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Sorry to hear about this, Tertia. I'm glad it worked out in the end. I think I would have reacted the same way. My baby, Kaylee, isn't quite walking yet. But she's so fiercely independent that I don't think it'll be long after she starts walking that she starts running away from us.

Sounds like Marko almost lost Adam in the mall.

Oh Tertia. I'm so glad he was just playing and not anything else happened. Terrifying feelings. Been there. This is why I think the kid "leash" is a very good thing (have you heard/seen it??), but Hubby will not have any of it, won't even hear of it. Sigh.

So sorry you went through this today! You are right, it probably happens to everyone but it doesn't make it any less terrifiying when it happens to you.

I'm a bit overprotective too and while I would like children who are independent and not afraid, not namby-pamby (to use your words) but like you said, I would rather have namby-pamby children than missing (God Forbid) children.

I hope you feel better today and over your fright and I hope Adam keeps his sweet little self in your line of sight and out of trouble for a while!

Yep, it does happen to most of us sooner or later - but that doesn't make it any less scary when it does. Glad your little guy hadn't gone far.

I did this to my mom on purpose when I was a little kid (I didn't understand at the time). We were in K-Mart and I thought it would be really funny to sneak out the entrance into the mall and hide behind the corner from her. When the security guard came and found me, I figured out that this was probably not a good idea. I'm sure she was really angry, but I rememerb being impressed at how calm she was telling me I was not allowed to do that anymore.

I also like the idea of the kid leash sweetisu mentioned. I know some people don't like them, but I don't see why it's bad for little kids. They have two modes in public: staying next to you or making trouble. The leash makes it a lot more likely that they do the first :)

How scary!

My son went and hid from me once IN OUR HOUSE and I couldn't find him. I thought he'd gone outside or someone had snuck in and grabbed him while I was in the other room. I was talking hysterically to myself and finally started saying "I'm calling the police, I'm going to call the police" when he dragged himself out of his hiding place. (I don't even remember where he was hidden now.)

Little bastards, aren't they?

Yes, it's a paralyzing fear, isn't it?

Like something I read a long time ago, to have children is to forever live with your heart walking around outside your body. Terrifying when your "heart" goes missing.

Glad Adam is safe and sound. Poor Marko must have felt terrible for losing sight of Adam that quickly. I hope Kate wasn't frightened by the ordeal (Mom and Dad so clearly frantic).

{{{hug}}} to you, my friend.

Oh Tertia, this has happened to us with both kids. When my oldest was 3, he hid in a rack of clothes in Sears. He was trying to play hide and seek. Of course, I didn't know and panicked. I was a blubbering mess when we found him, safe and sound wondering what the problem was.
Then yesterday, my 6 year old got separated from his Dad in a mall. Instead of standing there, and yelling "Dad" like we taught him, this time he panicked and ran halfway around the mall looking for us. We had already called the police when someone found him and returned him to us.
I don't know if it's harder when you've lost child already, I certainly believe it us, but that adrenaline rush is awful.
These are the moments when I seriously begin to consider putting a GPS chip in my kids. I know I can't yadda yadda, but still, oh the relief it would be!

Oh, Tertia I feel your pain. I REALLY feel your pain. I had my two younger ones at an upscale children's shoe store just last night, and the two-year-old was asleep reclining in the back of the twin stroller, and the fourteen-month-old, who just started walking with confidence, was toddling around playing in their very nice, enclosed-on-three-sides play area with their very safe and attractive wooden toys. I turned to give the sales clerk my debit card and check that all of the shoes (all three of my children require custom-fitted shoes for various reasons) were made correctly (wide enough for the one with triple-wide hobbit feet, right length on right and left feet on other pairs because two of the children have a big difference from foot to foot) before I paid, and it was, as in your case, about 30 seconds because I am a hypervigilant mother and I was only watching the one (since the other was strapped into the parked stroller by my side asleep) at the time, but...when I looked over the baby (my youngest and the one I have almost lost due to medical problems way too many times, and who is easy to overlook due to being stunted in growth anyway and only as long or now tall since starting to toddle as an average six-month-old) was nowhere to be seen. If the baby was on the side of the play enclosure, the side nearest to me, I wouldn't have been able to see due to the waist-height wall, and so I wasn't immediately alarmed, but stepped over to glance over the top of the wall, but when I did there was no baby there. I scanned the store (very small, about the size of the average living room) and no baby. I had a moment of heart-stopping terror before I heard a tiny voice say "oh!" and there was the baby, who had ducked behind the counter (those counters are a real temptation to toddlers, I suppose) to look at a colorful toy that they were holding there for someone to pick up. I had to restrain myself from snatching the baby up and squeezing the poor child to death. It's not because I was watching two, and it wasn't because you were watching two, either. It just is bound to happen to pretty much every parent of even one child sooner or later, and the majority of the time it's only momentary and everything is fine, but there really is nothing like it to give you a physical pain in the heart like an elevator falling down the shaft, especially if you've ever had a child be preterm or desperately ill in critical care, or lost a child, or had them following a risky pregnancy, or even after an uneventful pregnancy and never with any problem at all. I'm sorry that happened to you, my friend. I always try to look at what happened in a situation like that and make a mental note of what I might do to prevent it in the future, but sometimes (as in my case last night when the baby just ducked away while I didn't have my eyes trained on them or in your case where you had two adults and quite correctly were each tailing one child, sometimes you're doing everything exactly right and it just happens anyway though). If it's any consolation to you I really do think that you and Marko were doing everything right and it wasn't a reflection on anyone's handling of anything. I'm glad you're all safe and hope you have a wonderful holiday as a family ;-)

Happened to me in the library. I forced myself not to run in circles and to open my eyes and just look. I stood in one spot and kept looking until I saw the top of my daughter's blonde head. She was right there, kneeling motionless in front of a rack of books. She could see me and had no idea I couldn't see her. But she was small enough that I had a talk with her about little deer in the forest, how they might blend in with leaves and so forth so they have to make sure their mommy knows where they are.

Shit T! I remember when the same thing happened to Lee with Garren... he was missing for 15 minutes while she was going ballistic... thankfully the security guy at the mall found him.... it was one of the scariest 15 minutes of her life. Happens SO easily and quickly... Hope your nerves have stopped jangling.. have a BEEEEEG glass of wine. xxx

Yep - I lost my son in a store once. As soon as put out the cry absolutely every single person in the store becaome devoted to finding him. He was hiding in a rack of clothes. It was terrifying but sort of heartening because of the way people helped.

Oh Tertia. How very terrified you must have been. We've all been there, one way or another. I haven't lost mine in a store (yet anyway), but my not-then-yet-3-yr old daughter developed a habit of running, and I mean RUNNING at full speed, out of playgrounds, STRAIGHT FOR THE STREET. Screaming at her to stop only made her run faster, the only solution was to run as fast as I could and pray I'd make it on time. I must have lost 10 years off my life this summer before deciding to just stay the hell out of playgrounds for a little while. Thank god she eventually moved past that phase (after a lot of sudden removals from playgrounds by me at the first sign of flight, my poor older son dragged along behind). I don't think my poor heart (or body) could have taken much more of it...

Oh Tertia! Its terrifying when this happens! I had this happen to me though it was years ago.Same scenario but I was trembling and could not think straight,alsorts of images flying through my mind and my heart was racing.Its so easy done and you need eyes at the back of your head in the christmas crowds.Thank God you found him.

Been there. Done that. I FEEL your pain as it happened to me with Evan. I am so sorry you had to go through that and am really glad that nothing bad happened in the end except you probably have a few more gray hairs today!
I lost Evan in a dressing room in the amount of time it took to try on a t-shirt. He crawled under the dressing room door, ran out of the large store and into the mall. It was the absolute most frightening 45 seconds of my life (felt like 45 hours).
Twins are like herding cats, i agree, and even with two parents it's difficult.
I just don't take them to crowded places that often when they are not in thier stroller now that they are mobile and oh so quick.

That's very scary. Have you read _Protecting the Gift_? It's a good one on managing fear. I lost my daughter too and I know what you mean about the fear bit.

Happened to me when my twins were around 6. We were at the Montery Bay Aquarium which is a HUGE installation croweded with visitors. We were in the gift shop and my son disappeared. Gone. Poof. He had a habit of wandering but I had my eye on him, and he just disappeared when I was watching him. He went around a corner and by the time I got there, he was just gone. I talked to the shop clerks, they shut down the store, then the whole aquarium, and people were looking everywhere for him. I eventually found him sitting behind a counter on the floor looking through the videos that they were showcasing on the small TV screens throughout the shop. Figures he would find the only working VCR and videotapes available to rifle through.

I was so freaking scared I almost had a heart attack. And I WAS the parent that used harnesses and leads for years because toddler twins are like herding cats. If I could have handcuffed him to my wrist, I would have.

I second Protecting the Gift. It's a great book and I used all the techniques with my kids to teach them what to do in order to protect themselves if they got lost.

Oh T. Just sending you some big (((HUGS))).

When he was about 2 to 3 years old, Ben didn't get to go to busy, crowded, or trafficky places without being harnessed in a kid leash. Toddlers are pretty much idiots—no common sense at all. If you've got one who likes to run and hide, the leash comes in handy.

Special bonus: Mama looks like a huge asshole with a leashed child. (But Mama doesn't care.)

Oh my goodness Tertia. It has happened to me once and I would never ever ever want that to happen again.

It happens more often then people think but fortunately most kids are just temporarily "missing". That is why you will see statistics of 800,000 children missing in the US each year. Most, like your son, are quickly found but none-the-less that 30 seconds can seem like hours.

I am not sure where you live but in the US you can ask the employees of a store, mall or any federal building to issue a "Code Adam" which will generally result in the doors being locked and all employees searching for them.

I guess I should have read the rest of your site before commenting about where you live.

To quote Forrest Gump, "stupid is as stupid does"

Nice site btw.

I'm sorry for the scare, and hope you've recovered by now. Glad you enjoyed the vacation!

I lost my daughter at the Detroit Zoo. It was for maybe two minutes. We were in an underwater tunnel looking at some seals swimming overhead. There were only two directions she could have gone. The whole time I kept thinking about how the zoo would be a perfect place for someone to come to snatch a child. It was scary.

And not to minimize your pain, but you didn't lose him, you responsibly left him under the supervision of his other parent. But it doesn't matter, it was still frightening.

One word - LEASH!

I never thought I'd use one, but my daughter is a wanderer--actually, a sprinter!

I don't know if Target ships internationally, but they have a really cute backpack/plush animal toy type harness that doesn't really look like a leash.


So sorry you had to experience that.

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