Forty minutes

bassYup. Today it is forty minutes I have until wake-up time. The last hour was spent…hmmmm…. having to pee (which I have yet to do), checking a million emails, looking at….er… ended up having to pee after all. Okay, so I peed, just put a load of laundry in the washing machine, grabbed my bass from the basement, came back upstairs to the kitchen. While I was separating light and dark clothing (that’s right, that is the extent of it), I remembered something about this morning that was so freaky that I shoved it away for a few hours. But I’ll share it here with you, dear reader, now.

Beenie, Mimi and I were Jiyun and Marko’s guests to the National Aquarium in Balmer this morning. We do this on occasion —  exchange our memberships to different fun things around towne. I hope to host them in the next week or two for a morning of sun at the Maryland Zoo. Anyway, we’re in the aquarium, girls and Marko running around, having a great time, and we were walking toward the spiral fish tank that you wind down to a lower floor, but are able to view fish and marine life through the continuous windows along the sides of the winding wall. At the top of this part of the exhibit, there is a fence that someone who likes to climb could possibly construe as a ladder. Which is what Beenie, queen climby pants did, and proceeded to climb almost to the top of said fence/ladder. She did this after I had turned away for about thirty seconds to look for Mimi, who was wandering amok. I turned back and saw my eldest’s silhouette at the second from the top ladder/fence step, about six inches keeping her from tipping over the top and into the extremely deep and jagged tank below. My heart stopped or went full-throttle, both. I uttered her name, but didn’t shout because I didn’t want her to lose her balance or concentration and fall over the edge. Luckily, a lady about five feet in front of me quietly walked over to my monkey child, picked her up off the fence and put her on the floor. What would I have done if she’d fallen in the tank? Would I have jumped in after her? What about Mimi? Jiyun and Marko were a bit behind us, so who would have watched Mimi? I feel like weeping just thinking about it right now. This is one of the most difficult parts of parenting multiples, keeping safety tabs on them. I could have lost my Beenie today. It is terrifying to have so much responsibility. It would be easier if I were younger and not quite so keenly tapped into mortality, or just stupider. More stupid. Duh.

On the other side, however, and there is always another side, friends, both daughters and our friends survived todays trip to the aquarium, and we were able to get a sandwich afterwards like human beings. There were a number of young people at the aquarium this morning who had noticeable brain and/or genetic afflictions, so much so that most were confined to wheelchairs and many of who were in entirely another world. Their parents have other issues to grapple with, larger issues than myself. I am reminded of my incredible luck to have healthy children. And am humbly grateful for the opportunity to raise them. I may have to bring back the monkey backpack/leashes. If Beenie had been wearing her monkey leash and had indeed fallen into the tank of disaster, I would have simply fished her out; soggy, scared and ready to dive again into the deep waters; intact.

According to one of the ticket-taking guys at the exit/entrance to the aquarium, last Monday-Wednesday, Michelle Obama and her daughters were looking at the fishes, too. I bet if one of those little girls fell into the water, there would be fifty secret service personell diving in after her. I should look into hooking myself up an entourage. Sometimes it isn’t enough to have one adult and two toddlers. Is that a benefit of working for the Federal Government? I’ll have to look it up on usajobs.gov.

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2 thoughts on “Forty minutes

  1. No joke, I would have thrown up. I’m sorry you had to have your heart shoot out through your mouth like that. And you’re right, perspective is great, and you have two healthy wonderful girls, but the spectre of that becoming one is more than a mom should ever have to think about.

    I would send a note to the aquarium, btw. In a casual, “In the interest of the kids who will be there next week,” kind of thing. That’s really dangerous. Yes, we’re supposed to watc our children, but you have two kids and two eyes, and unless you’re the glass-eyed lady from Clash of the Titans, you can’t physically watch both at all times. And drowning and the aquarium shouldn’t be possible. It just shouldn’t. The touch tanks are staffed for that reason.

    Send them a note. Good god, what would happen if someone else’s child drowned next week and you hadn’t warned them?

    Thank heaven your Beenie is safe. And that Mimi still has her.

    Shudder.

    1. yeah. i think a note is a good idea. there was a dude who worked at the aquarium who was nearby the scene of no accident, and he said nobody had been lost yet, though a guy did lose his dentures in one of the tanks and they had to fish them out.

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