I was going to write a funny/dumb post about having washed all the windows in our house this past weekend, but something happened when I took Pacey to school today and my nerves feel all jangled.
I had gotten Pacey out of the car and was putting his backpack on him to walk into the classroom. As I slipped the second strap over his shoulder he bolted into the middle of the parking lot just as a car came around the corner. I lunged and managed to grab his shirt collar and the driver (who happened to be his speech therapist at school) saw him as well and was driving at a sensible speed and stopped right away.
Obviously my heart leapt into my throat - it was terrifying although he was never actually in danger of being hit. Mostly though (because he WAS safe), it made me really, really angry. Not exactly angry at him, more angry at how helpless I feel to teach him how to keep himself safe. I talk until I am blue in the face about staying with me in parking lots and watching for cars, we practice looking both ways, etc. But it just doesn't seem to sink in with him. Maybe all 5 1/2 year olds are oblivious to their surroundings, but I sense that this will be something that I am teaching Pacey long after his same-age peers have achieved a higher level of safety awareness. And honestly? It makes me angry. It makes me angry that if my child has to be affected cognitively by something that happened in his genes, it has to be this. His fundamental safety. If he runs from me towards a busy intersection and I yell for him to stop and give chase, he will look back, give me a huge grin and run straight into the damn street.
I remain as vigilant as I can be. I always get Brighton out of the car first (in fact, her seat is behind mine for that reason) as she can be trusted at this point to stay by the car while I unbuckle Pacey. Whenever possible, they both go straight from the car into a shopping cart so there's no opportunity for bolting. For now, that works but at some point he will be too big for a shopping cart, just as he will be too big to pick up and carry when he refuses to hold my hand and walk. I know I just have to keep teaching him and trying to raise his awareness but at times like this it feels like an impossible task.