Monday, October 24, 2011

Roving Pack of Moms

Last week we were at the pumpkin patch with StinkBug's parent participation preschool. The nature of the program requires that each child attend with a mom/dad/grandma/grandpa/responsible adult. It is their sole purpose to interact and take complete responsibility for said child.  Our class has 11 families and I am by far the oldest parent there. I can say with complete confidence that I am older than some of the Grandmas since I saw some of them on the field trip. I am also younger than some of them.

We met at the designated location and as a class we enjoyed a bumpy, scenic hayride to select our pumpkin. After that is is a free for whatever you want whenever you want and stay as long as you want. Stinkbug was thrilled to have my dad along for the adventure. We head to the nearest attraction and are greeted by a pack of scantily clad, overdressed for the Apple Jack Pumpkin Patch league Mommas chatting it up while their kids play with the duck races. I recognize several of them but they are too involved in their discussion about wine bars and hair bows to acknowledge me or to interact with their children.

The moms get bored and drag their protesting children to the next attraction. An adorable blonde little girl, dressed from head to toe in orange and black complete with tutu and striped tights, is left behind.

I recognize her from our class and wait a minute or two to see if the roving pack of slacker moms realizes they have misplaced an accessory child and will come back for her. She is happily splashing in the water and having a duck race with StinkBug. It has been several minutes now and I glance around searching for a panicked mom looking for her kid.  I stare at the parking lot willing some mom to come running realizing that she mistakenly walked away without her little girl.

Nothing. Na da. I tell my dad to look around for a 20 something gal wearing a black sweater and with shoulder length reddish brown hair.

I smile at her and say "You name is Kylie right? You are in class with us."

 "Yep" she says not even looking up from her duck race. 

"Where's your momma?" 
I ask casually so I don't freak her out.

"She took the pumpkins to the car."

REALLY? REALLY? Leaving your not yet 4 year old alone so you can haul pumpkins to the car?

It is prime field trip time and there are at least 3 HUGE school buses in the parking lot. This means hundreds of kids, parents and teachers running around. Chaos is an understatement. But this is not just for schools. Anyone-ANYONE- who pays the admission price is welcome.

Kylie didn't seem the least bit concerned that mom had strolled off and left her alone in a very crowded place. I didn't want to freak her out by leaving her with some unfamiliar senior citizen (love you dad!)  but he was there so I quietly told him of my plan and left him in charge of the two kiddos. I saw the class leaders and started walking toward them while waving to get their attention.

By now more than 10 minutes have gone by and no one has come looking for her.

 Suddenly mom realizes that her adorable little girl is missing and she is searching frantically...running back and forth between the slide and sandbox. The green shirted leaders are looking around the area but no one is making a move to notify any employees or to split up and start searching. I start running toward them (and I am NOT a runner) and am waving like a crazy woman, yelling "She's over here. Kylie is here with us."

Figuring her mom might not recognize me (since we have had only 3 classes) I tell her that StinkBug recognized her daughter from class. I explain that when I realized Kylie was alone I asked her where mom had gone. 

"When she told me that you went to the parking lot we decided to stay here with her. I didn't want to take her and go looking for you in case you came back here and panicked."

She said "I thought Jackie would watch her." (umm did you actually ask this Jackie person to watch her or did you just assume she would?)

I was shocked when she started chastising her daughter.
"I told you to stay with Mommy. You can't just walk away.YOU NEED TO STAY WITH ME!"

Umm , yeah pretty sure you just told me that you left her standing here with the rubber ducks while you hauled your stash of pumpkins to the car and you "thought" Jackie would watch her.

Well she didn't watch her! 
 And mom didn't even say thank you.

Have you ever found a child who got separated from his/her parents? What did you do? What would you want another parent to do if it was your child?


KLZ said...

If I got separated from my child I would want another parent to wait there with them, no moving. Otherwise, people get lost.

I say this as someone who gets lost a lot myself. Without this rule, I'd never get found.

I'm not joking.

Robbie K said...

I get lost A LOT too when driving. in fact it is rare for me to actually be able to get somewhere that I don't go on a very regular basis. I use to have to call my neighbor's husband to get to the hair salon-he worked across the street and could tell me directions in a way I could understand.

The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

That gave me the chills while I read that. Ash is almost 10 and I am still not leaving her alone! There are too many twisted people out there who are using their brains for evil things. In a crowd, a child can dissapear in an instant. I'm glad you were there for her when her "mom" wasn't.

Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

UGH. you did the right thing. For sure. I can't imagine leaving a four year old alone. I'm more the "will you watch her?" "no, I mean will you watch her close" "are you sure" "Oh never mind just come with me" kind of mom. I have issues.

Robbie K said...

@Krisin I agree you can never be too careful. Plus there is nothing keeping creepy, weird ppl who prey on children out of the pumpkin patch.

Robbie K said...


I'm with you. I don't know if she actually asked the other mom to watch her child or if she just assumed she would. I don't know any of those ppl well enough or trust them enough to ask them to watch my guy. Heck at school I won't even run to the bathroom across the hall unless i make sure the teachers know I am going and agree to keep an eye on him.