Last week, while I was on the phone with Emily, all the kids were outside playing. Birdy, who jumps at any opportunity to be outside, was standing at my hip crying because she was inside and everyone else was out. When her screaming to go out became too much to talk over, I hung up with Emily long enough to put Birdy in her boots and sent her outside–calling to her sisters to keep any eye on her.
Emily and I continued to talk and I watched as some of the girls wandered back into the house. Finally, much later, Emma came in. Alone.
Where's Birdy? I asked.
She's inside with the girls.
No, she's not. You were watching her outside.
No one told me I was watching her.
And then, there's that parenting moment where you get the immediate pit in your stomach. Deep, deep down you're pretty sure everything is just fine. But in a flash, you've systematically worked through every possible horrible scenario that could happen to your unattended toddler. And what steps you'll take to deal with the emergency. As well as the fact that you haven't showered and if you're going to need to now make a trip to the emergency room, you're looking pretty scruffy and maybe you'll be able to at least wash your hair in the kitchen sink before you go.
Please. Tell me I'm not the only one who manages all these thoughts in course of 12 seconds?
But of course, we found her.
And of course where else would she be but playing in the muddiest corner or our property, where the driveway meets the grass. Where the water gathers after every rain. And mixes with mud and stone and mulch and soil.
And of course, she was wearing one of my favorite sweaters. And her best pair of jeans.
But who was watching her? Her very best pal.
19 comments on “When Birdy went missing.”
It’s amazing how a mama’s brain can do that: sort through the scenarios before just acting. Unfortunately, I normally work myself up into a panic in those 12 seconds, rather than calm resolution. Gotta work on that one.
Glad little Birdy was safe!
This has happened to me as well. Amazing how fast the brain can jump to SO many simultaneous thoughts at once. Thank goodness for family dogs. Our Poppy girl has watched over both of my children… never leaves their sides when they are outside playing. Glad that Birdy was ok.. and that you didn’t have to wash your hair in the kitchen sink 🙂
Yay!!! for happy outcomes!
You know, parents didn’t watch their children quite so hard back when I was little, a LONG time ago. I don’t think children died like cluster flies. You’re ok. Everything’s fine. Nobody did anything wrong. You’re not worried about anyone stealing Birdy, right? Birdy probably had a wonderful time.
I have a friend who took a bad fall, broke her hip, called a friend to take her to the ER, and then made said friend wait so she could shave her legs first. You’re perfectly normal 🙂
My son recently lost me and I can very much relate to that swirl of emotions. It sounds like she was having a fantastic time.
you remained much calmer than i would have! jane got lost once, at a day camp, and it was the most terrifying five minutes of my life. on the flip side, i bet that puddle was a lot of fun.
I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who would, after finding my child safe, point out that she’s in her best jeans and sweater! I think my kids tend to get the most muddy when wearing their church clothes.
my brother lost zoe at a public park once when i was doing a photo shoot for his son. he got to pushing olivia on the swing and literally forgot he was supposed to be watching zoe too. She wandered really far off into these play houses. of course totally happy as a clam, but I have never been so scared in my life.
its crazy how in 12 seconds our brains can process that much, that fast. it sounds like she had a great time though!
Oh gosh. Something similar just happened to my daughter at the library. She is about the same age as Birdy and we were attending story time. She kept wandering to the back of the group and standing there. Since I was in the middle I just kept turning my head every couple of minutes to check she was ok – then I turned and she wasn’t there. I tried the book stacks, the computers no sign of her – I found her a couple of minutes later at the back of the library with some older kids watching TV – but those intervening minutes were full of panic.
Love the idea of our dear dogs watching over our little ones! Doggy sure would not have let anyone harm Birdie – and would have found you if Birdie needed help! And I love that sweater too!
You are not the only one — both of my kids are the age of yr eldest, but I don’t let them go outside alone until I am presentable to a. go out looking for them, b. answer the door to find an officer gripping their bicep, or c. rescue them and/or take them to the ER.
All’s well that ends well. Thank God.
How very very scary. And yes, I’d probably have a similar thought – my hair looks like a rat’s nest before kicking into action.
She looks like she had a blast.
Have you seen the movie, “Babies” that follows families from different parts of the world? Picture a baby crawling around outside with cows totally unattended! I hate those moments of panic! I think we moms all have them!
terrifying in the moment, perfect in the outcome (when all that mud suddenly seems small price to pay.) thank goodness for little girl’s best friend, eh?
So sweet! Especially the part about her puppy guardian! 🙂 She sounds exactly like my daughter (also a toddler) – as soon as she is outside, she heads directly for the muddiest, messiest spot she can find, and stays there for hours – or at least until I can’t stand the sight of the messy clothes anymore!
Oh my goodness Molly! I know your thought process in that moment. Been there. Lucas escaped just yesterday and he’s onlyl 11 months! eek.
Cheers to safe kids and trusty pups watching them! WHAT A RELIEF!!!