Madalyn had already found an exciting career path. I am certain she will make an excellent magician's assistant one day, complete with flashy red dress and amazing smile. I think her specialty will be the disappearing act.
Friday was a particularly long day with my dear, sweet Madalyn. From what I had remembered with David, turning four marked a turn into the rational phase - you know, one where the child could actually begin to rationalize things and would begin to stop throwing themselves to the ground and thrashing about on the floor. I have looked forward to this phase with Madalyn, wishing and hoping it would help me like her more. Before you gasp in horror, I did say like, not love. And, yes, I am brave enough to admit that there are times (numerous times) that I can say I don't particularly like my children. I do love them beyond comprehension, but like is a totally different word. Anywho - Madalyn's move around turn number four has been more like a move backward to two. She has resumed more frequent meltdowns and throwing fits of rage and inconsolable crying. And the whining. I just don't quite understand, but I swear I will make it through one day at a time and in one piece. In other words, I am closing my eyes and holding on for dear life.
So, back to Friday. Long day. Many fits. Many fights. Lots of noise from Madalyn. We had a little batting practice at a local indoor facility for David's team that evening at 5:00 due to the rainy weather, and when we returned home, I ordered pizza on the internet (cause, you know, I can't stand to call and order pizza - big unexplainable phobia of mine). I went upstairs and started running Madalyn's bath water and called her to some get in. No surprise, she didn't come running. Never really does. So, I went in her brother's room to retrieve her. No Madalyn. Checked in her room. Not there either. Checked my bedroom, downstairs computer room, behind the shower curtains, in the front yard, in the driveway, in the master closets, in the closet underneath the stairs, in the pool, on the side of the house - still couldn't find her. By this point, David has joined in the search and is in tears. And I am keeping it all together and rationalizing that she has to be there somewhere. We came home with her, and all the doors were dead bolted, and it was raining outside pretty heavily (surely high-maintenance herself wouldn't venture out in that). She just had to be there. Had to. But where was she, and why was she not giggling and giving up where she was like she always does???
I searched the entire house again (and outside - AGAIN) and even called out that this wasn't funny and she needed to reveal herself if she could hear me. Because, I assure you, it was soooo not funny. And then at some point I turned to David and asked him, "We did bring her home with us, right?" It just didn't make any sense, and I knew it didn't . She had to be in that house somewhere unless someone had come in and taken her literally right from underneath my nose. Finally, I had searched all I could and I called my neighbor to check with her to see if Madalyn had wandered over there to see her friend, Noah. It was dark and cold and raining, but I just had to check. When I began to talk to her, I just lost it. Crying. Couldn't breathe. The works. She said she'd be there in a second to help me figure out what to do. And that's when David and I went into Madalyn's room for about the fourth time. And I heard it...
Giggling. Soooo not funny.
It was emotion unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I was so angry, but, at the same time, I was so relieved to find her. I wanted to slap her and hug her at the same time. There she was, tucked neatly in the corner behind her bookshelf. I wouldn't have dreamed she could fit there, but apparently she does. She was so pleased with herself. Me and David stood there crying like a couple of fools, and she stood there with her hands over her mouth LAUGHING. I couldn't even deal with her at that point. I really was afraid I would hurt her if I put my hands on her. So I just turned to David and we hugged and cried some more. And she kept on laughing.
I know she is four and that she really doesn't understand things the way an adult does. Maybe she didn't' get that she scared us so bad. But she heard us looking for her. She knew we were upset. And she just thought it was funny. That is what bothered me so much. But I had something for her to help her better understand how we felt. I took her precious piggy and blanket and hid them from her. And boy, let me tell you, if that didn't teach her a lesson then I don't know what will. She searched and searched and cried and cried. And I finally called her into the room and asked her how it felt to not be able to find something she loved so much. I hope it worked. I hope she understands. And I hope I never feel that feeling again. No matter how much she can drive me crazy, I love her more than anything and can't imagine a day in my life without her.