Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ever Lost Your Kid in the Store?

I haven't, not yet at least. But, I have been the lost kid. I was probably about 6 and my younger sister was 4. We were at West, a home improvement store very similar to Lowe's or Home Depot. This was a particularly special day...father-daughter time. Unfortunately, Dad didn't know how adventurous we were.

It seemed like we were "lost" for 30 minutes or so but in reality, it was probably only about 5 or 10 minutes. I believe our names were called over a loud speaker and we were instructed where to find our dad. The whole story came to an abruptly safe and benign end.

Tonight, I got a little taste of the feeling my dad must have had that day.

Bob stepped outside to take the trash out and Sam was watching him out the windows near the front door...last I saw.

I turned back to the kitchen, read the directions to bake some chocolate chip cookies, turned the oven on and headed back to the front door.

Know what I saw? Bob.
No Sam, just Bob.

I asked him frantically where Sam was. Confused, he said, "I was outside!" The rest of the conversation went something like this...
me - "Are you kidding around?" (looking around the corner to the dining room)
Bob - "Huh?"
me - "Do you really not know where he is?! Where is he?!?!" (looking into the living room which was blocked off with a baby gate)
Bob - "I was outside. Weren't you watching him?"

With a sinking feeling, I looked upstairs. All the lights were off but it was the only thing that made sense. Why? Because our little monkey has recently discovered stair-climbing and although I remind him frequently that he can't go up the stairs without Mama behind him...he obviously doesn't understand, that or he doesn't care.

I booked it up those stairs and as I neared the top, I heard his sweet little squeal-laugh and saw a short dark object racing teetering towards his room. I scooped him up and told him that was baaaad and he was NOT supposed to go upstairs without Mama (for only the 89th time). Poor little guy started crying.

I gave him a big hug, told him I loved him and that he just scared me. We went back downstairs and he went back into his homemade pen...the living room blocked off by the coffee table and baby gate.

Nothing like a huge adrenaline rush to end a tiring day, following a couple really tiring weeks. (That's another post though).

*Just in case you're thinking this all could've been avoided if we had a baby gate on the stairs, let me explain. The person who designed our house obviously did not have...in fact, probably never had small children. The combination of a few spindles on one side, the rail on the other side and the molding on both sides makes our stairs completely incapable of providing 2 flat surfaces for our baby gate to press against. After our little scare tonight, I think Bob has rigged something up that will work. That is, until Sam grows a few more inches and can pull the gate over. sigh


lil ole' me..... said...


I bet that was scary!
Glad you found the lil guy safe and sound. :)

Thankfully, Chloe isn't mobile yet, so no chance of losing her. I know that when/if I ever do, I will completely freak out!!!

Lindsay said...

Wow - I can only imagine how terrifying that was... The only thing I've experienced that even minutely compares to that is when Layla decides to wander the neighborhood and we can't find her. That's scary enough, but I'm sure it will not compare to the massive heart attack I'll have when Eli is big enough to pull something like that. Yikes...

Jennifer said...

Yep, been there done that with 2 out of 3 kids so far. Harris actually got lost at the McWane Center and one of the volunteers there had to bring him to me. (It was a good lesson for him though to not wander off everytime he sees something of interest.)Yes, I had a heart attack every time, but we all come through safe and sound - praise the Lord.

They have those baby gates that can block off whole sections of rooms and can curve around. Would something like that work for your stairs? You can check them out at www.onestepahead.com. However, I think it's healthy to have some things that baby has access to, and yet are clear "no-nos". It helps them learn boundaries, discipline, and self-control at an early age.

Greta said...

Corie - this sounds crazy but I can hardly remember when Sam wasn't mobile!!!

Lindsay - whether it's the kid or the pet who feels just like a kid...the feeling is probably comparable. Either way...there's panic involved :).

Jennifer - those might work except that the area in front of our stairs (our foyer) is pretty tight. While I do want to block off the stairs, hence the whole reason we were trying to put the gate on them, I agree that it is good to have some off limits items within reach so kids can learn. It doesn't do them any good to just keep all the "no items" out of reach.

Rachel said...

Yes, I know that feeling. I'm so sorry! And our stairs are just as baby-gate-impractical. But Chris managed to jerry-rig a gate on our stairs going to the basement using a saw, drill, and a bunch of other boy stuff. The stairs going upstairs are just a "no-no", which works MOST of the time. ;)

Courtney said...

oh man, you poor thing! it's amazing how fast these toddlers can scurry up a flight of stairs! i do NOT look forward to having stairs in our house. hopefully whatever bob rigged will work!

kristin said...

I was a lost kid. At the white house. For an Easter Egg hunt. Some police officers had to help me find my mom. It didn't really teach me a lesson. I was...for some reason a HUGE wanderer (which I contribute to my passion and need to move to other countries, when I was younger it was wandering in the store, now the whole planet!) My mom always threatened to get one of those lines to tie me to her, but she never did...and i wandered on....