I lost Dd3 (2) for 15 minutes today

(45 Posts)

And I feel like crap.

I had taken dd3 to see the Gruffalo exhibition at the museum a few months ago and it was fab. Dd1 (10), dd2 (7) and ds(5) had been asking to go in half term, so I reluctantly agreed. It involves driving to the train station, 30 min train journey, 10 min walk to the museum.

So, we all go this morning. Kids are fantastically behaved. Journey goes smoothly and they have a great time at the exhibition. We went to have a drink and cake at the cafe, then went into the gift shop. Dd1 and dd2 chose what they wanted straight away. Dd3 was moaning for a drink (just had one at the cafe) and ds was taking forever looking at WW2 stuff. So I put dd3 down and she ran across the shop to dd1. I rushed ds through choosing some stuff and go off to find the others.

That is when I noticed that dd1 didn't have dd3. We checked the shop and she was nowhere to be found. Dd1 ran off into the museum looking for her, setting all the shop alarms off in the process. I told the lady behind the desk "I've lost the baby" and she rang security. I ran the other way and she wasn't there. Came back to the shop and started giving the security guard a description, when dd2 shouts "There she is". She was walking through the museum with a carton of orange juice that she'd been and stolen from the cafe shock

They were the longest 15 minutes of my life. I've lost dd2 before in a shopping centre but I don't remember it feeling like this. I've already invested in a backpack with reins for future outings but I just feel terrible I allowed this to happen sad
Oh and I went back and paid for the stolen orange juice!!

hopskipandthump Wed 30-Oct-13 14:24:03

Poor you. I have 3 kids, I know it can be hard. Reins are a good idea. My 2yo is also a wanderer-offer, I have to physically hold her / strap her into something or she just disappears.

She does tend to wonder. I should have thought about reins before but someone is usually holding her hand! Its such a huge museum, if she hadn't come back on her own god knows how we'd have found her.

wheretoyougonow Wed 30-Oct-13 14:30:34

Don't dwell on it. Nearly every parent has experienced this. My DS went missing in a massive Toys R Us.
Have either a brew orwineand just treat it as a reminder that we all need eyes in the back of our heads with toddlers.

SinisterSal Wed 30-Oct-13 14:30:52

What a horrible fright.

Icepilot Wed 30-Oct-13 14:34:00

You're parenting a runaway and a thief shock

Seriously - must have been horrid. Really frightening. Be kind to yourself. Xxx

<off to google gruffalo exhibition>

BummyMummy77 Wed 30-Oct-13 14:35:14

I lost a child I was looking after (not very well obviously) in the science museum once. She must have been about 4 or 5 and crept into one of the little cupboard bits down in The Garden tots area when I was talking to her sister. The little angel shit stayed in there for 25 minutes sniggering her head off. They shut the museum, had announcements etc, I was pretty much hysterical by the time a Mum found her.

I say 'found' she just sat there and watched it all. I've never been so angry and happy at the same time in my life.

She's 15 now and still thinks it's hilarious. hmm.

takeitonthegin Wed 30-Oct-13 14:43:05

We've been in that position too. Lost DS1 in Next. I can remember I kept thinking...this cant be happening, please this is not happening. Its a horrible feeling.

My DM lost me when I was about 2 in a busy shopping centre. She told ne she was hysterical.

wine and some more wine to get over the ordeal.

ZingWantsCake Wed 30-Oct-13 14:48:06

my heart skipped a beat!

(bless her though, so independent! grin )

We have 6 and had hair raising moments with all of them.
Worst was when DS5 choked on a sweet I gave him absent-mindedly.
He would have died if DS2 didn't realize that DS5 was choking.
I saved his life, but honestly it was fucking horrible.

try not to dwell on it, she is fine. and you will be ok too!
and yes, reigns are a good idea.

Thanks everyone! These are making me feel so much better!!

Icepilot its actually the squash and a squeeze exhibition in Birmingham, we just love the Gruffalo part!

bundaberg Wed 30-Oct-13 15:25:14

i lost ds2 when he was about 3yrs old, at bewilderwood in norfolk.

i was fucking terrified! it's in a forest, with rivers and lakes... i found a member of staff who seemed to have NO idea what to do. I was concerned that they didn't have some kind of missing child policy that involved alerting other members of staff and stuff, given the risks.

we'd been in a playground area. I'd checked the exits, and sat so I could see both of them. unfortunately i'd missed one sad

my kids all had luminous "if i;m lost" wristbands on, but none of the people who'd seen ds2 had looked at his, so they were utterly pointless.
we found him eventually in the maze, he'd wet himself and was very sad.

Oh my god thats awful sad

LEMisafucker Wed 30-Oct-13 15:29:26

my heart is pounding on your behalf - how scary for you - so glad she was found.

Icepilot Wed 30-Oct-13 15:32:33

Oh no!

I write my mobile number on my kids arms in biro on the way in to anywhere busy. They think it's hilarious. I'm always trying to teach them if they get lost To find a woman with children and ask for help (I know how stereotypical that sounds, but fuck it, it's no good trying to be PC).

It's like time slows down though.

It happened to me last year. I turned into a banshee. At ascot racecourse of all places. <classy>

I might try writing on their arms in biro!! Even on the train I was going through what to do if you get lost with the older ones, but dd3 was only 2 at the end of June......

bundaberg Wed 30-Oct-13 16:09:13

I decided in future to use giant stickers on their backs with my phone number on... although the place we were at had no phone signal either hmm

it's sooooooooo scary though isn't it?

It feels like hours even though its just a few minutes. I kept thinking of her walking out into Birmingham city centre sad

Oblomov Wed 30-Oct-13 16:43:55

It's happened to many of us. Don't feel bad.

dogindisguise Wed 30-Oct-13 20:59:36

That sounds scary but glad she was fine. I don't know how you cope with four! I have my hands full with two.

When I went to the Just So Festival they had wristbands for children to write the parents' phone numbers on - maybe there's something similar for general use?

Icepilot Wed 30-Oct-13 21:01:38

Yeah - I bet you could get one...

Off to google again!

SolomanDaisy Wed 30-Oct-13 21:06:35

God, that must have been awful. I lost DS for about 30 seconds on a ferry and I had time to imagine every worst case scenario, I'd have been a wreck after 15 minutes.

girlylala0807 Wed 30-Oct-13 21:08:04

DS did this to me in a shopping centre. I was stood at a till paying turned to hand over the money looked back and he had gone. 2 seconds I had turned round. He was 3.

I went out of the shop and my mum started saying...omg, omg, have you never heard of Jamie Bulger...

Thanks mum.
Found him 5 minutes later in the toy shop.

topknob Wed 30-Oct-13 21:11:52

We lost dd1 once, it was at the time Maddie McCann went missing so you were more aware if you know what I mean and they were the same age. We were in a bed linen shop and she just wasn't there any more, we searched the shop and nothing, went outside back to the shops we had been to nothing, a lady who saw me crying came and helped, dh found a security guard who helped, she wasn't anywhere. I went back to the bed linen shop and searched again, the staff were totally useless, couldn't care less..and then I found her, hidden in a corner with a doll she had seen on a display in the shop.

Please do not dwell your kids are safe xx

Moreisnnogedag Wed 30-Oct-13 21:13:13

Oh op my heart was in my boots just reading that. Ugh that feeling of pure outright fear.

I'm sure it's going to happen with DS - he seems to have no fear. We were in Barcelona and I'd let him walk in front of me (literally 5 m in a quiet area) and for no reason at all he decided to run straight at the road as a single car came up it. I yanked him back and we both had a cry!

Icepilot Wed 30-Oct-13 21:14:28

My dd would love one of these

RobinSparkles Wed 30-Oct-13 21:17:38

You poor thing!

We lost DD2 in Tesco once. She was about 20 months and was standing between me and DH while we were paying at the till. I looked down and she was gone.

It was awful. We got members of staff to help look for her.

I finally spotted her in a staff members arms at customer services. Apparently she had been found by a member of staff just outside the doors.

I felt awful. It had taken literally a split second but she could have been taken or hit by a car sad.
She was always on the reins from that moment or stayed in the trolley!

RobinSparkles Wed 30-Oct-13 21:18:22

You poor thing!

We lost DD2 in Tesco once. She was about 20 months and was standing between me and DH while we were paying at the till. I looked down and she was gone.

It was awful. We got members of staff to help look for her.

I finally spotted her in a staff members arms at customer services. Apparently she had been found by a member of staff just outside the doors.

I felt awful. It had taken literally a split second but she could have been taken or hit by a car sad.
She was always on the reins from that moment or stayed in the trolley!

RobinSparkles Wed 30-Oct-13 21:19:18

I was that traumatised I had to post it twice! hmm

jojane Wed 30-Oct-13 21:19:52

We have had several moments like this where you heart just stops and 1 minute feels like hours!
Ds2 went missing at legoland, we had walked into the duplo play area and he was playing right next to us. He was 1 year 10 months, literally said one thing to dh and looked down and he was gone, cue frantic searching and about 10 minutes later a lady came round the corner having found him.
He also went missing in a shop recently, found him riding up and down the escalators!

Mama1980 Wed 30-Oct-13 21:21:28

Oh op that must have been awful! It's that awful gut clenching fear that's like nothing else. It happened to me at Windsor castle of all places, one minute ds1 was next to me I looked away for a second to talk to dd and he' gone, for a utterly terrifying minute until I saw him, (a member if staff had stopped him in the next room) I turned into a screaming frantic mad woman grabbed him to me and promptly burst into tears scaring the life out of him.
Don't beat yourself up I'm fairly sure it's happened to all of us.

ghostonthecanvas Wed 30-Oct-13 21:25:49

I lost my son for 10 minutes over 20 years ago and it is still so fresh in my mind. We were at a theme park. 3 adults, 1 child. He was 6. Each of us thought the other had him. I thought my heart was going to hammer out my chest. Horrible. Then he wandered up with a groundsman. I have often thanked god for that man, for he could have been anyone.

topknob Wed 30-Oct-13 21:27:54

Oh and we lost a couple of kids at Butlins over the years, clearly we are fabulous parents....but big thanks to the members of the public who looked after them until we found them. should not have any more kids ever

Iwaswatchingthat Wed 30-Oct-13 21:27:56

You poor thing.

I lost dd2 when she was a similar age in a large park with a river around it. I was running around looking for her and saw her little scooter abandoned outside the men's toilets.

Luckily she had just ditched it there and ran back to the park.

I still feel like crying when I think about it now though and it was over four

Don't beat yourself up with the 'what ifs' - it's pointless.

She is safe. Hope you manage to have some time to relax this evening.

Iwaswatchingthat Wed 30-Oct-13 21:28:23

over four years ago!

girliefriend Wed 30-Oct-13 21:28:26

I lost dd in Sainsburys when she was about 3yo, she ran on in front in of me and i saw her veer off into an aisle and when I caught up to the aisle she had bloody vanished.

It was awful, panic set in as I ran up and down trying to find her. Found a lady who worked there to help me and when she asked me what dd was wearing I was in such a panic I couldn't even remember!!

Eventually after the longest 10mins of my life a lady walked towards me holding her hand, she had found her wondering around crying shock

In a way it frightened dd as much as it did me and she didn't do that again.

Have been there and have the grey hairs to show for it op grin

Icepilot Wed 30-Oct-13 22:10:35

Ooh yes. I'm sure I read a tip about taking a photo of dc in the morning of any outing so you have info on what they're wearing.

However most of us just lose them during normal day to day activities!

mummyxtwo Thu 31-Oct-13 08:09:20

Tbh I lost count of how many children you have reading your post - four, is it? Well, you only have two hands unless you are amazing bionic woman - where can I get an extra arm as I really need one so if my calculations are correct you have a hand / arm: child ratio discrepancy. So not your fault at all that one temporarily got out of your sight. Reins sound like a good idea.

Thank you for all these replies! I've invested in wristbands and reins to avoid any future misadventures, but will also avoid taking all 4 out if I can!!
Feel much better about it today, these things happen to us all!!

Icepilot Thu 31-Oct-13 21:59:04

Ah well done. You sound like a great mum smile

AngelsLieToKeepControl Thu 31-Oct-13 22:07:19

thanks what a fright for you, I'm glad you are all OK.

I swore by this and this when mine were younger. Brilliant devices, and really loud too.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 31-Oct-13 22:20:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Weightlessbaby Thu 31-Oct-13 23:31:31

I used to work as a deck chair girl on a v busy beach. It was fairly common for kids to go temporarily missing and everyone always put in every effort to find them and unite them with frantic parents. Like Pp said though, every now and then we'd find a lost child, mobilise search parties and unite them with parents only for parents to say 'oh, didn't realise x was missing, confused

Hope you're feeling ok though op, that's set butterflies churning given my 20 mo has started beetling off in shops etc recently.

lola88 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:53:26

I lost my friends little boy in a city centre shopping centre once and could remember thinking typical why couldn't it have been one of mine that went missing! He had run over the thorntons and was ransacking the place.

FlyingBlind Fri 01-Nov-13 16:21:57

As a little girl I regularly got left behind, usually because my sister was kicking up a fuss and no-one had noticed I hadn't kept up. London zoo is the time I remember most clearly.

Icepilot Fri 01-Nov-13 16:55:57

I remember getting lost then running up to my dad in a sheepskin coat to grab his hand.

I grabbed the hand of a sheepskin coat wearing smoker with a lit cigarette instead.

Then saw my dad....

It's actually quite a fond memory!

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