Keeping my kids safe
Like many parents I am in terror of stranger danger. Though the facts speak for themselves and they are more likely to get into trouble with a family member or friend, it’s something that constantly worries me.
One of the hardest things I found when I had three children under the age of four was how to juggle them safely. I would have to time trips out between breastfeeds and nap time and factor in if the place I was going to had nappy changing facilities, because 2 out of 3 of them were wearing those as well and they inevitably needed changing!
I’ll never forget when Mr. Small was four weeks old venturing out to Target. I had a solemn talk in the car with the offspring about “staying together as a family.” So I had Mr. Small in the trolley in his “bucket.” I pushed the trolley and Miss Medium and Mr. Large were holding each side of it. Within minutes of entering the store Mr. Large had disappeared off “to look at the fun things” he later told me. I ended up in floods of tears while security combed the store to find him. I had only knelt down to look at a romper suit for Mr. Small and in that time he had simply vanished.
Luckily, he was returned to me by another nice mother who had heard the call out on the store intercom, and he had happily taken her hand to go with her. And that’s where my fear was founded. Mr. Large would have gone with ANYBODY. I of course was so thrilled to see him, I couldn’t stop crying. At the same time I wanted to shriek loudly at him as well. But I didn’t.
Instead I did some research and Husband and I had a long chat with the kids. We explained it was important that they always stay with us when they went out and that we would try to make time for “their stuff” at the end of a trip. I told them they were never to go anywhere with anyone who wasn’t their mummy and daddy, but if they got lost or scared to look for someone in a uniform. If they couldn’t find them then they should find another mummy with kids and ask for help.
Thankfully I haven’t lost any of them since, but I do wonder if there was anything else I should have told them. How do you keep your kids safe?