I gathered up the remains of the happy meals and head to the garbage bin when I hear a blaring repetitive noise. An alarm has been set off, and without even looking, I know this is the doing of one of my children. Call it mother's intuition, experience, whatever. I know my kids. And I know this is the work of their hands.
It had been a half day of school and instead of heading home, we decided to drive 30 miles to the nearest McDonald's Playland. Danny was especially delighted as he needed only 2 more of the Power Ranger Happy Meal toys to complete his set. Charlotte and Tommy were just happy to play on the brand new, ultra cool playground equipment.
Our outing had been relatively uneventful. I mean, sure, Tommy spilled his entire root beer all over the recently mopped floor, but I would hardly call that newsworthy. Had he not spilled something, that might have surprised me. And yes, Charlotte ended up crying at one point because Danny kept saying we were leaving (when we weren't) and I think he pushed her, resulting in a timeout. Again, nothing new here, unfortunately.
And even when the alarm started ringing from the emergency exit door, (seriously, who thinks an emergency exit in a playland with the bar at a kids' level is a good idea? No one with kids, that's for sure.) I wasn't surprised, either. About a year ago, Tommy pulled the fire alarm at Bil's work, forcing the entire 300+ employees to empty the building in an impromptu fire drill.
I ushered the kids out the door, all while the alarm blared mockingly, as if to say, "Watch your kids, watch your kids, watch your kids, you negligent mother!" Head down, I avoided making eye contact with the other mothers as if my life depended on it.
We ran to the car while the theme music to "Mission Impossible" played in my head.
As if reading my mind, Danny asked, "Uh, mom, are the police coming for us?"
I felt the perverse urge to reply, "Don't worry, honey, we can outrun the police! Don't worry about them."
Instead, I said that it was an accident. We weren't in trouble.
When we were safely on our way home, I said, "That's what we call 'making a clean getaway'."
Danny giggled delightedly and said, "Yeah, mom! That was like we were robbers and had accidentally robbed a bank."
Yep, that's exactly what that was like.