The Worst Bit

This has not been a good day. It ended well, I’ll grant, but getting there was a bitch.Unfortunately we woke up to a beautiful morning today, so soccer wasn’t cancelled and I had to get out of bed and shower and face the world. But this wasn’t even close to being the worst of it.

For once I was all over the soccer routine. We even  arrived before the game began (big improvement) and I had a chair to sit in and a travel mug of strong coffee. While Master7 changed shirts and started kicking a ball around I sat down and took a swig of Joe. And the hot coffee spilled into my lap, making it look like I got so excited at the prospect of my son losing his game I peed myself. But this wasn’t the worst the day had install for me either.

This afternoon, Tracey was taking photos for a friend, Miss17was working and Miss5 had to go to a birthday party – all at 3pm. This meant I had to go to Hungry Jacks with FIVE KIDS. But this wasn’t the worst.

The first thing I did when I arrived at Hungry Jacks was to pull out a bottle for Miss0. The second thing I did was to spill the formula powder all down my jeans and through my shoes. Not the worst bit.

Then as I was packing everything up, encouraging Miss5 to say thank you to her hosts and comfort a whingy baby, I suddenly noticed Miss2 had disappeared. And still this wasn’t the worst moment.

Seconds later I spotted her. Someone had just walked in and let her out the automatic doors: she was standing outside the building. Not the worst moment, but we’re getting close.

I was holding the baby, and between me and the door was the pram, tables, chairs and Master7 and Miss8.

“Quick!” I snapped, pointing at their little sister. Like troopers they took off. So did Miss2 – straight towards our car on the other side of the carpark. You’d think we were at the worst bit, but we’re not there yet.

In a flap I scanned the carpark. No cars were coming in or out and the kids were on their way. I didn’t panic, although I had maneuvered around the obstacles towards the door. I could see it would all be okay in a few seconds.

Then Master7 came racing back up to me. “The doors won’t open!”

But Miss8 was through the automatic doors. I later found out when they hadn’t opened for her she’d been trying to pry them open with her fingers while screaming out, “I have to get out!”

So now Miss8 was outside the building and only fifteen meters from Miss2, who was over by our car.

And for some reason Miss8 stopped. She stopped and started to yell out her little sister’s name. And for some reason her little sister left the vicinity of our car and started to walk towards the highway.

THIS was the moment my heart faltered.

“Don’t just stand there. Go!” I shouted at Miss8. Of course the trouble with someone running at a 2 year old is they tend to run away. This was the moment I saw the inevitable disaster I had no way of stopping. This was the worst bit. “Quick! Grab her.”

And she did. And it was all okay. She grabbed her and held onto her and, unusually, Miss2 stayed put until I got there.

But the questions kept ringing in my head – Where did I stuff up? How did I allow myself to lose track of her? How am I going to explain all this to Tracey?

So here I am six hours later and the whole scene keeps playing over and over in my head. If Miss2 had run instead of walked towards the highway: If a car had turned into the carpark: If someone had backed out.

It can happen to anyone, I know, but the thing is it happened to me, and I don’t want to go through that again. My ticker couldn’t take it.



  • DON’T think about it! It’s a long story, but years back when I was about 17, I almost dropped my baby brother from the third floor of Indooroopilly shoppingtown… when I think about it at night I feel really really sick…
    Try not to play it over in your mind, just thank God she’s alright. With so many kids to take care of you can’t be blamed!
    I took my eyes off my two year old the other day, for a quarter of a second whilst she was on a bench in the park, I was right there next to her trying to make sure she wouldn’t fall, and she fell off the bench on her back and her head missed the concrete slab underneath it by about 5cm. Again, I just thank God and her guardian angel…
    We’re only human and we can’t foresee their every move at that age, although we sure try, don’t we?!
    Take care, have a beer.

  • There are some parts of being a parent that really, really suck. I had a similar incident with my Mr Two late last year. We were at playgroup and while the kids were all sitting around singing songs and I had my attention on Mr One, Mr Two decided to run out through the doors that are conveniently left open. All I knew was that he had disappeared and there was nowhere else he could have been, so I ran out and turned to the right towards the street 10 metres away but he wasn’t there. When I turned the other way I could see this little figure in orange all the way down the road that led up to the Church, about 15 metres from a bend in the road. I sprinted towards him. While I was about 100m away he stopped. Then a car came up the road he was walking next to. I got to him while he was still standing there. I kept thinking, what if I took a little bit longer to realise he was missing and he went round that bend? What if he didn’t stop or walked onto the road before the car turned the corner? What if he had decided to head towards the far busier street to the right instead of turning left? But, in the end, he was okay and, once my legs recovered from my 200m sprint, I was too. Now I make sure the door is closed though.

  • Oh my goodness. That just seems SO scary and I just know that when the Little Mister is older, I will have a few of those moments!!! I am so glad everything was OK in the end. Don’t beat yourself up about it – I really think it can happen to anyone, even the bestest parents in the world miss some stuff sometimes.

  • Oh man, I know how it is with a lot of kids and having to maneuver get around and through parking lots. I’ve had lots of crazy moments. I’ve about to have our 7th kids, next week, so it’s gonna bet harder. Sooooo, I’ve have lots more joy AND heart stoppers like these. LOL

  • This is when an angel is watching im sure… .. 2yr old
    ran across 4 lanes of highway to chase his balloon while i had the baby in arms and the 3 yr old wetting there pants.. I looked up and there was not one single car to be seen… That was over 20yrs ago and I still dream about it… I then brought one of those dog leads for kids after that…

  • Did I ever tell you about the time, Micah had learnt to crawl and our house was up on the Jenga blocks during our renovations, and he crawled out onto the landing – and was peering over the edge of the REALLY high steps, someone didnt put the child gate up, i thought it was up – i just about died and the scenario ran through my head for months. – I get you 🙂

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