One particular day, I had a VERY full cart and I had not been able to park close, so I was trying to get my two free radicals (whom I couldn't fit into the cart because of the massive amount of groceries and the baby seat)--to orbit somewhere near me and the cart so they wouldn't get run over on our treacherous journey across the parking lot. They were both high energy and also high curiosity so they would run around in random directions and then suddenly stop to examine a bug or a rock. I got them to the spot where our giant green van was parked (kids--remember that monstrosity on wheels?). As I was maneuvering the cart around to the back, a flock of birds landed nearby and the boys were of course drawn to them immediately. I tried to keep one eye on them as I buckled Shayla into the van. Then turned to loading groceries. Seth ran by so I scooped him up and buckled him into his carseat. I got the rest of the groceries loaded and turned to get Spencer, but he was nowhere in sight. I could still see the birds and figured he was close by. I looked on one side of the van and then the other. Then I started calling for him,
"Spencer! Spencer come here! Time to go!"
No answer. No pitter-patter of little feet.
I called louder as I continued to look up and down the rows of cars. I was starting to panic and still no sign of him. Then I crossed over into early-stage hysteria. I was yelling:
"SPENCER!!! SPENCER!!! WHERE ARE YOU!!!"
Then I stepped around a big truck just a few cars down and there he was carefully stalking a bird--completely oblivious to his frazzled mother. I asked him, "Why didn't you answer me when I was calling you? You scared me to death! I was so worried that something had happened to you! You could have been hit by a car or kidnapped!"
He calmly answered me: "Didn't you tell me to yell for help if I was in trouble? If I wasn't yelling 'Help, help' you should have known I was just fine."