Oh the three-year-old boy...gotta love him! My adventurous little boy decided to give me a crazy scare yesterday. We were at the Y in the childcare center (known as KidCare), and I was putting my 10-month-olds coat on to get ready to leave. My other daughter (twin to my son) was standing next to me waiting to go. I got distracted and my son walked off. I thought he was in the tube play area within the childcare center, as he likes to run in there and play.
After unsuccessfully locating him, I started frantically looking for him outside of the walls of the childcare. I assumed that I looked frantic because a man asked if I was looking for a little boy in a green jacket. I told him that I was and he then told me that my son had gone into the elevator and went downstairs. Sure enough, he did. I ran down the stairs and found him wandering around the first floor. Several people were talking to him and asking him where his mommy was when I walked up.
I could have killed him and yet wanted to grab him and not let go at the same time. The Y is a safe haven for us. I teach group exercise there and go there almost every day. The kids have taken classes there since they were itty bitty and know the place inside and out. Maybe this is why he decided to venture on the elevator alone; he knows the ropes.
Once I found him, got back to his sisters (who were being watched by a staff member), we went directly to the car. I then had to explain to the kids what it means when they run away from mommy and don't come back. The best way to describe child abduction for a three-year-old, in my mind, was to say the following: "if you walk away from mom and dad, then someone else could take you home. Mommy and daddy would be so sad without you, and your woof (his lovey blanket) and blankie would be at home but you wouldn't be there. Wouldn't you be sad without woof and blankie? Mommy and daddy love you so much and that person couldn't take care of you like we can. Does that make sense?"
Did that make sense? I don't know. I'm considering putting all three of my kids in a stroller when we go in public to avoid this situation again. Maybe I should just strap all three to my back. That was the most terrifying experience! Honestly, I don't think someone would take him or that he would get hurt at the Y but one never knows. At the end of the day, I need to teach my children that they are safe with me, period; straying away can only be negative.