I started this blog as a place to put the "mommy stuff" that just doesn't fit over on my other blog.

I became a first time mom at the age of 43 so this blog is written from *gasp* an older mom's perspective.

I love being a mom to the funniest little girl on the planet (check out the scroll over to the right ---> for some of her gems!) and I hope you enjoy reading about our adventures together!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I lost track of my child TWICE in one day!!!

Topic of the week
The quality or condition of being humble;
imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Last Friday was a bad parenting day for me. It all started with an innocent play date over at a friend's where I convinced myself that I heard The Girl and her friends in the back yard. They had just been there minutes before surly they were just hiding. Gentle calls for them to come out of their hiding spot morphed into loud screams and frantic running all over the neighborhood. There was an inviting school playground right across the street but would either kid actually cross the street after being ingrained with "Never Cross the street without a mommy or daddy!"? Ten to fifteen frantic minutes felt like many hours. Do we call the police? Where could they be? 

Finally we see a worried looking man pointing down the street at the end of the block. A crying Samuel is returned to my friend's arms. My girl is still missing. "Samuel where is Sweets? Where were you?" He points down the very long street and my daughter visible as only a speck is running down the sidewalk, thankfully in my direction! I meet up with the entirely unfazed girl. Samuel knew he shouldn't go so far away from home but my girl didn't think anything was wrong. "But I stayed on the sidewalk! Wasn't that safe?

A women with her small child approached us. She had seen the kids and asked them where they lived. Sweets had pointed in some other direction and according to the women was happily skipping down the street, helping herself to people's mail (apparently the mailboxes mounted street side were way to inviting!) When the women had approached them Samuel had run back, in the direction of his house crying but The Girl had just continued happily along.

On one hand I am glad she feels secure enough to venture away from us but it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep her safe. I am convinced she now knows that she should have a mommy or daddy with her BEFORE she turns any corner in addition to not crossing a street (and it isn't acceptable to take other people's mail) but in the case of less defined places I don't think she'll consider slowing down. I'm still not sure how long it would take her to think she was lost. Samuel was so upset but Sweets never looked back.

At her preschool they were considering a field trip to a local park but I did not think I could allow The Girl to attend when I wasn't there. One parent to four kids works very well in the contained preschool grounds but if Sweets could make a break from our friends  yard it isn't hard to imagine a momentary lapse in attention resulting in her wandering off. In ten minutes who knows where she might go. 

Later that same day we were back home and I decided to take a shower. Sweets joined me but when it came time to dry my hair she fled the scene. She went into her room and appeared to get busy with her legos. She closed the door and was very quiet. I could see her closed door from where I was drying my hair and I proceeded. On several occasions I turned off the hairdryer and glanced towards her door. The door was still closed and she was very quiet, which should have been my first clue that something was up but since she has recently gotten in the habit of playing with her toys while in her closet I just figured she was still in there. 

As I put my hairdryer away The Girl was suddenly in my room, "Look mommy, I cut my hair!"  (Tune in tomorrow for the photos) Oh no! I glance and see her door is still closed but she was not in there! She had left her room, closed the door behind her, found some scissors, climbed up on the sink in the other bathroom to look in the mirror and managed to cut her hair all without making enough noise for me to notice! OK the hairdryer makes noise but I stopped and listened several times and not once did I hear anything! 

We live in a very small house. It is hard to do anything without being heard in another room. I regularly do things in the kitchen or my bedroom while leaving Sweets to play on her own. I've always felt confident I would hear if anything was going awry. The level of stealth required to pull off her new hair style was truly impressive and fairly disturbing! For the second time in one day I had lost track of my daughter.  

My mother tells stories about me leaving our house and wandering the neighborhood when I was a preschooler. Her favorite is the story how I at about age 4, took my three year old sister in tow, and showed up at a neighbor's house at O'dark thirty in the morning asking for breakfast. "My mommy isn't up and I am hungry. Can we have some food." was my greeting! My husband's sister says they had to tie him to a tree to keep him from wandering off so it is clear Sweets comes by her wanderlust naturally. I can only hope the ability to keep wandering children alive is an equally inherited trait!

If you have any tips for keeping track of kids, and/or for teaching them to stay near, I'd love to hear!

Next Post: The haircut photos!

My Thirteen Virtues of Great Parenting are:
Fun, Discipline, Creativity, Love, Wonder, Listening, Curiosity, Compassion, 
Trust, Acceptance, Empowerment, Humility and Flexibility

This week is all about Humility. Next week 's topic is Flexibility.


  1. Oh my goodness - I return to blog reading and see this and ...well, I just want to reach out and give you a HUGE hug!! I feel your anxiety even reading this.

    We've had our situations too - a fun one: right after we moved in, we looked out our front window and saw our son walking down our driveway. Unbeknown to us, he was able to open the front door. Thankfully we live on a quiet cul-de-sac with awesome neighbors, but we quickly learned our lesson.

    I don't know if there is anything you can do to avoid those situations. Kids simply cannot be monitored every second of the day - nor would that be beneficial for anyone involved. We've gotten lucky so far, but it's only a matter of time (I'm sure) until the wander-off or hair-cutting venture happens. I pray for you, for me, and for every parent that those situations end peacefully.

    And when they do, the fun part is you can look back years from now, photos in hand, and say Remember When you did this? Yeah, that's why you can't have the car. (Hah!)

    :) Good luck...!

  2. Her confidence is fantastic, and quite frankly, it sounds like she adheres to guidelines when she knows they are for her safety, so lots of talks about what is okay and why sound like a great plan with her. You have your hands full, but in SUCH a WONDERFUL way. That child is going to do wonderful things!

  3. Maybe a tracking device? (Can't wait to see the photos of the hair cut... oh, your girl... she is quite a person!)

  4. I have no advice but my breathing was coming in fast, shallow gasps as I read. I would have been FREAKING out--good for you for keeping your head on your shoulders. I probably would have collapsed into a pile of sobs on the lawn! So glad she and her friend were safe.


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