Thursday, February 19, 2015

The only good that can come of this is that maybe someone else can prevent it from happening again....

Bug was only 3 and Munchkin was barely walking the day they walked out of our townhouse and through the neighborhood. Across the street and into a different pod of town-homes where a neighbor found them. Bug was wearing shorts and no shirt, Munchkin had on a creeper with little roses on it. Both were in diapers and had no shoes on.

I had put them in front of the TV and gone upstairs to take a shower. The Man was upstairs with me and we were talking while I showered. We were probably upstairs for 15 or 20 minutes. I had locked the front door.

I got out of the shower, got dressed, and wrapped my hair in a towel before going downstairs to check on the kids. The door was wide open and they were nowhere to be found. Presumably, Bug had unlocked the door, unlocked the gate to our courtyard, and walked through the neighborhood to explore, Munchkin following him.

I ran frantically through the neighborhood, checking with all of our immediate neighbors. No one had seen them. When I got to the next street over I saw the police officers holding my babies and talking to some neighbors I hadn't ever met.

After a little bit of police harassment, some admonishment, some making me feel like the worst parent in the history of the universe, an open case with the Department of Children and Families, a couple of home checks, and a trip to the health department to check on Munchkin's well being (she had some bruises they wanted to check out), I was cleared as suitable to raise my children and we were out of scrutiny. We put locks way up high on the doors that they couldn't reach even with a stool, we locked Bug in his bedroom at night so he wouldn't wake up before the rest of us and go adventuring through the house, and we told ourselves we were lucky that nothing worse had happened.

And we were lucky. We were so very, very lucky. When I read stories like the story out of Toronto today of Elijah, a precious 3 year old boy who wandered from his home into below freezing temperatures and sadly did not recover, my heart breaks into a thousand pieces. Elijah's family was not lucky. I can't even grasp the pain they must be feeling.

Please tuck your babies in tight, put locks way up high on the doors, install alarm systems. Whatever you have to do to make sure your little explorers are safe, please do it.


the_happy_hausfrau said...[Reply to comment]

Oh Beth. I get it! I lost my youngest when he was about 1 1/2. I can't even remember the specifics, just that he was gone and I had a dozen neighbors searching for him. Police were there, I was shitting my pants, sure that my baby was dead or having his hair dyed in a gas station bathroom a hundred miles away from me. Turns out, he was playing in the backyard next door to us. Playing with one of his mother effing sticks. I wanted to die that day, die of humiliation and shame and rage. But I just hugged William, hugged my neighbors who dropped whatever they were doing to look for my kid, hugged the cops who took the frantic mother seriously. You took me right back there with this post and I can't even click on the link for the little guy. Can't do it.

So much shit happens every day that makes me realize how freaking lucky I am, and how lucky my kids are. All we can do is send love to kids like the one who didn't make it. Help their families if we can.

Gah. Two martinis in and I'm ready for bed. Thanks for posting this :)