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That horrendous feeling when you can't find your child...

(31 Posts)
Feelingoptimistic Mon 15-Jun-09 11:59:23

I was at our local playground with 3 year old DD on the weekend. It's quite large, with different areas, etc. Anyway, I was watching her, but also flicking through a newspaper, and then I suddenly realised I couldn't see her. I started looking for her, and after a few minutes started having that horrible fear that I would not find her - I eventually walked up to the playground attendant and burst out crying as I was telling him I would not find my DD. Of course just as he started reassuring me that we could find her, she walked up to me.

It was only a few minutes, but in that time everyting suddenly seemed different, with thoughts of how I could possible go on living if something had happened to her.

Has anyone else had that moment of terrible fear, when you think you child is gone?

chosenone Mon 15-Jun-09 12:04:05

Yes! the worst feeling ever in my life! My DS aged 3 and his cousin just 2 had wandered out of my SIL's front door and up a long drive to the main road! My SIL and I were looking for 2/3 minutes, my heart was pounding and yet in my mouth, I felt sick from the fear and adrenaline and was shaking for an hour after!! It really scared me.

Mintyy Mon 15-Jun-09 12:04:07

Yes. Quite a few times! The worst was on a beach in France. I walked straight into the water fully clothed looking for ds. I couldn't see him for about 3 minutes. I thought my heart would stop!

weegiemum Mon 15-Jun-09 12:05:24

Yes, we lost dd1 in IKEA when she was about 4 I think.

they were fabulous and found her in minutes, but it was terrifying.

spinspinsugar Mon 15-Jun-09 12:07:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummypig Mon 15-Jun-09 12:09:32

Oh yes it is terrible. And they don't understand at all. Ds1 walked out of London Zoo on his own once when I was pg and with ds2 in a buggy. shock I hadn't got a clue where he had gone. Luckily the staff let him back in again to find me.

On that occasion he realised what he had done, but usually he can't understand why I am so bothered.

wigglybeezer Mon 15-Jun-09 12:13:03

This happens to me a lot as DS3 loves hiding and jumping out so I am getting used to it now but the first few times in shops when he hid in the middle of clothes carousels I got that horrible feeling of dread too.

EyeballshasManBoobs Mon 15-Jun-09 12:14:22

Oh God yes. Yesterday at a school fair 17 month old dd hot footed it over to the public announcement stand to lick their plugs hmm. I thought she was to my right but she headed left. I only 'lost' her for a split second but it was long enough for her life to flash before me. Horrible horrible feeling.

Feelingoptimistic Mon 15-Jun-09 12:17:41

It's horrible. I think I am still recovering from it !

misshardbroom Mon 15-Jun-09 12:19:07

Yes. We were camping and DD wanted to walk back to the tent along a different path to us. We got back to the tent and there was no sign of her, I retraced our steps and there was still no sign of her... I can still remember seeing this sea of tents and caravans surrounded by woodland, and thinking she could be in any one of them, and this awful voice in my head screaming 'Not my baby, not my baby'.

Horrendous panic.

Then she sauntered up 10 minutes later when I was a wreck in tears.

Awful. I can't imagine what parents who really lose their kids go through.

ingles2 Mon 15-Jun-09 12:21:50

I had this from Ds2, 8, a couple of weeks ago.
We were at a football tournament watching ds1. Ds2 normally plays with all the other siblings, but all of a sudden he disappeared. We searched the ground, playground, streets... no sign. After about 15 mins I started to get seriously panicky. They started putting announcements out for him, still no sign. They stopped the games and everyone started looking... Still nothing.
By this time I was nearly hysterical.
Then Ds1 went to the car, to discover ds2 had pinched the keys from dh's jacket pocket and gone to the car to have a sleep as he wasn't feeling well...
I have never been so relieved/angry/upset/ in my entire life and of course ds2 had no idea what was going on!

stealthsquiggle Mon 15-Jun-09 12:23:59

Oh yes. The bottom falls out of your stomach. It has happened to me a few times with DS (never for more than a few minutes) and more recently with DD.

LastOrders Mon 15-Jun-09 12:24:46

My DS went missing in Lidls when he was 4.

He was beside me, & then he just disappeared.

I searched the aisles, then walked up and down the end aisle looking down every one calling his name, then after about 3 mins I went into blind panic calling him whilst every fu**er stood watching me like I was mad.

Even the sales girl just stared at me when I said he'd gone misisng.

The feeling of panic and fear is one I'll never forget, and then the anger of noone helping me.

He turned up about 5 mins later, saying he'd been hiding in the crisp aisle.

mrsflowerpot Mon 15-Jun-09 12:27:25

God yes, it's the worst feeling. DS vanished in the leisure centre when he was just 3 - my friend turned round to put a hot cup of tea up higher behind her and he was gone. He was gone around 15 minutes - they locked down the building for us shock - and was finally found to have locked himself into a cubicle in the gents loos (recently toilet-trained, thought he would take himself off for a wee). I sobbed for hours.

HensMum Mon 15-Jun-09 12:29:06

Happened to me for the first time the other day. Was in Mothercare looking at buggies and let DS out of his buggy. He's super-clingy and normally will not go far from me, but I guess that a toy caught his eye and the next time I looked down, he was gone. He hadn't gone far and I found him really quickly but that was the first "oh my god, where is he?!" moment. Horrible.

PinkTulips Mon 15-Jun-09 12:34:41

both my older 2 are runners and do this with astonishing frequency.

longest ever was about dd disappearing for 10-15 mins in Dunnes once, dp eventually found her ambling through the veg section (she'd run off in the clothing dept, near 3 exits onto 3 differant shopping streets!

i'm getting so used to it now though i actually rarely feel the blind panic anymore... mostly just irritation, although dd had me worried last week on her playschool trip... 15 adults and she still managed to vanish on a pet farm, thankfully one of her teachers found her for me after about 10 mins

Gorionine Mon 15-Jun-09 12:37:41

Feelingoptimistic It is really frightening!

LastOrders, how terrible! I cannot believe that no one did help you!

A few years ago, I had dd1 in the pushchair while at the local market with Dh. At some point DH said he would push her so I could have a wander arround which I did. After about 5 min I went in a total panic because I had forgotten that Dh had Dd1 and I thought someone had snatched my baby! I went into a panic until Dh turned up with her, wondering what the comotion was about! talk about short term memory loss!

gremlindolphin Mon 15-Jun-09 17:33:29

We lost dd1 in a supermarket in spain on the first day of our hols when she was 3. I thought dh had her and he thought she was with me so when he and I met up and she wasn't with either of us we went into panic mode!

We were running around like mad and people realised what had happened and tried to help including a man who kept bring us children from somewhere! I can remember trying to get enough spanish together to explain to someone properly and thinking that if we didn't find her I wouldn't be able to face going back to the UK as my Mum would be so cross with me!

About 2 mins later I found her, outside the supermarket sitting in a ride on toy waiting for us to put some money in it. We had passed it on the way in and it was obviously more interesting than shopping.

Horrendous. I feel sick just writing this.

Geocentric Mon 15-Jun-09 17:39:39

When DS was 5 he ran off at a school fête - its a big school, goes from nursery to highschool. People everywhere, it took us a good 20 mins to find him. He went for a wander and then eventually found his way back to our table but in that time we went mad looking for him.

We knew he was within school grounds but still... its so scary!

smallchange Mon 15-Jun-09 17:42:20

yy We were at my brothers for a family party a few months ago and ds & my nephew (aged 2 and 3) were playing in the back garden surrounded by family & friends. It's enclosed but there's a side gate that was locked.

I suddenly noticed that someone had come in the side gate and not closed it again...and at the same moment realised no ds. No dn. shock

I was down the side of the house and into the road like a shot. No sign of them. Luckily before I could completely dissolve into hysteria my sil shouted from the front step. They'd gone round the front of the house and managed to ring the doorbell to get let back in.

The sheer relief, but also the thoughts of what could have happened.

smallchange Mon 15-Jun-09 17:43:38

Thing is, half a dozen people must have seen them go through that gate. you just assume someone is watching out. Never again.

sarah293 Mon 15-Jun-09 17:50:12

Message withdrawn

whomovedmychocolate Mon 15-Jun-09 17:52:37

Ah yes, the incredible disappearing child trick, sure to strike terror into the heart of any parent. DD vanished in the Early Learning Centre the other day- they had a train display at the other end and I stupidly let go of her Little Life backpack while trying to placate DS in the buggy. I shouted for her and the assistant said 'it's okay she's down the end' but I couldn't see her and stopped what I was doing till I checked because I know the shop has a back emergency exit and I had paranoid thoughts of her exploring outside or someone taking her away sad

So sad that we are so paranoid these days but I'm even unsure about leaving her at nursery (though it's getting easier).

squeaver Mon 15-Jun-09 17:53:13

Oh yes, been there done that!

Makes me cold now just thinking about it.

Tbh, nearly everyone I know has experienced something similar - tis much more common than you think.

mrsflowerpot Mon 15-Jun-09 17:55:32

Actually I have just been talking to my mum about this and she reckons I gave her the worst heart-stop moment ever. When I was about 3, maybe not even quite that, we went on holiday to Menorca and met up with some friends of my parents who had a daughter about my age too. Mum and the other lady went up to our hotel room to feed the 2 babies (my bro and her ds) and left me and the friends' dd with the two dads. The next time they saw us was from the balcony of the hotel as we floated out to see on a lilo - dads both oblivious in beach bar. Friend's mum ran down to the beach, swam out to get us (both of us way out of our depth apparently), got us back to the beach and the dads still hadn't noticed we were gone...

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