Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Run, Run, As Fast As You Can

The Dragon and I went to the bus stop to pick up The Princess after school. While there, we sat and chatted with one of our friends who was also waiting for her child to arrive.

As expected, the school bus eventually arrived, and our precious cargo was delivered safe and sound. The weather was beautiful, the children were happy, so we stayed at the bus stop and continued our little chat while the children happily scampered in the sunlight.

Naturally, the longer the children scampered the more rambunctious they became. The Dragon kept disappearing around the corner of a busy street. I called for her to come back but The Princess informed me that The Dragon was out of my vocal range, so I went to investigate.

Sure enough, The Dragon was rapidly making her way down the street. I yelled. She couldn't hear me. I tried to run - there just ain't no use - she's way too fast and way too far away. My only choice is to walk as fast as I can and keep screaming her name.

The street that she was cruising down is a very wide street. It's only two lanes, but the size of it tends to invite a lot of people to speed. There are also no stop lights, stop signs, or speed bumps. The Dragon is also fairly short - not necessarily because she is small, but only that she is only 4. Four year olds are simply not THAT tall - not compared to vehicles. I am panicking.

I finally catch up to her - thank God that she remembered to STAY ON THE SIDEWALK. I was furious. She got three very hard swats on the behind as soon as I had one arm on her. I proceeded to drag her back up the street (TWO ENTIRE BLOCKS) yelling at her the entire way, even stopping to spank her two more times when we were about halfway back. I was so furious. I threw both kids in the car when we got back to the bus stop, didn't bother with their seat belts, and continued yelling at both of them the entire way home.

I stuck them both on the couch and yelled at them some more. The Princess explained that her friend wanted to 'spank The Dragon' because she 'took a weed off of a tree.' The Princess explained that they chased The Dragon, which caused her to run. The Princess said that her friend 'MADE her do it.' The Princess was told in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that her friend can't MAKE her do anything, and that if ANYONE ever says that they are going to hurt The Dragon (or anyone else), The Princess must say 'I AM NOT GOING TO DO THAT' and/or, at the very least, COME AND TELL ME. Why on earth would she think that it's OK to spank her sister? WHY? We don't allow it, if there is one rule in the Castle it is that WE DO NOT HURT PEOPLE.

So now I know WHY The Dragon ran, but I have no idea why she didn't come back when she heard me calling her. At first, I don't think she heard me. But toward the end I know she did, yet she still kept running. I know some parents have kids who love to run away from them in all kinds of situations, but honestly, that's not something that we have really ever struggled with. So WHY? Unfortunately, The Dragon doesn't know either. I can only imagine that she got scared... because she is after all, only four years old.

That's the part that kills me. The Dragon is still so little and here I was yelling, screaming and spanking her. The Dragon and I simply don't have that kind of relationship - I rarely need to raise my voice at her. She must've been terrified.

Oh, I know. Most of you probably would've done the same thing too. It's a small comfort. But I pray I will never, ever experience something like this again.

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