I have to try and laugh about this, otherwise I’ll cry. I briefly lost my youngest son this morning at a toddler group. In my defence, he’s like Houdini, first you see him, then you don’t, and he has an obsession with doors. I don’t know whether to take it personally or not, but he’s ALWAYS trying to escape from me, and this morning he managed it.
I’d retrieved him 769 times from the door already and, perish the thought, I sat down to chat to friends while he seemed to be playing happily with a toy kitchen. I looked up a moment later and he was nowhere to be seen. Through my nausea, I ran around the place maniacally, checking in every nook and cranny, but I couldn’t find him.
Resisting the urge to breathe into a paper bag so I didn’t hyperventilate, I had to entertain the notion that he must have got out of the front door of the building; I ran outside and someone asked me if I had lost a child, like he was a bunch of keys or an umbrella. I said I had and they said they had seen a little boy but he was with someone.
Cue a fresh wave of nausea; not that I’m one to overreact or anything, but I was convinced at that precise moment that my baby had been kidnapped by one of ‘those strangers’ that your mum always told you never to talk to.
Luckily, he hadn’t; instead he’d taken it upon himself to wander into the Pet Warehouse next door to look at the animals and was safe and sound. He just gave me a look as if to say, ‘Chill, mum, what’s the big deal?’ when I grabbed him from the member of staff holding him.
Now if the same thing had happened to one of my friends, I would be telling them that it’s easy done and it only takes a second for them to wander off. I would assure them that they’re a good mum and instruct them not to beat themselves up, and I would mean every word. I have lots of good friends that have said exactly those things to me this morning and I know they mean every word, too.
The only thing is, I’m struggling to believe I’m not the #1 contender for ‘World’s Crappiest Mother’, because even though the worst didn’t happen, it could have, and no matter what anyone says, it would have been my fault.
Next time, though, maybe I should try to lose my child on purpose and then I might avoid it, because whenever I’ve tried to lose anything deliberately before I’ve never managed it – weight, a dodgy item of my husband’s clothing, the puppy…
Having said that it’s obviously not a flawless plan, because I seem to be doing a very good job of losing my mind without any sort of effort whatsoever… 🙂