An old lady lived in a shoe. She had so many kids she didn’t know what to do.
Although she wasn’t a homeowner, Mrs. Crampler loved the rest of the nursery rhyme. She was a mother to nine very energetic children and was always on the go trying to manage all of the responsibilities that parenting brings.
The time for supper was quickly approaching. Between shopping, laundry, and caring for Marky, Mrs. Crampler didn’t know what she was going to serve the hungry crowd that would soon storm her front door after school.
“Ma, I’m famished!” Rachelle voiced the same nagging feeling that was enthusiastically echoed by her siblings when they entered. This was the perfect occasion to order a bagel from the local take-out restaurant.
The Cramplers loaded into the green van. The April afternoon was crisp and the anticipation of the bagel treat was tangible.
It was as if everyone in the clan had heard their voices once they entered the shop.
“Mommy! I want a chocolate donut… Mommy – could you choose a milkshake or a vanilla milkshake? Mommy, what about a danish! Huh, Mommy, huh? Mommy, I want soft icecream. I would like one with a cone …”
Mrs. Crampler convinced them all that ice-cream has its place, and would only be allowed as dessert. The family made their selections of whole wheat bagels and poppy seed bagels. They also chose tuna, egg salad, vegetable, salad, tomato salad and other options. After the ice cream was safely packed away, the family marched on, mother leading.
“Everyone in my car?” Mrs.Crampler inquired as a matter if route. They returned home.
At home, Mrs. Crampler handed the command to the older siblings. “Set the table. Before everyone eats, wash their hands. Mrs. Crampler started the tedious task by cutting open the many bagels.
Finally, the peace that comes with large families when everyone is actually eating prevailed. Mrs. Crampler enjoyed looking at her brood sitting so well around the table.
She noticed something was wrong suddenly.
“Where’s Marky?” Mrs. Campler raised her voice to an extremely high pitch. “Where’s Marky?”
Everyone stopped eating in mid-bites. Everyone looked confused as they looked around. WHERE WAS INDEED MARKY?!
“Marky? Marky?” Marky didn’t answer.
“Quick. Rachelle, go upstairs to see if Marky is. Suzy, please look in the van. Sam, check if Marky is in the basement. Mrs. Campler was in panic as she looked around the back yard.
No Marky. NO MARKY
“Was Marky still in the car when we returned?” Rachelle, it’s not too late! Contact the bagel shop. He must be still there! Tell them to hold on tight! Tell them that I am on my way!
Mrs. Campler ran away, without waiting another second. As she pulled out of the driveway, she ran onto the street. Marky, Marky… How long had it been since she drove to the bagel shop? Mrs. Campler felt her heart sink as she imagined poor Marky, scared, being left alone at the store. Imagine if he’d run onto the street to find his family’s departure… and chased them onto the highway! Even more frightening thoughts came to mind. Mrs. Crampler saw all the missing children in Walmart and realized that abductions were possible. What if? She raced down the streets, panicked.
As the lights at each intersection turned red, it seemed that minutes were slipping away. Finally she pulled into the parking lot of the bagel shop. In the frantic state that a mother is in when she loses her child, Mrs. Crampler crashed straight into an exiting vehicle. She ran past the driver of the other car, disregarding his irritated stare.
“Didn’t you see a little boy…with blond hair, freckles and freckles?” The words came out quickly as Mrs. Crampler made an unruly appearance in the bagel shop.
From the counter, there were yells of joy. “We got him!” He’s ours! They exclaimed triumphantly. They pointed towards the corner of the shop.
Mikey, calm and collected before Mrs. Crampler’s eyes was, sitting in a double vanilla ice-cream cone, surrounded only by a woman & a cop. He was a mess, but he won the battle. Vanilla ice cream was his first choice, before any bagel.
Mrs. Crampler experienced a slowing of her adrenalin.
She ran joyfully to her baby boy. She began to cry, hugging and kissing him so much that she was unable to stop.
The officer watched bemused as the woman took Mikey under her wing. Mrs. Crampler weakly explained that Mikey was somehow left behind. “This isn’t going to happen again.”
Just as Mrs. Crampler was about to leave, she met the driver from the other car into which she had collided.
“What about that accident?” He asked, understanding that he had seen the emotional reunion between mother and child.
The officer intervened and asked for both auto insurance papers and licenses.
Mikey was finally done with the formalities and was now placed in his car seat. Mikey was not too traumatized by his experience. He was quite content and calm.
After Mikey and Mrs. Crampler walked into the driveway, the front door opened. All eight siblings ran to get in the van. “Mikey! Mikey!” They cried out with unmistakable affection, “Were they scared, Mikey?” Why didn’t we take you to the van? Mikey, we’ve saved you the best spot at the table, and we made the best bagel for your taste – with tons if pickles! They couldn’t stop hugging and kissing their Mikey.
Mikey was lovingly cared for by ten pairs eyes as he ate. Mikey enjoyed the attention.
Mrs. Crampler was able to reflect on it all: the chaotic dinner arrangements, Mikey’s disappearance, the mad dash to the bagel shop, and the random accident that she caused. After all, Mikey was safe and sound. She and her husband had just purchased auto liability insurance at a very affordable rate, which would cover the accident claim.
She smiled as she admired her loved ones.