Today, I saved a life. Yep, I'm pretty kickass.
I stopped at the park for a few minutes over lunch since the girls were there with our nanny. This particular park is on quite a busy street. Cars go by every few seconds, if not more often. After parking, I noticed a little kid about Charlie's age and height running towards me. Since I was still pretty close to the street, I kept an eye on him as he realized that I was NOT his mom and turned to run the other way.
I kept watching him, and he kept wandering closer and closer to the street. Actually, the kid was making a beeline for it. I thought to myself, "He's going to stop, he's going to stop," (you know, because toddlers totally know to stop at the curb), but the kid was determined. I started walking his way and then had to break into a (pathetic) run to catch him before he hit the pavement.
Just after I put out my hands to stop him, a big white SUV drove past. There was no way they would have seen him, since we both were behind a car. I guess if they saw me running and put two-and-two together, but let's not bank on that.
The kid started pointing across the street and said "Mommy" and tried to get around me. Now here is where maybe I am weird. I didn't pick him up. I didn't want him to freak out on me and start screaming and draw all kinds of attention and make me look like some sort of child kidnapper. I kept trying to herd him back to the park, and after what seemed like forever, (more like 3 seconds) I look up and his mom is running. She thanked me profusely and was shaking and hugged him tight. He looked like he could give a damn about the whole situation.
At that point, I realized my heart was pounding. I'm not sure if it was from the 30 feet I had to run or the adrenaline that rushed through me when I realized what was going on. And what could have happened. We smiled at the new mom and went back to getting my kids to play on the playground.
And here's the thing. I totally get that your kid got away and you didn't know. Hell, I hope someday someone is there to stop Charlie from crossing the street before an Expedition rolls over her. I was totally NOT judging the mom, I was just happy that I was there and could help. But not 10 minutes later, while we were at the swings, I noticed the little boy again. He had wandered over and was trying to play with some little girls who had a wagon. Who were vehemently against a little boy joining in their game. And the mom was probably a good hundred feet away, in a totally different section of the playground, talking to some other moms.
I get that kids get away. Some more than others Some are hell bent on giving their parents heart attacks. But don't you think that after your kid almost got hit by a car you would keep an eye on him at least for a few minutes? He was probably by us for 5 minutes before the mom came over to get him. She had no other children with her, so I couldn't give her that break. She was just really focused on the conversation at hand with her playgroup.
Am I crazy for thinking that she maybe should have been a tad more vigilant? I know that moms should support each other, and I am all for that, and that none of us are perfect, but her toddler ran away twice, and she didn't notice for several minutes.
Now that I have put it out there, I am sure that Charlie is going to run away and have to be brought home by the police before I realize she is gone. Karma is a bitch.