Nightmare DLP/Paris(17 Posts)
I heard a similar story from a friend only a week ago, also going from CDG to DLP. Hers was a near-miss with a 4yr old - she grabbed her just in time and some other passengers managed to help her wrestle the doors open. Heart stopping I can imagine!
Thank God she is 10 and not 5! Doors can shut quickly on trains anywhere, even on the tube in London. My handbag was in a carriage once, but I was stuck on the platform. Someone forced the door open and released my arm and my bag! There are times when DC's taking the initiative is not so good! A good learning experience for the future. Parisians not very helpful, full stop!
This is definitely in my top ten nightmare scenarios. Ds and I have rehearsed what he should do if we get separated on the Tube platform, i.e. if he gets on and I don't or vice versa. He finds it highly tedious that I keep reminding him about it!
You must have been beside yourself - the wait for the next train must have seemed endless
I traveled a lot on public transport when my children were that age, and by 10 they'd been on some of the more, er, full-on subway systems (London regularly, but also New York and Tokyo, the last of which is the real full-fat, two sugars, caffeinated public transport experience).
We had a very simple system. Before each journey, we agreed where we would meet if we got separated. When they were little "on the platform at the first station the train stops at", but when they got older "on the platform at the station we're heading for", with a complete backstop of "find someone in uniform". Children aren't going to come to harm on crowded public transport, but if they don't know what to do they're going to be frightened.
It's also worth discussing this sort of thing in advance so that should the worst happen, your dc know what to do... ie get to the next station, get off, move away from the platform so they are safe but stay in the same place and that you will follow on the next train. You don't want them thinking that they need to get to the end destination on their own before meeting up with you or that they need to try to find a train to get back to you while you are on your way following them...
Also - if they do need help with something then to look for someone in a uniform - first off in this instance somebody from the metro, or a policeman and so on.
And I know that mobiles don't usually work underground but make sure they know your mobile number or have it written down and with them. I've got a cheap phone from e2mobiles - a simple nokia phone with a month's battery life that cost me less than a fiver plus a tenner of credit - and when ds goes out with dh to something like a rugby match, he takes it with him. It's rugged and hopefully won't be a target for phone thieves but if it does get lost
or put through the washing machine like the last one then it's not the end of the world.
I don't agree with mobiles or smartphones for kids this age to have as an everyday thing when they don't need them or just use them to text their mates - but at times like this when they're out with you but there's a chance they could be separated from you, it's reassuring.
Phone has our home number, dh and my mobile numbers and a few relatives plugged into it, and in the rugby game example, it also had the mobile number of dh's friend in it.
and when it's not being used like that, I leave it in my handbag for those instances when my iphone runs out of charge again - it can also be used as a torch and according to ds has a good old style game on it so can be used to entertain too so is handy for me too
sorry that it happened but glad that there was a happy ending and hopefully it's a lesson learnt for you (and readers of the thread!) that will mean that you'll be prepared in the future so nothing worse will happen!
Yes, my plan with ds is:
- if I end up on the train and he doesn't, he is to wait on that platform and I will come back for him
- if he ends up on the train I don't, he is to get off at the next station and wait on the platform and I will come and get him.
If in doubt, approach someone in uniform.
I would certainly have been crying by the time I got to ds, and probably have tried to give him a piggy back for the rest of the journey just to be certain where he was
DS has known 'the drill' since he was tiny (we live in London). Get off at the next station and DO NOT MOVE until I get on the next train/bus/tram to fetch you.
Scary stuff though.
This happened to us with a bus in London a few years ago. DD1 (6) and DS (4) jumped on to the back of the old style London bus, but I was struggling with DD2 in a buggy and the bus moved off before I got on. A lovely lovely young man (a stranger) ran alongside the bus and when it stopped at the next stop held it until I caught up (in tears). Never been so grateful . . .
We live in London (and visit Paris a lot) but have never had this chat - eldest DD is 7 now so time I did - will do it tomorrow. Thank you for posting OP
This happened to me on the London Underground when I was 9. Me and 6 or 7 smaller Brownies got on, adults and the rest did not. Little ones were crying and panicking but I just got us all off at the next station and we stood still, facing the space where the doors would be. Brownie Owl appeared on the next train, and looked v releaved to see our faces
I got an award for being so sensible
It's not you. The doors on the RER open and shut much faster than the doors on the tube. We nearly lost one or other of our kids in the same manner when we were there recently.
Honestly ? I can understand your panic but kids using public transport even with adults , by the time they get to age 10 kids need a bit of training eg " if you get on an I don't get off at the next station sit on the platform and wait we will find you.
We had a similar scenario when dd2 was 9. She got on the train and her big sis ( travelling with her ) missed it and I didn't realise. I was very panicked but she just got off at the usual station and asked the ticket office lady to ring me as she knew my mobile.
Glad it all worked out fine. Big up the fact that it was scary but actually a huge success as her brain was working well and she did the logical thing. Sometimes you have to have a little trial to know you can trust yourself in a tricky unusual situation and she can!
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