This morning I was oddly interrupted while making the kids oatmeal for breakfast. Someone was the door. I assumed it was DHL or FedEx delivery. But when I opened the door, I realized it was a bundled mom I couldn't quite recognize.
"Hi, I live in the block behind you. Do you have a blue tent?" she asked.
"Yes, I do," I replied.
"The wind blew it into my backyard, and before I could grab it, it flew into my front yard."
"Omigosh, really? My tent is in your yard?"
[Looks at my belly] "I'd help you get it, but it could be in the street by now, and it's too big to just drag into my house. And, I don't know how to take a tent down.
"Yeah, my husband put it up, but I'll go get it right away. Thanks for letting me know."
So I scooped up the oatmeal into the kids' bowls and quickly assessed the situation. Bundling them up and getting them buckled in the car would take another 10 minutes. And if the tent was in the street, that could mean disaster. I told the Schmoop, who was home sick due to an overnight asthma attack, to watch his little sister, turned on my alarm, switched on the TV to Noggin and did the unthinkable -- left the kids alone in the house. I raced to the street behind ours, and thank God, the tent was still in the neighbor's front yard. It had gotten stuck between a tree and a street sign.
I don't know how I got the tent down. I called the husband to whine about the situation (read: blame him for not taking down the tent despite the ubiquitous weather reports of record-high winds). I was angry, frustrated, worried about the kids, and filled with an adrenaline rush to just get the damn thing down. While I was hustling with the tent, I actually fell (the neighbor's front yard is on an incline). At one point a mother and toddler who live across the street opened their door and stared at me but said and did nothing (what could a mom with a barely-walking toddler do, I guess). The whole thing took less than 10 minutes, which is miraculous as I have never, ever taken a tent down before! I managed to shove everything in my trunk, get back in the car, and rush right back to the house.
The kids were exactly where I left them -- eating their oatmeal at the breakfast counter. Now, I know many of you have zero-tolerance for what I did. But I had images of this huge tent -- my huge tent! -- causing a multi-car pileup on the curvy avenue we live off of... I just had to get it ASAP, and looking back on the morning felt like I had no choice but to put on a coat (over my pajama pants and maternity sweatshirt) and secure that tent!
So we won't be leaving the tent out in crazy weather anymore. And I won't be leaving the kids home alone again. And lastly, I can't help but add that Eureka! makes one helluva sturdy six-person tent! Despite it's little cross-street trip, the tent is perfectly fine.
Giveaway update: Last week's holiday giveaway winner is Christina. Please email me with your home address, Christina, so I can send you your prize