They didn’t get lost so I just ate it | Living with Gleigh

One day last week I was working in my mom's garden. I was on a roll and didn't want to quit until I was done. So I called my husband and asked him if he'd pick up the kids from their bus stops and figure something out for dinner.

When I got home about 3:15 no one was there yet. I took a shower, pajamaed up and relaxed in my bedroom to wait for my family. I figured since my oldest wasn’t’ home my husband must have picked her up and taken her to Costco with him to find something for dinner.

I have to admit I was a bit concerned. My husband and oldest daughter both have A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder). My daughter was diagnosed as a 6th grader and my husband has never been diagnosed. But when I compare his behavior to my older daughter’s, I can deduce from which of her parents she inherited this trait.

These two have a history of getting lost together, starting from when my daughter was very young. To my husband and daughter time is much like a faucet dripping water into sand: it looks wet, but it doesn’t amount to anything.

So I have tried to make sure over the years never to send them off alone together. Inevitably, if I do, they will get lost and/or lose track of time. We once went camping up at Deception Pass and my daughter, who was probably around 11 years old, and her father decided to go for a “little” walk. Hours later, with dusk upon us, they still weren’t back. If you’ve ever been to Deception Pass you know there are many cliffs and drops offs and no cell phone service. I started imagining the worst: my daughter falling off a cliff into the water and my husband, who is not a strong swimmer, going in after her. You can finish that scenario in your own mind.

I started packing up the RV because I had no other vehicle to go searching for them. I was trying not to panic because I didn’t want to alarm my younger daughter. Just as I climbed in driver’s seat of the RV, my husband and daughter came meandering up the hill towards the camp site, totally unaware of how much time had passed and how much turmoil they had created. I fell apart with relief, anger, and just the emotion of trying to hold it together for my youngest daughter.

That wasn’t the first time I’ve lost them. I have also lost them in Disneyworld, water parks, and various other places. Now when we are together as a family and we have to split up, I send my youngest daughter, who is not A.D.D. and has an appropriate sense of time, with my husband and keep my oldest daughter with me. This assures me of a quick regrouping at the right time.

So you can imagine the thoughts that went through my head when I knew my husband and oldest daughter were both at Costco trying to decide on dinner. When they finally made it home, I just had to laugh; all the years I spent planning and cooking balanced meals for my family has had zero impact them. They chose an all-meat pizza and chicken Alfredo. There wasn't a shred of vegetation to be seen.

But as my older daughter commented on my blog the day I wrote about their food choices: “That's what you get for sending your two A.D.D. ‘children’ to pick up food from the store. The big store. With lots of shiny things and samples.”

Honestly, I was happy they didn’t get lost and they picked my youngest up at the bus on time. So although I apparently have little influence on their food choices, I didn't complain, I just ate it.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to writing about the humor amidst the chaos of a family. You can read her column every week on and  more of her writing and her daily blog on her website


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