July 7, 2006
Something triggered a long ago memory of my 10 year old son. You know, the one that I have contemplated calling Dennis the Menace, because really, he’s a handfull.
It was back in 1998 that the ‘incident’ happened. Ryan was about 2. We were at Walmart on a Friday evening. It was our usual end of the work week ritual. Head to town for dinner out, get groceries and stop at Wally World to pick up a few things.
I had Ryan in the shopping cart, he was happily playing with some toy I grabbed off of the shelf to help keep him occupied. He was not the kind of 2 year old that you could trust to walk beside you. He’d be gone in .07 seconds flat. Warp speed.
As we’re heading to the checkout, my husband says that he’s going to go wait in the van with the other boys. That was fine since we were almost done. I pay, get almost to the door and Sean comes back in because he has to go to the bathroom. I tell him I’ll wait here right beside the door while he does his thing. By this time, I’ve taken Ryan out of the shopping cart and am holding him. He’s kinda hanging over my right shoulder. He’s tugging at something since he keeps pulling me backwards. I glance over my shoulder and see something red on the wall but don’t pay much attention to what it actually is.
Sean comes out of the washroom and we head out to the van. As I’m putting Ryan in his car seat, I hear sirens. The boys are freaking, telling me to look at all of the firetrucks pulling into the Walmart parking lot. My brain is starting to slightly hurt and I can’t figure out why. Then I see that Walmart employees are gathering around the front of the store. Then I notice that there are also alot of customers gathering too. Then I hear it. The announcement. Some Walmart employee is telling people that the store is now on lockdown because it’s on fire. Now I know why my brain hurts. Ryan was playing with the fire alarm on the wall in the store. Ya, that’s what the RED thing on the wall was. PULL INCASE OF FIRE.
I instruct the boys to quickly get buckled, yell at hubby to pull away before our toddler is arrested and thrown in juvie for deliquent behavior.
As we’re pulling away, the fire fighters are getting out of the fire trucks to assess the situation. I slid down in my seat and hoped we didn’t look like a family on the run. I look back at Ryan and he’s playing with his sandal, totally oblivous to what havoc he’s just wreaked upon us and Walmart.