“Code Yellow” is what the Target employees say when a child is lost. Everyone on the sales floor stops what he is doing to look for a child matching the description being broadcast on the walkie-talkie system. Some employees will block the doors, and make sure no one is leaving with a child that doesn’t belong to them. They don’t announce the missing child’s name lest a kidnapper overhear and have even more information to use in snatching him away.
This I know from experience. The Code Yellow was issued for all of five minutes but those were five panicked minutes.
In the first two months of having two kids, I lost my oldest at Target, called poison control, and rear-ended a minivan in the Trader Joe’s parking lot with both kids in the backseat.
Thankfully, as I recount this, we are all safe and fine, although a little bit poorer after paying the car insurance deductible. And for what it is worth, the little pouches of silica that come with new shoes and purses are not toxic. Maybe this will be helpful information if your little people happen to “look for cookies” in the closet.
With two kids, you have to parent to the big picture. The details fall apart or fall to the wayside. Some of those details are small, like how many times this week your toddler only ate mac and cheese. Sometimes the detail has a major consequence, like which way they wandered off while you shopped the clearance rack.
The mother of one couldn’t imagine losing track of her child. She had it all under control.
This new mother of two knows that she can’t always keep an eye on everyone and everything. She has learned that control is a myth. The less she tries to control, or the less control she tells herself she has, the freer she is to enjoy this season.
Speaking of savoring this season of life, do you remember how much time is spent nursing a newborn? About 4 weeks in, I looked down and this new tiny baby was suddenly across my entire lap.
WAIT! I thought. This is happening. Time is passing. Even when it feels like the longest moment when both my children need me and they’re both crying and I rush from one to the other and nobody is really happy with the partial attention. Those long moments are adding up and this baby is growing up fast.
I better stop wishing these days away and start breathing in the cuddles and the coos. When I see them sleep, I have to close my eyes because there’s so much love. And truthfully, so much gratitude that they can finally rest and so can I.