When things fall through the cracks. Like shoes. And a seat belt.

toddlersneaksOur family outing to attend a Purim Carnival in Ann Arbor on Sunday didn’t begin well.

Why? Well, let’s see. Neve was late getting down for her nap, so we knew she’d only get about 40 minutes of sleep before we had to scoop her up, take her out into the winter cold, and buckle the infernal five-point harness on her.

Joe thought maybe, if we were lucky, we could get her into the car quickly and smoothly enough that she’d fall back asleep when we started driving. To that end, he went out to put the packed diaper bag in the back of his car, and Lily ran out after him. She climbed up into her car seat to wait, while the car warmed up, and I gathered the things I thought we should have that didn’t make it into the diaper bag – Neve’s hat and mittens, Lily’s hat and mittens, an extra snack “just in case” – and went outside to join Lily in the idling car.

Joe appeared on the sidewalk, speed-walking with Neve – who looked dazed, wrapped in two blankets – in his arms. He tried to figure out how to buckle her into her seat with minimal fuss, but the blankets were a logistic nightmare, and in the middle of dealing with them, he said, “Oy. Her feet are bare.”

“I’ll go get her some socks,” I said, unbuckling my seat belt and running back into the house. I grabbed a pair, came out and put them on her little pork chop feet, and watched her as we drove off. She didn’t fall back asleep, but instead, looked bored and vaguely disgruntled throughout the half hour trip.

Upon getting to Ann Arbor, we were running a little late, so Joe inched forward at an intersection to turn right, not seeing an elderly man on his bike in the crosswalk. I yelled for Joe to stop, he stomped on the brake, and I suddenly felt and heard Lily’s body press against the back of my seat.

Oh, no. Continue reading

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