I was cleaning....purging Damien and Caliana's room, which was a huge undertaking. I cleared out 3 garbage bags full of toys. Cali was alternating helping me and playing with toys recently unearthed from the clutter. Emily was watching tv and folding laundry, and Damien went for a bike ride.
Typically this means he rides around the block and goes to the house of one of four friends' that live on our block. No cause for concern.
Dinnertime rolled around and he wasn't back yet, so I sent the girls to check his friends' houses, and I drove to the two playgrounds near our house. No luck, but it was still an hour until dark and knowing it was Damien, we weren't in panic mode yet. Just as we were sitting down to dinner, Damien walks in sobbing. He had gone to the apartment complex nearby to play at their playground and had a run-in with an older boy. 14 by Damien's telling. This boy apparantly yelled "come on man, one on one, one on one" and socked Damien up a bit. Damien tried to leave and the kid blocked him for awhile before letting him go.
Of course I was livid to hear this and Patrick was ready to go over there to confront said child and parents, but Damien said no. He was sad about it, but didn't want to go back. We had dinner. We also had a talk about how important it is for him to tell us where he's going, so we know where he is at all times. There was much nodding and agreeing.
We get home and Damien says "mom, can I go for a bike ride?"
me: "Where are you wanting to ride?"
D: "Just to the church playground"
"Ok, but just go there and back! NO where else!"
"Ok mom" *much nodding and reassuring*
45 minutes later......
Patrick: "Love, there's a cop car just pulled up with a bike in the trunk, want to go talk to him?"
Oh sure I'd love to take that one.
Officer: "Hi maa'm, were you aware that your son was riding his bike down the freeway?"
Of course! Don't all parents let their 8 year olds play on the freeway?
"Uh no! He had very specific instructions to ride to the church half a block up and nowhere else"
"He said he was trying to ride to your old house to play with his friend. Is that far?"
"Yeah, it's um, across town. Well thank you for bringing him home" *walks back inside with much parental guilt seeping out of my pores*
I guess when we tell Damien "go there and nowhere else" he takes it as a challenge to ride on the most dangerous road to the farthest place he can think of.
We've banned bike rides, forever.
3 days ago