Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Thing Parents Fear Most

We went to a wonderful new park today with my two friends and their collective three children. Our four year olds were happily playing hide and seek around the play equipment while we bumbled about with the 1 1/2 year old girls. The park is new and it is a beautiful day so it was pretty crowded.
I did my quick check for Cole that I was doing about every three minutes. He was dressed in his orange fleece as I try to keep him in bright colors whenever we go out in a crowd. I looked and didn't see him and his friends couldn't find him. I alerted my two friends who then could not find him. Now Cole is the type of kid that holds on to the shopping cart in fear he may become separated, so I started to feel that panic. I began asking some of the other parents in the park if they had seen him and called his name louder.
After five hours oh wait it felt that long, but was more like three minutes of us looking for him I called 911. Fortunately, between the time spoke to a dispatcher and they transferred me to the Cherry Hill police a kind woman who I think I forgot to thank found him. Of course overtaken with emotions I was sobbing, which made Cole very distressed. He supposedly was hiding behind a stationary piece of equipment, but I can't even imagine how we all could not see him.

Today's lesson, when an adult is calling you during hide and and seek it means come out! I am writing this in hopes of preventing another parent a terrible moment like this. Please share with your friends. We are taking a small break from parks at least until I am over the nauseous feeling at the thought of it.

My other question for those with police backgrounds, how soon should you call 911? I felt like there was no harm in calling off the police if he were found but that if he was missing every minute would count.

1 comment:

  1. When I worked at the PD- one of the things they taught us to tell parents before you go out- NOTICE WHAT SHOES THEY HAVE ON.
    When someone takes a child, they can put on a wig- dress them differently but RARELY do they know the childs SHOE SIZE to change them into. So you can identify your child by the shoes...
    You need to have a "MAGIC" word... this is a special word that makes ALL GAMES STOP. It means come NOW- SHOW YOURSELF- I NEED YOU!!! And praise them when they pop up. Practice this... have a special magic word that if someone comes by and says "Your Mom & Dad want me to pick you up" they ask them for the magic word- if the person can't say your magic word they know NOT TO GO WITH THEM! You only send folks with the word.
    As far as calling the police- if you have looked and called the magic word- if they are a no show CALL THE COPS. They can always be turned away when the child is found- but God forbid if they actually were taken- they can observe any and all vehicles leaving the area- watch for any suspicious folks walking around or even be able to talk to folks still there with fresh memories.
    Your kids are old enough to teach this is a shame we live in a world like this- but it is what it is.
    And for YOUR safety- one thing we taught women- if you are grabbed and fear for your life or safety- SHOVE YOUR FINGERS DOWN YOUR THROAT AND VOMIT ON YOURSELF. A rapist must be in a sexual state of mind and the smell of vomit turns him off and usually he will turn away to vomit and you have a chance to run. So you need a shower- big deal- YOU ARE ALIVE!