That Time I Lost My Kid Gave Me PTSD

by Cookie

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Yesterday we went to this place called Great Big Adventure.  As you can see in the picture, it’s really just a giant indoor play structure that’s all enclosed so you don’t have to worry about anyone falling to their death.

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It’s a necessary thing in a world that is frozen and terrible for about 6 months a year.

We’d never been there before, and it was absolutely terrifying to just let my 2 and 4 year old loose.  I mean, everywhere I looked parents were just hanging out, drinking coffee, chatting.  One guy was actually taking a fucking nap.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am the furthest thing from a helicopter parent, but this is a fairly large public space.  They have it set up so it would be fairly difficult for any little people to escape but it is sorta unnerving to let my toddler free and not be able to at least have a visual on him most of the time.

And then I wondered why I was being such a loser when all the other parents didn’t seem to be having any anxiety at all.

Truth be told, I blame my not so twee Destroyer.  There.  I said it.  It’s her fault.

A few months ago we were at the play area in the mall and she got all pissed off when it was time to go.  I had Buddy in the stroller, and she ran into a nearby bookstore that had multiple exits back into the mall. So when she ran into the stacks of books I got stuck around a display and couldn’t see which stack she ran behind.  When I came back out of the store she was fucking gone.  Just gone.

Not one person saw her.  Or seemed to give a shit really.  And then the panic started to set it in.

Where did she go?  What if someone took her?  What if she wandered outside and got lost?  Or hit by a car?

I got security involved immediately.  And Bitches, it took them 30 minutes to find her.  She had wandered all the way back to the food court where we had lunch.

And all I can tell you is that those were the most horrible 30 minutes of my entire life.  Thinking the worst has happened to your child is the most terrifying thing you can go through as a parent.  It took me all day to recover.

And what I learned from that experience is that all it takes is literally a second for them to go out of your sight in a crowded place.  One second.  My poor heart.

So I’m obviously a little traumatized by that day.  And yes, we’ve had the discussion about what to do if you get lost.   What to do if someone you don’t know tries to take you.  About not talking to strangers.

Anyway, everybody was fine yesterday.  Why would they want to escape a place like that anyway, right?  The biggest problem was trying to fucking convince them to come down when it was time to go.

But seriously.  PTSD much?

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