That being said, Garrett almost didn't survive this next bit of drama.
So this afternoon, Garrett was supposed to be out playing in the front yard with his friend. After a half an hour, I go to check on him. I see his friend playing in the front yard. No sign of him anywhere.
"Where is he?" I ask.
"I dunno," is the reply.
He isn't at the park. He isn't hiding in the bushes where the kids usually play. He's not behind the houses by the park. He hasn't come home a different way while I was out looking for him. He's not anywhere that I can see where he would normally play. I'm starting to get a little panicked at this point, esp. since his other friend isn't answering the door.
Just as I'm about to get REALLY worried, he comes sauntering across the parking lot from parts unknown, looking all innocent and saying, "Hi daddy!"
"GET HOME... NOW!" is my only response. As we're just about to round the side of the house into our front parking lot, I point at the three cop cars parked in front of our house and say, "We were so worried about you that we had the police here to help us find you."
He scurried into the house, hanging his head in shame, knowing that he was in big trouble. I, on the other hand, nodded to the officers, who were actually just parking in the empty spots in front of my house while they took care of something a few houses down. They smiled back because they knew I'd just pulled one over on him.
Suffice it to say, Garrett now knows that it is VERY important to let us know where he is at all times OR ELSE THE AUTHORITIES WILL BE CONTACTED!
Oh, and I also found a toy that he really wanted on sale in a clearance bin this evening while I was out. I have stashed it in his room in such a place that he'll only find it if he actually does a proper job of cleaning his room. I'm not going to say anything about it except to remind him that his room is pretty messy.
Now to wait while the Parent Of The Year awards roll in.