The One in Which Think I’ll Wake Up With a Grey Hair….

It’s a given. Some times I HAVE to share parenting stories. Some times I feel compelled to.

Like today.

I haven’t started going grey. Yet.

I have a feeling that with what happened yesterday that might change.

I’m a pretty laid-back mom. That hasn’t always been the case, but having 5 children that at one time were 5 years of age and under changed all of that.

My goal went from being….well, I’m not sure what my philosophy was back then-I can’t remember. But, it changed. I started trying not to sweat-the-small-stuff and instead focus my break-downs/freak-outs on the big stuff. I did formulate a bottom line. I want to keep my kids ALIVE and out of harm until they fly out of my nest. Happy too. I want them to be happy and feel loved and be safe. That’s my bottom line.

My youngest. And my second youngest. They’ll be the death of me. I swear. Never in the history of mothering my other children have I been so worn down and stressed out. I’m pretty sure that from the moment that little fertilized egg split (which was later than I would have recommended, by the way), those little boys put their heads together and plotted. Plotted ways of changing me (they’ve successful done that-but in a good way for the most part) and making my hair turn prematurely grey. For kicks. I think they somehow know that their pregnancy, premature birth and growth thus far has made me a more thankful mommy than I was before but also a busier one, and for years a sleep deprived one. But one without grey hair. Surely some of my locks should have turned a silvery shade by now, and up until yesterday, they hadn’t, and I’m pretty sure that’s about to change.

Yesterday number 5 of 5 disappeared on me at Target while I was making my purchases. One minute he was there, the next he was Gone. Gone. Gone. Not only did he slip past me, he slipped past 4 of his siblings. It happened so fast that I thought there was no possible way he could have made it out the doors, right into a busy parking lot. No, I didn’t even consider it. The first thing I did was station number 1 of 5 in front of the large panel of electronic doors with orders to stop 5 of 5 (I’m borrowing this number system from the original Octamom) if he should try to go outside. Then I promptly alerted the Target employees that I had lost a child. Luckily I had 4 of 5 so that I could say, “I’ve lost my son and he looks exactly like this (pointing to 4 of 5)”.

I fully expected to find 5 of 5 at one of the candy endcaps. You know, the one’s that are right by the registers that kids can’t resist?

And then the worst thing happened, and also the best. The best thing that happened is that a man walked inside the doors of the store holding 5 of 5’s hand. This wonderful man knew who John belonged to (I guess we are pretty hard to miss) when he spied him outside all alone and afraid. This thoughtful man took John by the hand and said, “Let’s go find your mommy”. And John took his hand and was safely restored to me, inside.

The worst thing is that John was outside. In a busy parking lot. And he’s three years old. He was outside while his stupid mom was inside looking for him by the candy. A stranger took his hand and told him what he needed to hear. Luckily, that man was was a good person and did what he promised. BUT. What if he didn’t? What if he didn’t? John would have happily held his hand and let the stranger lead him anywhere, if he thought it was to me. He could have been hit by a car. He could have been abducted (he IS cute, you know-I could see why someone else would want him). And I was inside. That’s why I think I might go grey.

Nothing happened. The situation turned out to not even really be a situation. But it was, because thinking about what could have been makes my knees go weak. And quite possibly my hair grey. We’ll see. Yes, we’ll see.


Comments

  1. 1

    Kari says

    That is so scary. That happened with my daughter when she was four. We were at a hotel attending a huge outdoor wedding reception. One instant and she was gone. I have never felt so panicky-sick in all my life. Finally, after about 5 minutes (felt like eternity) we found her tucked in my mother-in-law's lap watching the people on the dance floor.

    Thanks goodness for good outcomes and good strangers.

  2. 2

    Lolli says

    Oh, Angie! I feel your pain. And your fear. And I have heard all of those "what if's" in my own head. I am so glad that he is ok. Thank goodness for good people (and red hair!)

  3. 3

    Lolli says

    PS–a couple of years ago, AJ disappeared. I looked in every closet, nook, under every bed and behind every corner. I couldn't find him anywhere. Finally, I sent everyone outside to comb the streets. After many achingly long minutes, I spotted him walking back home…from the PARK across the street! I think he was 2 at the time. He had crossed a busy street and walked himself to the park. I was mortified!

  4. 5

    Are You Serious! says

    ♥ That is so scary! What a blessing that, that man was an upstanding guy!!! So scary!!!

    I have to say I am SOOOO gray! SO GRAY!!! Maybe cause my twins are 5? no actually I've slowly been going gray since I was in high school!

    I'm so glad everything worked out!

  5. 6

    Melissa says

    Oh man I'd be thinking the same thing as you and really upset about it.
    What if that dude wasn't good.
    Man you are very blessed to have him be ok.
    It just goes to show no matter how much we teach our kids to avoid strangers, if the right thing is said, they'll go with them.
    I fear this.

  6. 7

    Linda @ My Trendy Tykes says

    Oh wow, that is scary. I can only imagine what you went through.

    Ay Yi Yi!

    Yes, I am one of those that always think "WHAT IF".

    ((Hugs))

  7. 8

    jori-o says

    Aftershocks, I call them. They are often worse than the actual scenario, because your mind thinks of every. bad. thing. that COULD have happened…ugh!

    Thank goodness it all turned out okay, though. As a mom, it is so humbling to have something happen, where afterwards it is all you can do not to immediately fall to your knees in gratitude, huh?

  8. 9

    T Rex Mom says

    Scary! That gentleman was an angel on earth! Glad things worked out.

    And I totally think parenting ages one prematurely!

  9. 10

    Casey's trio says

    UGH….So scary. I'm glad John was safe and that a good stranger found him. Riley did something similar at the gym recently. I thought she was with Steve and somehow she slipped away from both of us and ended up outside. She got a great big tongue-lashing that I'm hoping she'll never forget.
    This whole Jaycee Lee Dugard story has me so freaked out!

  10. 11

    Amy says

    I am glad to hear that everyone was nice and safe. How scary…. Thanks to a nice man for finding him. I think I would have went straight to white instead of grey.

  11. 12

    Nicole says

    My worse fear ever. Thank goodness there are still good people out there when you need them! I'm glad every thing is well and lets hope he learned a lesson!!

  12. 14

    Swirl Girl says

    How terrifying – thank god everything was okay . But what goes through your mind in a split second?? {shudder}

  13. 15

    Jamie says

    This is one of my worst nightmares! And yet, almost every single mom I know has lost a child (more appropriately: the child has snuck off) at some point (including my mother 'losing' me:)
    And hey- grey hair, shmey hair- I'm just glad he's okay! You are a great mom! Don't be too hard on yourself!

  14. 16

    scrappysue says

    ugh – i bet it took hours for your heart to stop racing! it only takes a minute and man, they are so fast! what a blessing that man was for you and your family.

  15. 17

    Becca says

    Ugh. That feeling? You know, the one where your stomach comes up into your throat and your heart drops to the floor? I know that feeling… It's horrible.

    Does it make you feel better if I say it could happen to any of us? Probably not, but it's true.

    🙂

  16. 18

    Allison says

    OH, Angie…I am glad it turned out ok. My youngest has no stranger danger or issues with separation anxiety. This can be good but it can also be to my detriment as she often doesn't see the danger in being so personable in situations just like the one you experienced. Just know that I feel for you and hang in there!

  17. 19

    WhisperingWriter says

    Whew, I am so glad everything turned out okay.

    I'm stopping by from Moxie Media 🙂 I'm trying to comment on every blog to say hello!

  18. 21

    Jenners says

    First of all, I love your bottom line. I think it should be adopted by all parents!!

    Second — YIKES! Totally scary. Totally scary. I don't think I would have considered to look outside either. Thank goodness for the nice man … and don't spend too much time thinking of the alternatives. It just doesn't help.

  19. 22

    Liz (Loving Mom 2 Boys) says

    Oh my goodness!! I think I just went grey reading that {ok….a little more grey…}. I am so happy that he is ok.

  20. 23

    Kristin says

    First of all, you went to the store with ALL FIVE? I never take my whole crew anywhere if I can possibly avoid it.
    Second, I'm surprised it hasn't happened to you before now. It's a right of passage to motherhood, losing a child in the store.
    And Third. So glad he's ok. Don't beat yourself up too much, and don't even think about going gray, you just can't duplicate your gorgeous hair from a box, when you have to start dyeing, it's going to suck.

  21. 41

    Honey Mommy says

    That is so scary! Unfortunately my 1 1/2 year old is just like this. He is going to make me go prematurely gray!

  22. 42

    Laurie says

    My stomache dropped out of me! Brought back memories. Unfortuanantly it seems most moms have a story. Andrea wandered off on us a the pier in downtown Boston! Brian let go for a minute to give me something and then thought I had taken her. I still shudder at the what if's. We were extremely lucky in that she was about 10 feet away walking to us. I have NEVER been so terrifed.
    I don't think I've gotten rid of the greys yet:)

  23. 43

    Laurie says

    My stomache dropped out of me! Brought back memories. Unfortuanantly it seems most moms have a story. Andrea wandered off on us a the pier in downtown Boston! Brian let go for a minute to give me something and then thought I had taken her. I still shudder at the what if's. We were extremely lucky in that she was about 10 feet away walking to us. I have NEVER been so terrifed.
    I don't think I've gotten rid of the greys yet:)

  24. 44

    Gigi says

    It has happened to all of us. Even those of us with only one! Believe me when I tell you they will only give you more gray as they grow older (can you say DRIVING?!?). I like to think that there are more good people out there than bad. I know it was horrible as it was happening and I'm so glad this turned out so well for you.

  25. 45

    parentingBYdummies says

    I think you'd still look pretty amazing with grey hair. But, let's stop all the scary business and let it happen the natural way, kay?! Oh, and don't forget to stop by PBD, I answered one of your burning questions today!

  26. 69

    SupahMommy says

    ughhhh

    do not do the 'what if's.' WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF DOING IT.. start doing the running man or something ..or better yet.. imagine me doing it.

    Lord. Sweet boy. I'm so thankful for a happy ending.
    My neighbor's son , 4, drowned in our neighbors pool 3 weeks ago, was resuscitated at the scene and is fine now. but his mom watched it all… and is immersed in what ifs.

    Im doing the running man all the time for her.
    Your story, and hers.. by telling it.. will put a little bug in someones ear… and we'll remember you the next time we walk into target.

    and we'll remember you .. and what you did so fast and methodically .. thinking straight… when you did realize he was gone. How many of us would panic…

    your plan.. how you handled it..will help someone one day..

  27. 95

    girlytwins says

    I would still be shaking. I am so paranoid of something like that happening. I am so happy that it all turned out good and hopefully 5 learned his lesson 🙂

  28. 96

    Adrian's Crazy Life says

    That IS scary, isn't it? What a close call. I'll share a tip with you that I've drilled and drilled into my kids – hope it helps.

    I've told my kids if they are ever lost or need help to look around for a Mom with kids or a Grandma. I tell them a Mom or a Grandma will ALWAYS help you, while a man might be a bad stranger. Stands to reason. Most child abusers are men – I think it's like 98%. I'll take my chances with the other 2%.

    PS: Come on over to the grey side! It's not so bad once you get used to it.

  29. 97

    Debra says

    Oh angie! I had the same thing happen to us excpect I ran outside and Nicholas was in the card aisle> Have no idea why. SCARY! Did you get gray hair? My twins have given me TONS!

  30. 98

    says

    I love Indie games! They fill in a much needed marekt between Angry Birds and the hard core games. I need to finish Braid and Super Meat Boy at some point. On that note, have you ever played VVVVVV? It’s wonderfully creative.

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