The great escape

Poss at the market

We were at Camberwell Market on the weekend with a friend and Poss disappeared. One minute she was whining next to me about her legs hurting, the next minute she was gone. I was busy buying flowers, not watching closely enough and she wandered off.

It was busy and crowded. People everywhere, pushing and shoving. She was wearing bright colours, she should have stood out, but I couldn’t see her.

I calmly walked in one direction, scanning the crowd, while my friend did the same thing in the other direction.

I asked people “have you seen a little girl on a scooter?”. They shook their heads. My heart started to race and I wondered at what point I should ring Husband. Or the police.

About five minutes passed, then another five. We still couldn’t see her.

And just when my calm demeanour was about to desert me, she cruised out of Smiggle like nothing had happened.

Of course, in her mind it hadn’t.

When I told her how worried we were, that we thought she was lost, she replied “I wasn’t lost, I knew where I was”.

Logic that’s hard to argue with.

It’s ironic as I had just had the conversation with my friend about why we sometimes still long for a stroller for her – one that we can strap her into. Losing her at the market isn’t the first time it’s happened and despite numerous social stories on why she should stay near us, I suspect it won’t be the last.

Tell me, is she too old for a leash?

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  1. Oh no, I think a leash would be demeaning, perhaps a bell or some kind of locating tracker under the skin with GPS sent to your phone. So hard when you can’t let your guard down for a second. Caleb is the opposite in a crown and stand under my feet looking for comfort while I am pleading for a little space — oh the irony!

    • You joke about the GPS, but I have seriously considered it… do you think the vet would do a microchip for her? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Oh Poss.. she’s growing up fast!!
    Yvette (@DTlilsquirts) recently posted..whats the diagnosis?My Profile

  3. God I felt panicked reading this. No idea how you kept your cool. Yep, GPS under the skin; great idea!

    • It’s sad Kate, but this happens with alarming regularity. If I lost my shit every time, I would be exhausted. I think the 10 minute mark is about when I start to get a bit fretty… so far, we have only gone beyond that once or twice.

  4. Aaargh! Perfect logic indeed. Well done for surviving it!

  5. My eldest did exactly the same! He was in EB games engrossed in one of the consoles there for testing new games… with NFI that the police, security and cleaning staff of the whole centre were looking for him… *sigh*
    That said, I do have a stroller that takes a child up to 45kg… and yes… VERY handy.
    carmen recently posted..How to ask for a refund…My Profile

    • Hmmm love the idea of that stroller! We actually hired one last year when we did Taronga Zoo – it was a new environment, a new space and it worked really well, even if the zoo folk did look at us like we were a bit odd for wanting one for an older child.

  6. Annie does that sort of stuff all the time and nothing can get her to understand that she needs to tell us before wandering off. So scary. Big hugs.
    Marita recently posted..Magical Pearl Jelly Sensory PlayMy Profile

  7. ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to go back to Camberwell market for those bottles! But not to lose Grace again!
    Katrina Higham (@katrinahigham) recently posted..Be an influencerMy Profile

  8. Oh it’s frightening isn’t it. People tell me all the time I should put my two year old on a leash, he has a tendancy to run away. If I did I’d be dragging him along the ground behind me kicking and screaming. What do you do!
    Mandy recently posted..Finding a Way… (of life)My Profile

    • You know what Mandy – when we did use a leash for Poss when she was younger, this was exactly the result. So maybe the leash isn’t the answer after all!

  9. There is but one option left.

    Handcuffs! Fluffy ones might be less harsh on little wrists.
    Claireyhewitt recently posted..Powerful Bricks.My Profile

    • Love it. Handcuffs are both subtle and effective… If you have a source for some fluffy ones, I would be happy to take it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Try looking at this from a different perspective – she said she wasn’t lost, she knew exactly where she was. This is a great start to teaching her what to do when she doesn’t know where she is. This is an opportunity to teach her how to find a safe adult (eg police, shop keeper etc) and what to say (eg mums phone number) for the time when she is truly lost. She is growing up and more independence is not that far away. If you teach her to be smart now, you won’t need a gps tracker later!

    • Thanks Jo – you are right of course, and we do do lots of this. The problem is that she NEVER thinks she is lost. She could honestly have been engrossed in that ‘something’ all day and not realised how worried we all were.
      In all the times she has wandered off, there has never once been a time when she was concerned about finding us again – we are simply out of sight, out of mind. And therein lies the biggest concern I guess.


  1. […] been no need; it’s been years since she last ran away from school. Not so long from home, but at school she seems to have learned the fear that her disappearing strikes in […]

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