorite person now is Rick. Rick has a pickup and a hat that he lets him wear. (What can I say? The Kiddo is into hats.) Rick takes him out and lets him play in the bed of his pickup truck. Kiddo loves that! He sets him in the fork of a small tree in our garden. Kiddo adores him.

Apparently, Kiddo has decided I’m chopped liver. 😦

Yesterday when Kiddo was upset, I offered to take him outside. Usually, he jumps at the chance to go outside with anybody heading that direction. But yesterday, he shook his head at me and pointed at Rick. “Waaaah!”

“Rick can’t go out right now. I’m going out to look at the flowers. Want to go with me?”

He points at Rick again and raises his wail another decibel. “Waaaah!”

Isn’t that mean? I lean against the door with my backside and push it open. “I’m going. See you later.”

Seeing that Rick was busy, Kiddo finally gave in. Begrudgingly, but he went with me.

We walked–well, I walked and carried him (he was still too upset to put one foot in front of the other) and he pointed out flowers for me.

He can even say the word. “Flow-er.” Did I mention he’s brilliant? 🙂

He enjoys going to the feed store just down the block. They have a cat or two all the time, and often have chicks and ducks. Now, of course, they have flowers. Kiddo even tries to say the names of some of the blooms. He can say “daisy” perfectly. (I told you he’s smart.)

Yesterday, we admired the beautiful blue flowers and we smelled a few yellow ones. He points, I tell him the name (if I know it) and we test for scent. An older woman was also in the outdoor plant store and we got to chatting.

She told me about cooking for her son and DIL because they’d unloaded their pantry to clean and paint. I didn’t understand why someone else had to cook for them–after all, they probably had all the food really handy–but I didn’t want to interrupt.

Then she said her DIL normally cooked dinner for her three times a week. And she told me that her daughter was getting ready to retire.

We’d come to a place where two side walks merge, and you can step into another enclosed area where larger trees are kept. Kiddo was playing around, checking out the structure of bricks, feeling brittle dead plants, smelling the few blooms in the area while the woman talked.

The woman kept talking, telling me her DIL had been a teacher for YEARS. A middle school teacher in the same school system. That impressed me. Anyone who can deal happily with large groups of middle school children have my deepest respect!

I told the woman my husband had grown up in her town and I remembered my now deceased MIL mention the woman’s family years earlier. (The name is distinctive.) She asked G-Man’s name, and I grinned and told her.

“I remember him.” She nodded. “He’s sick, isn’t he?”

I shook my head. “Not that I know of.”

“Oh, that’s right. He’s the one in the CIA.”

I blinked hard and hid my smile. “Not that I know of.”

She was a little put out with me. “Well, what were his parents’ names?”

All this time, I’d been trying to be polite while I kept my eye on Kiddo. Suddenly, I realized I couldn’t see him. My heart nearly stopped.

I didn’t think he could have walked down either sidewalk, which leads to the street that’s the highway that goes through town. I was facing those sidewalks. I would have seen him! I told myself, unless he’d learned to belly crawl like Indians used to on TV.

But there’s a highway at the other end. He could have crept from plant to plant without me seeing him and gotten away, couldn’t he? (My mind gets a little wild when I panic.)

I called his name and scurried up one of the sidewalks. No Kiddo. I rushed back to where the woman stood and looked in the next section. I still couldn’t see him. How could he have disappeared? “Did you see where he went?”

“He’s in there with the trees.”

My blood pressure dropped back to normal range. That section is completely enclosed, so he couldn’t have escaped. I had to go to the very back of that area to find him, trying to pull an empty plant wagon through a dead-end.

“You can’t go that way.” I told him as if he would listen to me. “There’s no way through.”

He glanced behind him but kept going. His face looked like a thunder cloud. “Aah!”

I put my hand over his and tried to guide him. “Bring it this way, Sweetie.”

“NOOO!” He’s learned that word very well.

Finally remembering I’m bigger than he is and at least as strong, I took the handle from his hand, grabbed him under his arms and picked him up.

The storm broke. He yelled, “No!” and kicked his little legs while I lifted him and set him on that plant wagon.

Worked like magic. The howl died. His angry face cleared to a sweet smile while I pulled the wagon back along the sidewalk to the front of the store. I thought about buying that wagon so I could pull him back to the office and have it for later so he might like me best again, but couldn’t really justify the price–especially since it wasn’t for sale.

I was a little worried the owner would notice it was missing if I “borrowed” it to pull him all the way back to the office, but now that I think of it, maybe I should have.

Anyone know what the penalty is for taking a plant wagon for a joy ride?


Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

2 thoughts on “Kiddo Lost and . . . ?

  1. a fine of not less than $10.00 and not more than $500; not more than 6 months county jail time; can be either fine or both. i’m glad you left it 🙂

    • LOL! Can’t you see me in a striped jail suit, breaking rocks? Would I go to an all girl jail? Would they let me testify?
      “I’ve seen the light, sisters! I’ve seen the light.”
      Might be interesting. A new experience for my books.

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