“That’s Not Our Baby!” Have You Ever Walked Off With the Wrong Kid?

Yesterday I was packing up the mass assortment of towels and toys that’s standard for a family expedition to the local pool, while my husband chased our 20-month-old daughter around the nearby kiddie spray-ground, and my two older kids pleaded with me for snacks. I was almost done (with the packing and the begging), and gave my husband, Dan, the “ready-to-roll” signal.

Just as I stuffed the last pair of goggles inside a bag, I looked up to see my husband approaching with our daughter held out in front of him, face-forward, like an offering, her green bathing suit dripping and her blond curls tousled and wet. She clutched a plastic blue measuring cup in her hand, but wait…. That’s not her suit. And that’s not…her. I sprung from my knees.

“Dan!” I cried. “That’s not our baby!”

My husband turned the toddler in his arms around. She had a slightly confused but otherwise content look on her face, and he might have introduced her to her first expletive as he hustled her back from whence she came (just a few yards, really) and set her down beside her father, who was standing by our blonde daughter in her green suit, and holding a matching blue cup. (Hate to say it, but that dad hadn’t seemed to notice the switcheroo either!)

This is one of those moments you can lord over your spouse for awhile, right? It reminded me of a news item we caught together years ago: a woman had accidentally driven her car off of a ferryboat. The woman was fine, but we wondered how she survived her marriage. We predicted she was automatically on the losing end of every spat forevermore. “You think I should load the dishwasher your way? Um, whatever. You drove the car off the ferry.” This toddler-swapping incident might be the trump card that I could pull out of my pocket when I needed it. “You don’t like the way I did the food shopping, eh? Well all I have to say to that is… That’s not our baby.”

But nah…. Dan’s a great dad, we had a good laugh together, and that was it. While I haven’t physically walked off with another child, yet, after three children and years of sleep deprivation and all the other craziness that comes with raising kids, I’m probably capable myself. Haven’t you ever absentmindedly patted the head of a small child you assumed to be yours clutching your leg, only to look down, meet her gaze, and in a moment right out of Blueberries for Sal, you both realized, “Hey, you’re not mine?” I have.

So have you, or your husband, ever walked, strolled, or maybe even driven away (!) with someone else’s child?

Add a Comment
Back To GoodyBlog