Saturday, February 07, 2015

Family Walk Fail

This morning Andrew took Miriam to cheer and then they went grocery shopping. I stayed home with Rachel and Benjamin and we worked to clean up the house a bit.

This afternoon Rachel went to a birthday party at a neighbourhood friend's house, Miriam went to play with the girls across the street, and Benjamin and I took a nap while Daddy prepped dinner. It's a beautiful day and he wants to barbecue (and I say all the more power to him). By the time I woke up, Benjamin had already been awake for a while and Andrew was ready for a nap, so he fell asleep on the couch and Benjamin and I played around and then started getting ready to go on a walk to pick up Rachel from her friend's house.

Benjamin and I woke Andrew up, but Andrew made no sign of ever getting off the couch, so I assumed he wasn't coming with us. I put Benjamin's shoes on, put his sweater on, said goodbye, grabbed the keys, got the stroller out of the trunk, put the keys back inside, and left. After all, I figured it was probably a good idea to pick Rachel up on time since she'd been there for four hours.

Andrew swears he had gotten up to go to the bathroom and get ready so he could come with us (I don't recall seeing any evidence of this). He made Miriam come home so she could come on a family walk with us but by the time she was ready to go we were long gone and Andrew freaked out a bit.

"I don't know if I've been watching too much Broadchurch or what but I suddenly started thinking, 'What if she was abducted right under my nose? I don't even have a solid alibi. They're going to think I did it!'" he told me.

He'd been calling my cell phone repeatedly. I'd left it on the nightstand (because who even carries those these days? Cell phones are a trend) so I wasn't picking up, obviously, which had him even more worried (though I hardly ever get to my phone before it goes to voicemail, so...should he have been worried really?).

Furthermore, he wasn't sure of the exact address of the party. I've always been the one to drop Rachel off there, so he knew what street it was on and he remembered they had a three in their house number but that was all. He and Miriam ended up going the long way around the loop, while Benjamin and I took the short side of the loop—but really it's only a difference of 0.1 miles (or about a minute of walking time, according to Google Maps).

I stayed and chatted with the mom for a minute and we oohed and aahed over how big our respective Bens are getting (her little baby Ben was born prematurely last summer—pesky Benjamins!). She wanted to know how my pregnancy has been going and said we need to get together.

"I know!" I said. "I feel like I've been hibernating all winter. We really need to get outside again. Maybe one of these warm days we can get together at the park and let the kids play."

Then I left with Benjamin and Rachel in tow and we headed home, the short way again.

Meanwhile, Andrew and Miriam had been racing to "catch up" with us (or find our dead bodies lying in the woods; either-or). They saw a house with balloons on the mailbox and children playing in the yard and the house number had a three in it so they figured it must be the place. They stopped by to pick Rachel up.

"Nancy just came by," Andrew was informed by the confused hosts.

"Oh, she must be just ahead of us then," Andrew said. Those were his outside words. His inside words were, "That means she's not dead!!"

Rachel, Benjamin, and I got home and saw the lid to the barbecue up.

"Daddy must be starting dinner," I said.

We walked around the corner and Rachel raced Benjamin to the door but found that it was locked. They rang the doorbell. No one answered. The stood and rang it probably a million times but, in the words of Benjamin, "Ding-dong not work!" Andrew never came to the door.

I sent Rachel around back to see if the backdoor was unlocked. After all, if Andrew had started dinner he might have locked the front door and left the back door open. As for why he wasn't answering the doorbell, perhaps he was in the bathroom.

But then I saw Miriam coming around the corner.

"What's she doing there?" I thought to myself. The neighbours usually keep a pretty tight leash on their kids and I couldn't imagine them just sending Miriam off to wander the streets alone. And then I saw Andrew coming up behind her.

"THERE YOU ARE!!" he yelled. "Where have you been?!"

"What do you mean where have I been?" I asked. "Where have you been?"

"I thought we were going on a family walk!" he said.

"So did I but you wouldn't wake up so I said I'd just take Benjamin and go because if we were going to get Rachel on time we had to leave right then," I explained.

We each recounted our side of the story, though I still don't know how Andrew and Miriam didn't manage to catch up to us. I go pregnancy pace—which involves a bit of a limp and a waddle, thanks to pelvic pain and fiery butt darts—so it's not like we were making great time. And I almost, almost took the long bit of the loop home but there's this big hill that I didn't want to walk up so we took the short way home again.

Had we taken the long way we would have at least avoided the embarrassment of having Andrew try to pick up Rachel minutes after I had picked her up. I'm sure those parents are wondering if we even communicate at all (we do; it's just that communication isn't very effective when someone's just barely woken up from a nap, that's all).

To make our family walk count as an actual family walk, we did a quick turn around our cul-de-sac.

So I suppose our family walk wasn't a complete fail. We all walked about the same distance and we all walked together (at least for a little while).


  1. Oh, this was a BETTER family walk! It makes for a much better story than "We went for a family walk to pick Rachel up from a birthday party" does! (Also, the first paragraph has an abundance of Rachels to the exclusion of Miriams...)

    1. You're right. Rachel wouldn't be the one going to cheer, would she? Fixed!