Thursday, September 1, 2011

I lost my 2 year old in K Mart.

Last week my dear Mum had a health scare and spent a few scary nights in the ICU of a hospital quite a distance away from me. I am happy to report that Mum is doing well, out of the ICU and feeling a lot better.

On my way to visit my Mum yesterday, I thought I would call in to the local shopping complex and get her a pressie.... you know... slippers, jarmies.... because clearly comfy slippers and fluffy Jarmies will aid in your recovery, or something... I don't know but it is the done thing.

Looking through the piles of PJ's at Kmart, I was struggling to find anything my mum would wear... so I bought some slippers and on the way out I saw them.....

A whole rack of old lady track suit pants, complete with the crease down the front, in various shades of bland.

I had to get her a pair.

Considering she had a major health scare, I decided that now was the time for her to own her first pair of old lady track suit pants.
It sounds mean, but if you knew my mum you would know that she would appreciate the humour.

Mr Emma's Brain and I were taking it in turns to lug Ms Two around as you do when you are in a hurry... We were not game to let her down to walk with us for a few reasons..

1. Toddlers are slow, they walk slowly, they talk slowly, they talk to everyone... very slowly in a language not native to those they are trying to converse with.... It is painful when you are in a hurry.

2. Toddlers are slow, except for when they are not... like when they spot a Dora display on the other side of the store. Such displays can invoke speeds that would make Matt Shirvington wear Under wear.

As I spend far too long sifting through crappy cotton PJ's with crappier logo's on the front like.. Why stop dreaming when you wake up... or Beauty sleep in progress..  and Mr Emma's brain and I had reached our limit. Ms two had to walk, our backs just cant take it.

The minute her two year old feet hit the ground she was off... Mr Emma's brain and I sighed and took off in opposite directions, sure that we would trap her in at the next isle...

However in the next isle there was no Miss two... or the next isle... or the next...   With every passing isle we gathered speed and hysteria.

I started screeching her name, I could hear the panic rising in my own voice.

I am not the kind of person who yells in public... I am more of a "wait until we get in the car" through gritted teeth kind of mum, accompanied by a pinch or far too firm hand grasp.
Oh yes I do.

This time though.... I did not care how loud I yelled... I did not care who was listening.

With every passing second, my panic was rising... My mind started doing mental calculations.. How close is the exit...? How far could she have gotten by now...? Where is the car park from here?.......

What if somebody took her?

I felt Icy with fear.

I am not sure how long it had been... It could not have been more than a few minutes of searching when I yelled to Mr Emma's Brain to..... notify the service desk.

It had come time to let the staff broadcast our bad parenting all over the complex..

Just as I turned to start looking in another direction I felt a tap on my shoulder, from another mother, baby on hip and toddler in tow.. "excuse me" She said... "Are you looking for a little girl with a purple shirt with red curly hair?"

"YES!!!!! Have you seen her?" I pleaded.

"Yes" she replied.. "she is over there hiding underneath the clothes rack.... She is laughing at you."

I could have kissed her.

I ran off to the offending clothes rack, Mr Emma's Brain had beaten me to it.

I got there just in time to see him plant a firm smack on her nappy...  you know the kind that comes from heart bursting fear.... It did not hurt her, physically, It was a shock, a scare.. Why are my parents behaving like is?

Did we feel bad?.. No. Not even for a second.

People around us stopped and stared... Little children stopped to revel in another child getting into trouble... One couple looked like they may say something....

Then I started yelling.. "Don't you EVER! Run off from me again, It is NOT safe!, I couldn't find you!! I was very scared, That is VERY naughty"

Immediately the onlookers continued on their way.. Smack justified.

 One mother, the one who looked like she was about to say something put a hand on my arm and said that she had lost her son in Myer last week, and she knew my terror....

Miss Two burst into tears, So did I.

Thank you to the very kind mother in Kmart who found my Miss two and informed me. Thanks for the kind lady who made me feel a little less like a bad mother by sharing her experience.

Have you ever lost your child in a public place?
Do you think that there are times when a big Smack is justified??

Emma xx


The Mother Experiment said...

Oh how terrifying! My hubby would have smacked too. kids need to learn safety somehow, you can't reason much with a 2 year old can u?

whatsinemmasbrain said...

Exactly!! She had to know that it was serious. Thanks x

Mich said...

When they run away a smack is ALWAYS justified.
I have done it many a time when my other 2 were little.
these days if Miss 3 wanders off, she gets put in a trolley.

Photographer Mum said...

OMG I can totally relate. This happened to me about 6 or so months ago. I wrote a post on it too but it seems to have vanished from my folder. I lost 2 of mine at the same time in a major shopping centre, someone had found them and taken them to the concierge one level up from where I was. I was an absolute mess by the time I found them. But that fear - thinking the worst, is absolutely horrible.
Glad you found her and she was ok.

Kellie said...

I can definitely relate to this Emma. I got lost in Kmart when I was 2! Luckily I was grabbed by a staff member and taken to the layby desk where they gave me a drink and some crayons until my Mum found me. I don't remember it myself, but Mum said she smacked me so bloody hard.

Naughty Miss 2! Don't scare your Mum like that.

Miss Pink said...

There is totally a time and place for a smack.

My kids are pretty ok. I don't know why? Luck? They don't run off that much and come when I call in a certain voice. Maybe i'm that mum that has that "don't mess with me" voice where you are almost crapping yourself down pat?

Bluey ran off once, on my mum, not me, but I was there, he stopped across the other side of the food court waiting for us to "catch up". I remember I was a shocker for running off. Stubborn kid i was.

I did laugh when you said Miss 2 was giggling under the clothes rack. I'm sure she learnt her lesson!

Glowless @ Where's My Glow said...

I lost Tricks in Target last month. Felt my world fall apart, was awful.

Glad your mum is OK, did she like her granny pants?

Lisa said...

Hi Emma, First please send me a message on Donna, how is she?
I can relate completely. I have had a couple of these incidences over the last 15 years. The worst was when the girls were 2 and 4 and we were at Central Station in the Country section. Standing at the counter to get a coffee and drinks for the girls, they were standing next to me. In the time it took for me to turn my eyes to the lady at the counter and order(4sec), Rahnee was gone. I then had no choice but to leave Tyla at the counter with all our belongings to go find her. She was nowhere in sight. Did she go right and run in front of the monorail, did she go left onto a platform, did someone take her out of one of the many exists. After several minutes of running around and screaming out her name in the middle of central station I found her having a great time running around without a care in the world. Once I grabbed her my mind turned back to Tyla and if she would still be there when I got back and raced back to the counter. Coffee is shaking hand I took them both to a seat and promptly had a meltdown with 2 kids who didn't seem to understand why mum was a lunatic. ARGGHH

Good Golly Miss Holly! said...


Zoey @ Good Goog said...

Scare the freaking life out of you, don't they? Riley got away from me and wandered down to the car park at preschool awhile back - with the cars! I was horrified! Smacking or not smacking is a very personal thing, but as far as my kidlets are concerned I don't think there's a place for it.

MummyK said...

This is one of my biggest fears!! I attach mine in one of those harnesses when we're out.

Emma Sheree said...

Yes, a smack was definitely justified in this case, words could never imply the seriousness of the situation. My mum used to smack me (never hurting, just scary!) and it worked a treat. She also did the quiet pinch thing, which also worked brilliantly. Whenever I got the rare smack or pinch, I remembered it, and I tried so hard to never do the deserving behaviour ever again. And I'm far from traumatised .
PS. Speeds at which Matt Shirvington would need to wear undies... priceless.

Marissa Roberts said...

Apparently when I was little I did that to my mum at David Jones. When she came to the Customer Service Desk to claim me the staff were about to give me a packet of Smarties to make me feel better. Mum had other ideas... No smarties for me that day. And I never ran away again. Until I was 13 and she wouldn't let me do... something that was clearly so important I can't remember now ;)

Anonymous said...

I lost my kid at Kmart once - she was hiding in the dog kennels smiling at me and her grandmother as we were going insane looking for her grrrr

Liz said...

I lost Monster in Target once and almost about to leave the store to check out front when I saw a lady walking to the laybuy counter with him.