So Matthew and I accompanied James to storytime at the library the other day. James and 11 other four and five year olds spent half an hour engrossed in the creative story telling of our local children's librarian, Miss Lori. Even Matthew enjoyed it! At the end of storytime, Lori set out crafts and puzzels for the kids to work on. James created a masterpiece of a penguin out of tissue paper and feathers. I was rushing him out the door so I could go to the store before it was time to pick up Sam when I ran in to Lori and we started chatting about James' art class (a great topic for a future post). As I talked to Lori, Matthew let go of my hand and toddled off to the next room to look at the board books he loves so much... or so I thought.
I quickly finished the conversation so I could round up Matthew and James and get going. I walked over to the board books. No Matthew. I walked over to the doll house and puzzles. No Matthew. I walked up the stairs which he loves to climb. No Matthew. At this point I was getting frantic. The children's library is not very big and I searched all of it twice. No Matthew. I was making a second loop, asking everyone if they had seen my little guy when another Mom came up to me with a teary Matthew in her arms: "I found him on the elevator."
I uttered a heartfelt thanks and sat down on a nearby chair to snuggle Matthew, needing reassurance more than he did. Another mom came up to me. "My son did that once. The elevator button is so low that the babies can reach it. So scary!" Yeah, no kidding. It hit me that I was lucky no one had tried to summon the elevator to another floor while Matthew was inside by himself. Poor little guy! It must have been terrifying or at least terribly confusing! I can just picture him, so proud of himself figuring out how to make the doors open and then so confused why they closed and he couldn't get out.
For future library visits, maybe I will just keep him strapped in the stroller. From the time I realized he was missing to the time I had him back in my arms it was only a short two minutes. Although I gotta say, it was the longest two minutes of my life!