The Day I Lost My Toddler

will lost

I have officially lost a year off my life.  Maybe two…

Yesterday, like all days, were hectic.  Everything was last minute… rushing to the bus stop, rushing to pre-school pick-up, rushing to swim class, rushing home for dinner…

It was when I was making dinner, that all of the sudden I noticed something was wrong.  The house was quiet.  If you have a two and a five year old, you know… the house is NEVER quiet.

Which is when I began to panic.  Where was Will?

I called up to Graham, my five year old, who I knew was upstairs watching TV.  “Have you seen Will?”  “Nope,” he replied casually.

I promptly turned off the gas cooktop and began to look through the house, calling for my toddler.  At first I was calm, but when I had gotten through the entire house, I began to get nervous.  Where was my kid?  I began to rewind the last hour through my head.  I had them in the car on the way back from swim.  We got the mail.  We came inside.  Was it possible he wasn’t with us when we came in the house?  Could I have left him in the car? Is he wandering outside in the neighborhood confused and alone??????

Full on panic mode set in.  I ran into the garage and searched.  I ran out into the street and searched.  I ran through the house one more time.  My voice was going hoarse, and I pictured the phone call to my husband to tell him I lost our son.  I envisioned calling the police and telling them I couldn’t quite remember for certain that I brought him into the house after getting the mail.  What kind of mother was I?  That I can’t keep track of two kids?

I ran out into the backyard…. WILLLLLLLLL!!!!!

“Whah, Mommy?” I heard from below.

The relief that washed over me was palpable.  “Shan box. Ump Fruck!” Will shouted cheerily up at me.

Sand box. Dump truck.  So I did have him with me when I came inside.  He must have wandered into our back yard while I was prepping dinner.  I grabbed my sandy and happy toddler and squeezed the bejeezus out of him.

Hours later I was still shaky when I recounted the episode to my husband.  I did, and kind of still, feel like the worst mom ever.  This weekend we are buying child proof door knob covers and alarms that chime when you open any door that leads outside.

I know I’m not the only parent that has suffered thus. I remember stories of my mom losing my sister.  They had the whole neighborhood looking for her.  Turns out she took a nap behind the laundry room door.  And I know that I wandered off when I was three with a neighborhood boy.  It was beginning to storm and a neighbor brought me home.  So, clearly, it’s genetic.  He couldn’t help it.

But, man oh man, I aged a year or five yesterday.  Has this ever happened to you?



  1. Leslie H says

    I lost my youngest at Duscovery Place Kids when he was 2. The worst few mins of my life while all the employees were looking for him. Scary stuff!

  2. Andrea says

    I know this all too well… twice. Once H decided to run away from me in Kohl’s. Far. And I had a baby in a stroller to run around with. Thankfully an employee saw me panic stricken and found her for me. Second time was my youngest E, decided to play with her friends across the street in their backyard without telling me so. I was ALL over our street screaming her name like a maniac. Ohhhh scary times that give us the gray hairs.

  3. says

    Yep. Lost our 2 year old at the Harris Y soccer fields, for like 20 min. Worst 20 minutes of our life! He wandered off behind the playground, in the woods, following some older kids! Lost years off my life for that one.

    • Katie says

      Oh Sarah – how awful! I almost lost Will at Soccer practice once. I know how hard it is to keep track of them with SOOO many kids running around!

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