"Losing it" and "temper tantrums" go very nicely together, don't they? Today, a temper tantrum made me lose something else - amazingly enough, it wasn't my temper.
We took the kids to see the lights today. It was gorgeous. I love seeing giant trees decorated with a bazillion lights. And they had free Christmas concerts, too. The first concert we went to was an institute choir. They did a really good job. I know, I'm biased because Alec was singing with them. Moms are supposed to be biased. But they did sound good, and I loved watching Alec's concentration and intensity, and his enjoyment of singing. That makes me happy.
After that concert, we met Alec and a few of his friends, hugged, saw some more lights, and then went back for the second concert. This one was the top choir in Ben's school. We got a sneak peek at their songs last night at the high school choir concert, where Ben did an amazing job. Did I say that I love listening to my boys sing? Love it.
After sitting (somewhat) still for two (somewhat short) concerts, the little ones were done. They'd had it. Especially Freddie. He could not sit still for anything. Outside was better, but there was such a crowd of people walking that I was sure we would lose someone. Trent had Freddie, Ben had the Angel, David and Eddie were buddies, and Georgie was riding on Chris's shoulders. I did head counts about every two minutes, and was always so relieved that no children were yet missing.
We went into a building to rest and see the exquisite interior. I am not exaggerating. The old hotel is a masterpiece, and when it is all decked out for Christmas - wow. I ducked into a little cafe and bought a few cookies to validate our parking. The little ones were quite edgy by the time I got back. I broke one of the large cookies in half to give to the twins.
Freddie saw the half-cookie I was offering to him and smiled, but then saw the whole cookie in my other hand. He started to scream. Right there in the manicured hallway of the beautiful building, with nicely-dressed people bustling past. I held up the cookie again, trying to soothe him, but he would have nothing of it. He took the cookie, pitched it across the hallway, threw himself on the floor, and proceeded to have a full-blown, creaming, kicking tantrum. It was a doozy.
I bent down and tried to quiet him, but it was too late. I finally scooped him up, crying and kicking, and hauled him outside so at least it wouldn't echo as much. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone in the holiday crowd. Tantrums happen.
We walked half a block and got out to the street corner when I realized I was missing my wallet. When I changed into clean jeans just before loading everyone up in the van, I realized that my non-mommy jeans had very short pockets. I wouldn't be taking a purse, and I knew I'd have to be careful with my wallet sticking out of those cute but impractical pockets. I even had a little prompting to just take my credit card and leave the wallet home. I should have listened.
Coming out of the cafe, I was balancing a stack of cookies, the validated parking ticket, my receipt, and the wallet. I had shoved the wallet into my (even shorter) front pocket to free up my hands. When I crouched down to deal with the temper tantrum, it must have been squeezed out of my pocket and onto the floor.
Yes, I went back and looked for it. Yes, I prayed about it (and so have the boys). I talked to the people at the cafe, and the help desk. I gave them my phone number and a description of the wallet. I got the number for security, which I will call in the morning. I have done everything I could.
Except avoiding the problem in the first place by following that little prompting.
I lost my wallet, not my children, and not my temper. I'd like to lose the tantrums, though.