Child Is Missing. The Store is Eating Kids Again.

I have never “lost” a child when we are out and about.  I know it can happen easily and I also know we have been fortunate with three boys and twins to boot that it hasn’t, yet.  it is common knowledge, to parents of twins, that they only run in opposite directions.  If you ever see a set of toddler twins with their ankles tied together, don’t judge.  I knew our youngest wasn’t really, “MISSING!” 

I had taken all three boys to one of those club membership stores.   While my twin eight year-old boys, (at the time) always stay close to me and the cart our mischievous little brother, Peter, needed to sit in the child seat in the cart.  As always, Peter pleaded to “walk like a big boy”   At the end of the trip I decided we needed paper towels AND toilet paper.  Now if you know the size they are at the club stores you know there is now no room for Peter in the cart, and so his wish was granted.  

As the three boys were walking in front of the very erect cart towards the front of the store I looked over to see that Peter had taken off down the furniture aisle.  I kept walking as I saw him turning to the next aisle where I planned foiling his test on freedom.  When the older boys and I reached the next isle we realized Peter wasn’t there!

Avery and Mitchell became completely frantic and I went back again and began calling his name, LOUDLY.  No response from Peter.

I walked straight up to the front of the store, abandoning everything and the cart, and has the manager close off the exits.  All of the store employees are looking for him or at least made aware there was a missing child.  

Now, in our defense, we have never lost a child anywhere.  We have never even lost a twin when they were small.  Never.  I knew he wasn’t lost or kidnapped.  This is Peter after all.  The kid that walks around with his older brothers holding him by the back of his collar.  The kid that has two older brothers not letting him do anything because they don’t want him to get hurt or go missing or have any kind of fun.  

Within three minutes of being “lost” I heard an employee say, “I think I see him!” while looking way up at a couch on the second shelf of the furniture isle.  That little booger had a front row seat high on a shelf, (see picture to the left of him rock climbing) on a micro suede $599 sofa watching all of us run around looking for him…silent and smiling, (see picture above that sums up his personality.)

It took a long time to get Avery and Mitchell calmed down.  They were absolutely beside themselves.  Their sweet little hands were shaking, they were crying and they genuinely thought their baby brother was lost forever.  After paying for the cart of groceries and trying to make eye contact with all of the people who helped us get our happy (beaming with a million-watt grin was more like it) Peter back we finally pulled out of the parking lot. 

Mitchell, says in a completely exasperated tone,  says “That is exactly why we should not go there.” 

Avery answers back and says, “We told you we don’t like to go to that store Mom!” 

Mitchell replies, “It is sooo dangerous!” 

I respond with, “What are you guys talking about?  It is just a store!” 

Avery says, “You know!  All those kids that have gone missing in there!” 

Mitchell, “Yeah, you see them every time we leave.  All those kid’s pictures by the exits.  The sign says “MISSING!” 

And so it was every time we went there they held onto one another.  They were terrified.  They thought all of those children had gone missing in that VERY store.  Gone forever.  A child’s mind is a scary place. 😉

22 thoughts on “Child Is Missing. The Store is Eating Kids Again.

  1. Infant? Bahahaha! I am notorious for parking the stroller, cart and kids in one spot while I “run” within eyeshot. So happy ours are old enough to walk everywhere now. DC? Bahahahaha! Your lucky you didn’t end up on the news. I am guessing this was before people could record with their cell phones. It happens. We are human.

  2. This blog is going to be like the best photo album for your kids…

    I almost lost my infant son in a grocery store. I thought I husband was staying with him while I went to another aisle to pick up an item and he thought the same when he left to pick up an item. We met and both asked, “Where’s Alex?” We panicked and ran to where we last left the stroller and there he was, by the dairy section, happily cooing, but alone. This was in the Washington, D.C. area, so we were LUCKY. Lesson learned.

  3. For about 10 minutes, my husband and Squishy got separated in the stadium of a local high school football game. Squishy has never let him forget it. In that case, according to Squishy, it was dad’s fault. In reality, it was because Squishy wanted to get candy and walked toward the concession stand without informing anyone.

    • Thanks and your beans make me hungry for some half runners. I went over and checked out your site and let me just say something, I might drop one of my kids off to walk home! Dude, three boys need to be a little afraid that their mom might have a few loose screws. If they don’t have a little fear I would be Goldie Hawn in Overboard getting grapes pelted at my face while I mumbled catatonic! Ok, not on a freeway but I have done it in the neighborhood. He so had it coming! 😉

      • LOL…thanks for the visit. I have so many stories about the boys. Perhaps I’ll tell one or two. And yeah, we’ve given their mom a few screwdrivers over the years. Hasn’t helped. Such is life

    • It is horrible but I run the numbers of how unlikely it is and remind myself of the massive 100 year old tree that fell a couple years ago in our backyard on a beautiful summer day…during a BBQ with about a dozen kids running around. This tree covered about an acre when it was down. All the kids were fine, thank God. That is when sometimes you remind yourself that you cannot control everything and count your blessings. Thanks for calling it cute and funny. I would be happy if that was the last thing anyone said about me.

  4. I’ve only really lost my husband. He has a tendancy to ‘wander’ which has led to a game of cellphone tag (in Wal Mart I might add). Reading your stories amuses me, yet scares me. I am raising a very bright, curious little BOY who I’m sure will give me a run for my money. He already does and he will be 2 in May. I really enjoy your blog.. You’re the first one on my blog roll I check! 🙂

    • Awwww…I love that you read me regularly! We didn’t have cell phones for a very long time, (couldn’t justify it when my husband was in training) and oh how wonderful it was when we did get them. So much less stress in places like Walmart and Disney.

  5. This was really funny and very sweet! You’ve got some cleaver and caring guys on your hands. We did stuff like this to my mom all the time (there were 4 of us). Eventually, she put her youngest on a harness and leash (and got judged for it), but when one kid has his head stuck between rails, the oldest girl is running off, and you’ve got two wondering toddlers as well, who’s to be the judge?

    • I never had to resort to the leash but as I always say, “God gave me twins, now had I of had triplets!” I nearly cracked up all over the zoo one time when I saw a preschool with all the children’s wrists tied together like a chain gain. Oh but if they lost one of those kids it would have been all over the news!

  6. Never thought a kid might think that about the MISSING kids.
    Another clever and funny post. Thanks!

    • EXACTLY! I felt so bad for them once I knew why they were always such freak-a-leaks when we went there. I told them they would tear the place down if that was the case. Then I had to explain parents who take children in divorces and teenagers who run away…

  7. Yes, I lost a kid (she was probably about 4yrs old at the time) at the shopping center once. When you’re usually so careful and protective, you can hardly believe that something like that could happen but it does, and in the blink of an eye! It leaves you with a feeling of panic that is almost too hard to describe. I eventually found her back in the grocery store that we’d just left, at the checkout with a basket full of candy!

    • I try not to judge any parent! We all go through it. We all go through something. I just try to remain calm. I start running statistics in my head on how unlikely it is that something bad has happened. I am a worrier about things like riding bikes in streets but I WANT to trust people. I don’t trust people driving or my kids being alone with someone. So I guess I do have my panic spots. Thank for reading and taking the time to comment!

  8. Aww, that’s kind of sweet that the brothers were so upset about the little guy; but pretty funny that they believe the missing posters meant missing from that one store. LOL. Peter is truly a free spirit! What a life he’s going to create for himself! Wonderful post. ~ Julie 🙂

    • He is so good for us all. We always joke he “STORMED” the family. We were so stressed out after having twins, and twins with health problems, and not sleeping because our twins didn’t sleep for 3 1/2 years… Then Peter comes along and he loves to make us laugh and smile and he just makes us all better. Thanks for the compliment. This is one of my favorite stories to tell and a past Christmas letter story.

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