Friday, April 09, 2010


We lost Dinoguy at Home Depot today. For 15 minutes we searched the store, employees scoured the parking lot and guarded the exits. Then Grandpa Actuary finally spotted him in an aisle walking around looking for us. Turns out he was hiding behind some paint buckets because he was upset with me. I had no clue. After both of us hugging and crying, I sorted out his story. He had wanted to show me something and was upset when I didn't come immediately. So he ran off and hid and didn't come out when we searched for him. Then he became scared that we had left him and came out to look for us.

The photo is of Dinoguy at 17 months when I took him to Disneyworld while Fixitman had a conference in Orlando. He's wearing his harness that I used whenever we were in public from the first time he ran off and hid at 13 months until he was about 3 and I could reason with him that he could not run away from me and hide in public places. (But I kept it in my purse for just in case use until he was probably 5.) I did not want to buy it initially but we could not come up with another solution, especially when he was 13-14 months old. If I did not use it, he got lost. I stopped going to Wal-mart because I lost him there twice and they were so slow in reacting and helping search for him both times that I decided I couldn't go there with my kid.

When your child wears a harness/leash in public, there are 2 visible reactions. The parents who have been there and have had children who needed leashes smile sympathetically. They sometimes point it out to their children and tell them "You used to have one of those". The other reaction is disgust from those who believe I am harming my child or treating them inappropriately.

If you have never had a runner, a child who for some reason just takes off at full speed and either just keeps running or finds a hiding spot, you probably fall into the disgust category. And I would probably be one of those people if I hadn't had Dinoguy. Trainboy and Munchkin are not runners. Trainboy is a dawdler, who studies things and moves slowly. If I lose track of him, it is because I am moving too quickly and not holding his hand. Munchkin is afraid of other people still and holds onto my leg if put down in public. Dinoguy never had stranger anxiety. He has always gone easily to anyone and will talk to anyone.Which triples my fear when he's lost because someone could take his hand and ask him a few questions and he'd walk away easily with them. I tried instilling a fear of strangers in him. It didn't work.

Fixitman said he was making a new harness when we got home and Dinoguy actually said he wanted one. He just has a hard time staying with us because he has to go see everything in new places. I don't think he actually needs one, since he was hiding more because he was upset with me than just for fun this time. It is tempting though.


Stephanie said...

Trev takes off. Always has, pretty much.
Last year at a summer fair, he wanted to go to the playground - almost a block away in a crowd - and did so.
The first couple of minutes I was irritated.
After a that, your emotions get much stronger and frantic.
He was gone probably 2o minutes.
I understand the leash well - though he's never had one.
The problem is (thankfully) he knows he's safe, so it doesn't occur to him what I'm imagining.

Stephanie said...

Someone found him (when he came back and I wasn't in the same spot - I guess I was s'posed to sit there and disintegrate) and took him to the sheriff's mobile unit.


KMDuff said...

Ohmy Stephanie! I knew Trev & Dinoguy were peas in a pod. But it makes the heart race to not know where your child is.

Screwed Up Texan said...

I'm always losing my youngest. Whether he's hiding in the school, making friends with the horses at the fair or in the arms of one rude shecop, it seems that kid is always running off and getting lost. He has no fear of strangers and tells me my spankings don't hurt (oh wait, I think I just opened another can of worms).

Oh yes, I was just thinking of a leash this morning in fact...

Because one of these days these impromptu nudist colonies at the post office, improvised jungle gyms in the Walmart women's section, and angry ramblings from Mother Hubbard Helicopter Parents has got to stop.

PS: Mother Hubbard is a man.

Qtswede said...

So far, my boys have been good to me, but I am one of those overly anxious, hovering mothers. Terrified of loosing them. TERRIFIED. I'm even worse when I baby sit my nieces - those girls have no fear of anything. They tried the harness/leash with the youngest niece, and she got to the end of it & TOOK IT OFF - at 2 years old!!! I really worry about her. Luckily she behaves for me, but I don't know how my sister can stand to take her along when she runs on her ALL the time.

You must have been a mess looking for him!!! I know I would have been!

KMDuff said...

Screwed up Texan - LOL, your youngest is a handful that's for sure. :)

Qtswede - I was a mess but kept it internal b/c I had my younger two with me and didn't want to freak them out. I did have tears on my face but that was about it. I lost it when we found him though and started crying, and of course he was crying too.

Rachael said...

In my opinion, those who look at the leash in disgust are those who have never been parents...


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