Where’d She Go? (Five Dollar Complaint #5)

I have so many questions.

Why would you leave a heap of wet towels on someone else’s bed?

Why are there Doritos on the floor?

Why did you lose track of my daughter?

No, actually, really. How exactly did my mother not notice that RR and her out-of-town-just-turned-seven-cousin-she-has-no-memory-of-ever-meeting-before walked through the woods, crossed a busy intersection, and traversed a street with no crosswalks? We could blame it on the cousin. We can blame it on RR, who, by the way, took responsibility anyway. But mostly, we have to look hard at the grown-up in the situation.

You guys, there is just so much. Do you know ridiculous it feels to find yourself wondering if your 5-yr-old daughter is always going to let strangers lead her away without question? How ridiculous it is to just assume she’s safe with whatever cousin or uncle or aunt we toss at her, especially when we barely know them? And how ridiculous, really, that there I was, picturing my pony-tailed teenager traipsing starry-eyed after some boy or girl with a to die for dimple and losing her over the edge of some lemming cliff.

It’s times like this I wonder if we should helicopter parent more.

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23 Responses

  1. That sounds scary! I found out my mother in law left Punky in the car for ‘only a minute’ and it about gave me a heart attack, nightmares for weeks. So I totally can’t imagine if she wandered off that far under the care of someone you ‘know’ a family members. I’m sorry that happened! So glad she’s ok though!

  2. How…
    What…
    Why…
    Are you serious?!?!?!

    Holy eff. I would kill her and I am not talking about the child.

    Side note is that how scary!!!! OMG. Did you just come home to find them missing? How were they found? So glad they’re safe!!!

    • Ring….Ring…
      Voicemail: Please call me. I can’t find RR. She was there and now she’s not.

      Ring…Ring… Mom? Have you found her?
      Oh she went home.
      She went WHERE?!
      Home. We were at the park and I saw her at the bottom of the path and when I looked again she was gone. I’m so glad she was at home.

      Don’t get me started.

  3. I know your mom has a lot on her mind right now, but holy hell. I would have lost it!

  4. That is very scary, my goodness! I suppose it’s a teachable moment, but in reality she’s 5 and developmentally she’s following the lead of adults and older children. I’m so glad she’s safe.

    • A huge relief. And, thanks to many retellings of Red Riding Hood, she at least stayed on the path til she got to the house.

  5. These are all excellent questions. Also “did this sort of thing happen when I was a kid?”

  6. I’m pretty sure this complaint is worth waaaay more than $5. As in, that’s many dollars worth of YOU DON’T DO THAT. I think my mom lost track of my kid once- for 30 seconds. He was in the next aisle over. That’s a more acceptable level of lost your grandkids.

    • I lost RR once one aisle over and I thought my heart would pound out of my chest. It was like a movie scene where everything narrows, goes black at the edges, and tips sideways. How my mother was calmly calling me to let me know she’d maybe lost my kid, I have no idea.

  7. 1. Been there, done that. Only the situation that made me realize I couldn’t leave my daughter alone with my mother involved my mother making my choking daughter walk down the downtown mall to my office because she couldn’t figure out what to do to make her stop choking. Seriously.
    2. Your mother is under a serious amount of stress and while that doesn’t excuse it in the least, it is no doubt a large part of the cause.
    3. No, it’s not at all ridiculous to wonder if she’s safe. You’re talking to someone who is hard pressed to leave her child with anyone actually related to us because no I don’t trust them. (This is not to say I’m a full on helicopter parent – not at all. We have been known to go out of town for a weekend, leaving her with friends. The difference is, we know those friends.)
    4. Remind me to tell you about the 4th of July we lost the kids (aka, the time they wandered off to watch the fireworks without us). It’s one of those tales not quite ready for the internet.

    • I have so much to say about this, mainly that I’ll have to find you out about town to hear about #4. Also, I’m really glad I’m not the only one who finds her actual relations more suspect than family friends.

  8. My mother would be an unemployed ex-grandparent. But hey, she’s got a ton going on, and must have trusted the 7 year old. Kids have their own ideas too, but sheesh! That’s some scary stuff. Stranger Danger and You Know The Rules conversations need to happen. Sorry for the scare, friend.

  9. Yikes, that is so scary. I’m glad she is ok.

  10. Um. Yikes.

    On a lighter note, this reminds me a bit of a time I (age ~6) was put on a plane with my friend’s sister (13?) to visit the friend’s family. (This was a plane trip followed by an interstate bus trip we managed ourselves — you could do that then? It was all fine.) At the check in desk, the attendant asked my parents if I was a child traveling alone. “Oh, no!” the 13yo answered. “She’s with me!”

    But. Six and thirteen. Not barely five and seven, without prior preparation.

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