Toddler outwits security–and parents

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In national news this week, there was a fascinating story from Washington, D.C. The Associated Press reported a security breach at the White House. For the first time in recent history, the $64-million-dollar fence that circles the people’s house was penetrated.

What was it that sent the U. S. Secret Service Uniformed Division officers scrambling, you ask? It was a toddler (a boy one, of course) who ditched his parents and squeezed between two pickets of the fence. His unapproved field trip came to an abrupt halt, thanks to the intervention of the fun haters, aka Secret Service guys.

“We were going to wait until he learned to talk to question him, but in lieu of that, he got a time out and was sent on his way with his parents,” said Mr. Edwin Donovan, a spokesman for the United States Secret Service.

Any parent knows the truth–a toddler is the fastest land mammal on the planet. Upon reading the account, I had instant flashbacks of my own land mammals and their many escapes. No grocery shopping trip felt complete without at least one of the herd disappearing while my back was turned. Scouring clothing racks for extra pairs of legs was SOP (Standard Operating Procedure); they were great at hiding. I was great at seeking.

One such incident occurred at Walmart. There I was, shopping with the baby and his next-older brother who had traveled along that day wearing a jaunty Santa hat. All at once, Santa Hat was gone, just–vanished into the ether. Unable to run the aisles with a baby, I rushed to find an associate and explain my dilemma. Over the loud speaker, I heard this, “Code Adam! Code Adam! All associates, please drop everything and look for a young boy wearing a Santa hat.”

He was detained, of course, much like the toddler of W.H. fame, and there he came at last. An old woman was leading him by the hand. His little head was hanging down, Santa hat drooping along with his spirits. Whether it was chagrin or disappointment at being prevented, I could not tell, but my runner was back, safe and sound.

Another family legend involves the baby who was on that fateful Walmart trip. During our annual small-town spring festival, we would hold large, family garage sales at our house. Foot traffic for those three days was tremendous, and our sales were always successful. Now a toddler, he and his tiny toddler cousin saw their chance, and they made their break. All at once, they had disappeared. With thousands of visitors teeming in the streets, we were terror stricken. Like human cannonballs at a circus, two mothers (sans tights) catapulted into the fray, running, calling, desperate.

They were found, all right. An aunt, hearing a dog barking wildly down the street, followed the noise and glimpsed a flash of red. It was a bright, toddler coat. Fueled by adrenaline, she issued one mighty bellow, and those running boys stopped just long enough for Auntie to scoop them right up.

The fact that these babies have lived to tell about it is a modern-day miracle (proof of life can be seen in the featured image above). In the animal kingdom, they eat their young. It is done, it’s an actual ‘thing.’ But when two blue eyes blink up at you, fat tear drops threatening to fall, and they throw in The Quivering Lip, you just can’t do it. So one more time, you rescue, and comfort, and squeeze, and kiss their cheeks, giving thanks.

Giving thanks for your quick-footed land mammals and the guardian angels who attend them.

Not kidding,

Rhonda Schrock, America’s small, caffeinated MOM (Mother of Mammals)

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