My nerves are shot.
My day was mostly good, don't worry. I'm just a little worn out. Let me explain.
We got up early-ish and headed out to Once Upon a Child. I was looking for some birthday gifts for Gideon and summer clothes for the kids (we got our income tax return, yay!). Judith was running around, but I wasn't too concerned, and was just trying to look through everything quickly while holding Gideon. I could hear her running around so I knew where she was. Then the running stopped, and I didn't hear it for a couple minutes, so I went looking. I couldn't find her! I was calling and calling her, and then I finally found her in a corner, completely enamored with a purple Disney Princess bike. It was in great shape for $30. It was a 2 wheeler (it came with training wheels too), and big enough to fit her until she's 5 or so I think. She wanted it so badly, and it didn't help that she's been asking for a bike for a while. So I called Dave to see what he thought, and he said ok. Needless to say, I had a VERY happy preschooler on my hands!!! I quickly finished looking at clothes while she "guarded" the bike. She was so excited when we paid for it, I guess she's not used to getting what she wants on the first try! I also got 2 Melissa & Doug (wooden) toys for Gideon for his birthday, and quite a few summer clothes for Judith (I didn't find anything I liked for Gideon). AND I found a book I have been looking for, but unable to find anywhere. Go me!
Then we went to the mall to hang out with a friend. We went for lunch right away once we met up. It was a little crazy because my friend had her 4 year-old nephew (who Judith knows from church) and her 15 month-old daughter, and I had my kids of course. Both the 4 year-old and Judith have a thing for running off. So it was quite the effort the entire time to keep them close to us (my friend and I each had a stroller for the littl'uns). And Judith just WOULD NOT listen to me! Not in a deliberate defiant way, but she was just too distracted and preoccupied to care to listen to me. It was frustrating. After we ate we did some shopping. I got some more summer clothes for the kids. Then we let the kids play in the play area for half an hour. I attempted to nurse Gideon, but he wasn't interested. So I ended up just totally soaking my shirt. The kids had lots of fun. Then we went to The Bay because my friend had to get something, and then finally Toys R Us to look for more birthday gifts for Gideon.
Yeah, that was... interesting. The kids were getting tired by then, and both Judith and my friend's nephew wanted to play with everything and not stay with us. At one point I was looking at wooden toys and Judith was reading books. Then I looked and she was GONE. Totally gone. I started walking around calling her and looking down the aisles, I felt like such a crappy mom. Nothing nothing nothing. I was on the verge of panicking. Finally my friend called out to me, she found Judith looking at the bikes. I gave Judith QUITE the talking to. She really scared me. I don't know why she wouldn't respond to me all day! At least while I was there I remembered that Judith needed a helmet for her bike, and there just happened to be a Disney Princess one right there, and it was 25% off.
After we left there my friend had to go, and I decided to take Judith for some ice cream (it's been quite a while since she had any). When Judith was just finishing up with that, she started asking for Lambie. At first I thought we had left him in the van, but Judith insisted we had him, and then I remembered that she had him at Starbucks (where we met my friend). My heart sank. I tried my best to keep my cool and not panic. I packed everything up quickly and we set out retracing our steps; Toys R Us, The Bay, the play area, Old Navy.... I asked at the front desks of each place and literally retraced our steps carefully examining the floor. Nothing. I was walking really fast, and Judith was getting upset because she was tired and having trouble keeping up. She really didn't grasp that fact that LAMBIE COULD BE GONE FOREVER. Gideon was getting fussy too, he was tired and could probably sense my anxiety. What was I going to DO if we didn't find him? Would Judith even be able to sleep? I felt like with every second that went by our chances of finding him were getting slimmer. Finally we got to H&M. Our last store to check (well, besides the food court & Starbucks, but I was pretty sure she had him there). I asked the guy at the desk if anyone turned a stuffed lamb in, assuming he would say no and I was trying to figure out the easiest way to explain to Judith that she would have to suddenly be a big girl and go on enduring life without her favourite essential lovey. Then he said "Oh yeah, a brown one?" and he turned to open a closet behind him. I was caught in suspension, because Lambie is, in fact, white and not brown. Time pretty much stood still until he turned around, with Lambie!!! I guess Lambie has gotten quite dirty and just looked brown. My eyes welled up with tears as I took Lambie and gave him to Judith. I hugged her and we just cried together. The clerk probably thought I was crazy. But whatever. I no longer had to worry about my little girl's heart being broken and having to explain to her over and over why her best friend was lost forever. I knew that she would go to bed and sleep well tonight. We seriously would have had to have a memorial service or something!
We left the store and then found a bench to sit on for a few minutes to recover. At that point Judith was REALLY done, and just didn't seem to have the energy to go on. I had to force her though, because I was carrying the big Toys R Us bag and pushing the stroller (which was full of stuff too) and just couldn't carry her. We somehow made it to the van. Judith perked up again when she saw her shiny new bike in the back. I got everyone and everything packed in, and then sunk into the driver's seat and called Dave to tell him everything. Overall it was a really good day. But I was completely DONE. Done done done. Done.
So we have decided, that, unless we are going somewhere overnight, Lambie is NEVER leaving the house again.
And I need to figure out some sort of way to tether Judith to me when we go out, lol.