Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Have you, or anyone you've known, forgotten a kid somewhere?

Asked by Dutchess_III (36038points) June 29th, 2014

This was prompted by a discussion on fb, in the Tide Pool, actually. A user (IT WAS SUPER MOUSE!!!) said that a DJ once opened up a discussion on it and had so many responses he had to extend the original time. “There were kids left at amusement parks, gas stations, airports, you name it.”

I once forgot my son at home, when he was just 4. I had the daycare, 7 kids. I needed to take Corrie to school, and when I put out the call to load up Chris hid behind the couch instead. We were about 5 miles out when one of the kids said “Chris isn’t here!”
It was a little freaky. I rushed back home and there he was, little boy, sitting in the middle of a big couch, in a big empty house, his little hands folded together, a bit worried. I just said, “Hey. You gonna come with us this time?” He nodded. Scared himself enough so he never did it again.

After that I created a buddy check system. I assigned pairs of kids and when I hollered “Buddy check!” they had to account for their kid.

Do you have any stories to share that you’ve heard of or experienced or whatever?

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45 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Might forget their names from time to time. But never have I forgotten the presence of a child.

Aethelwine's avatar

I’ve never forgotten a child I was responsible for, and I can’t really think of any stories from friends.

I didn’t know this was common.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Thank goodness I’ve never forgotten one of my children. The potential has been there for it to happen when I’ve been under stress though. My brother forgot I was in the car and took me to work one day when I was little. He didn’t leave me in the car. I could speak and asked him when we were going to my school before he left me sitting in the car. Dropping me off wasn’t part of his routine. My sister left me in a pram outside a shop on a couple of occasions.

El_Cadejo's avatar


Adagio's avatar

I forgot to pick up a neighbour’s son one-day, he was coming to my place after school and I forgot to pick him up, I don’t remember any more details but nothing disastrous happened and I never forgot again, my neighbour had given up architecture and gone back to uni to complete a one-year postgraduate teaching diploma, she was the best of teachers, I had agreed to help out sometimes with childcare.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I was a teen. I had two brothers, one a couple of years younger, one a decade younger. We were having vacation in a pickup camper. We two oldest kids rode in the camper, our parents in the pickup. Because he was little, and restless, the youngest would switch back and forth at each stop. We had walkie talkies so we could talk to our parents.
We were headed to California from Illinois.
The trip was going okay. Two or three days in, we stopped for fuel and lunch at a truckstop. I didn’t like eating at truckstops. They have HUGE portions, and I ate about seven ounces of food a day. I felt awful leaving so much on my plate.
There was just the two of us in the camper. We played cards. After an hour or so we got our walkie talkie and started talking to Mom. She asked how “Kevin” was doing. Everybody got a knot in the tummy at that moment. We told her he wasn’t with us. She told us to quit messing around. We started screaming that we had to go back.
Dad found the closest roadside phone and contacted the truckstop. They said “Kevin” was fine. An elderly couple spotted him, guessed what had happened, and were keeping him entertained until we could get back.
Total time we were without him, three hours.
Stuff fell out of the cabinets all over the place with Dad’s driving.
“Kevin” was fine, but PISSED. He was in a huff about it for some time.

maybellekim's avatar

most of the time i forgot their names.

JLeslie's avatar

My dad forgot about me once when I was with him at a store. I was around age 4. I don’t remember it, but the story was told to me like this by my mom, “You got home and told me that daddy lost you and you went to the “cash lady” for help.” She continued, “you were crying when you told me and I could see out of the corner of my eye your dad waving his hands behind my me trying to get you to stop telling me the story.” I say he forgot about me, because I don’t think he even knew I was lost. They paged JL’s father on the loudspeaker.

I have a friend who was lost by her parents at the zoo. She still holds this against them 40 years later.

Another friend was left at Disneyland. Her parents were already driving away when one of the other kids said, “where’s Debbie” (I changed the name) and they had to turn around and go back to get her. Find her.

I helped my aunt once at an Easter Egg Hunt for a charity event in Central Park and I worked at the “lost children” area. You would not believe how many kids we had in that area.

longgone's avatar

I never have. My grandmother forgot her dog at the store because she was only thinking about the kids. Does that count?

rojo's avatar

A few weeks after I was born my father went back sea so my mother was living back with Grandma where she had grown up. One morning when I was less than a month old she loaded me in the pram and went to the store down the street. Since the pram was one of those huge ones like this she left it outside while she went in for the milk, bread and probably grandmas ciggies. This was not a huge grocery store but a small corner shop with big display windows Not this but like this and at the time (1955) it was not unusual since we didn’t have perverts back then. She got a little distracted talking with the women in there who she had known almost her entire life. Shops back then were the facebook of the day; a place where people congregated to pass on gossip, information and advice. Afterward, with a bag full of groceries she started back home.

A short time later while putting up groceries Grandma asked “Where’s the baby” To which I understand mom answered “OH MY GOD!” and all but flew down the road back to the shop. When she arrived all the ladies from the shop and several customers were outside handing me around and cooing over the new baby. They all got a good laugh out of a new, first time moms oversight and for years after whenever they saw her they gave her a good natured ribbing about it.

I had heard about it many times but when we went back to England when I was 16, one of the ladies in the shop brought it up while I was there asking mom if I was the one she had tried to lose early on. To which she replied “Yes, and I haven’t managed to do it yet!”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good stories!

gailcalled's avatar

Never, Unthinkable.

zenvelo's avatar

Not me, but my ex forgot to pick up my daughter a few times. One of the reasons I fought for full custody.

I know a woman who has not had a drink in over 35 years. What convinced her to stop drinking is when she went to the market drunk, shopped, took her groceries in the cart out to the car, put the groceries in the trunk, and drove away, her toddler still sitting in the shopping cart.

SavoirFaire's avatar

This happened to an old neighbor of mine at his son’s birthday party. After the festivities were over, all of us were getting back into various vehicles. My neighbor was taking his three kids, me, and one other kid from the neighborhood home. About halfway through the drive, birthday boy says “Hey Dad, where’s Nick [his brother]?” The dad responds, “Yeah, yeah… very funny.” We’re all telling him that Nick’s not there, but he won’t believe us. He thinks it’s a joke. We get home and Nick’s not there. He searches the car. “It’s not funny anymore, Nick. Get out here.” No response. He suddenly realizes we were telling the truth, a horrified look on his face. I’ve never seen a minivan pull out of a driveway so fast.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s weird that he didn’t even double check and just assumed you guys were all playing!

jca's avatar

It never happened to me as a single parent of a child, and it never happened to me as a child of a single mother.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would think it’s pretty uncommon.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The problem would be like “I thought you had him.”
“I thought you had him.”
Wouldn’t that be awful?

One time my husband was visiting with our next door neighbor. He had Corrie with him. She was about 2 at the time. I went across the street to whack some tennis balls against a building that was over there. At one point I turned around and there was Corrie, right behind me. She had left the house, wandered across the road…and my husband never even noticed until I brought her back.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Dutchess_III It’s a “boy who cried wolf” situation. His kids were always messing around, so he stopped taking them seriously. They almost got him into serious trouble once when he was pulled over by the police for speeding. They kept saying asking for help and saying they had been kidnapped. Luckily, their mother was following them in a separate car and pulled over with him. (The kids never dared to cross her, so she got them to tell the truth.)

I’m just realizing how many great stories I have about these kids, and how many of them must be considered terrible stories by their parents.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Little shits! That’s something for the movies, @SavoirFaire!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I tell you the story of the night I was forgotten by my parents.

I was twelve, or thirteen years old, traveling with my family to see my grandparents. We had a big motorhome and the late night found dad too tired to keep driving. He pulled over at a highway rest stop and fell asleep with the rest of the family.

I awoke in the middle of the night and needed to pee. Sure, I could have used the RV toilet but wanted to get out and stretch my legs. As I walked to the rest stop facilities, I found two men were standing at the entrance. One of them said to me, “Hey little buddy, you want some head?”.

I didn’t know what he meant by that, so I just shook my head, said “No thank you”, and proceeded to enter the restroom. As I stood at the urinal peeing, both men walked up behind me and one of them pushed me into the wall. One of them said, “Come on little buddy. It’s fun!”, and then proceeded to reach around and try to grab my cock.

We struggled for a moment, as they laughed. I broke free from the man and ran out the door as fast as I could, trying to zip my pants up along the way. Imagine my horror, running towards the motorhome for safety, I saw the lights come on, the truck start up, and drive away without me inside. My family had left me at the rest stop with two molester hooligans.

I didn’t know what to do, so I kept running after the motorhome even onto the highway. My family was on the road again and I was running after them down I-55 as fast as I could. They disappeared over the horizon. I kept running.

I don’t know how far I ran, but it seemed like forever. Finally, coming to another exit, I ran down the off ramp and saw the motorhome parked at a donut shop. Dad was inside loading up a box of jellies. He asked “When did you wake up?”. He thought I was in the RV all the time sleeping in the back.

Boy was dad mad when I told him the story. He called the state troopers and drove back to the rest stop ready to beat some ass. The hooligans had vanished.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s what I said. We tend to not warn boys as much as girls. I don’t think any 13, 14 year old girl would go to the bathroom alone, under those kinds of circumstances.

Dutchess_III's avatar

For the longest time, after my kids were grown and gone, I’d be driving and suddenly get hit with a panic attack because there were no kids in the car! Where are they??? Oh. They’re at their respective homes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I was little, Mom was a stay at home Mom. She always took me to school. One day Dad took me to school. Next thing I knew we were in the Boeing parking lot. I said, “Where are we going?”
Dad jumped a mile! He had completely forgotten I was in the car…and I was in the passenger seat right next to him. It was just not part of his normal routine.

JLeslie's avatar

He was on autopilot.

Dutchess_III's avatar

In @jca‘s link I saw where someone suggested an alarm that goes off when there is a certain amount of pressure on the seat. At first I thought it was a good idea. Then I thought “People would get so annoyed with that alarm going off when all they have are groceries or whatever in the car, on the seat.”
I wonder if there cold be another way, maybe some sort of alarm on the car seat itself.

JLeslie's avatar

There is a thing that goes on the bottom of the actual baby seat. It sounds an alarm if the parent gets too far away from it.

Some kid just was recognized for developing some sort of simple gadget to prevent parents from forgetting their children in the car. I never read how it worked I just saw headlines.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I read that. It was basically a stretchy rope (contest rules said it had to be made out of rubber bands) that runs in front of the door so that when you get out of the car you run into the rope and then you remember your kid is in the car with you!

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe it also speaks to how overwhelmed we are. I was just talking with a group about schools in Finland and as I read more information about them and maternity leave in Finland I got this feeling that their life sounds more relaxed and more fun. I could be idealizing it from afar of course. I think about most Americans and everything seems rushed and overwhelming. My friends from Latin America, they often had help in the house, especially when they had new babies. Even my grandmother here in America had a nursemaid the first two weeks home with the baby, and she lived in an apartment that was not overwhelming to clean with maintenance to handle any problems with anything. Now we have huge houses, they probably don’t have much of that in Finland, and we just load on more chores and obligations and then we are surprised we are absent minded sometimes? We shouldn’t be surprised. We rarely can be in the moment we are in, we are always thinking of the next thing we have to do.

Dutchess_III's avatar

However, the more people you have in the mix, the greater the chance of “I thought you had him….”

My mother was born to immigrants. They worked a farm. EVERYBODY worked the farm. There were 9 kids. Mom said they were trying to breed farm hands, and how disappointing it must have been to wind up with 7 girls and only 2 boys. :( Mom said, “Well, the answer to that was to work the girls like they would boys.” Anyway, when they were toddlers Gramma used to tie them to tree when she had to work outside. Makes sense to me. No worse than putting them in a play pen to keep them in one place. That might be a good question…

JLeslie's avatar

Makes sense to me too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I used to work at the church nursery. The room wasn’t very big, so one of the members made us some cribs that stacked. I don’t remember how many high. 2 to 4, anyway. They opened from the front. After a couple of years some other member whined that they “looked like cages!” Well, duh! They ARE cages! So are cribs and play pens. So are kids tied to trees with ropes! (Although, that would be my last choice. I’d worry about the kid getting it around his neck.) Anyway, they had to take them out. Don’t know what they did instead, just stacked babies on the floor, I guess.

Corrie would have killed for one of those cribs. She moved in with Patrick and his mother and aunt, and the two of them, and the twins, had to share one small bedroom. They had to resort to putting a baby gate into the one crib they could fit into the room, to partition it in halves. (They’re moving into their own place today, tho! Yay! Three bedrooms!)

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: “Kids tied to trees with ropes?” Who does that?

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you read above, here.

Adagio's avatar

@jca In the film The Weeping Camel young children are tied by one leg to keep them safe, in just the same way as one might use a playpen, nothing to do with neglect or abuse just what is done in that particular society. It is a wonderful film by the way.

jca's avatar

Got it. Not sure how CPS here would feel about it – maybe as long as there was an adult present it would be ok. I always see things from CPS standpoint as I used to be a CPS worker, and I know that once they’re involved in an issue, it’s a can of worms.

gailcalled's avatar

Not quite relevant; During my son’s second winter, when he was about 1½ and already quick, agile and curious, I have a photo of him in a little leather harness with a long lead attached to my wrist.He is running off somewhere and I am pushing the empty sled. When there was no snow on the ground he found open sewer drains fascinating.

Dutchess_III's avatar

CPS is a pain. I had a friend who got CPS called on her after her 17 year old daughter ran away, and was living with her boyfriend in his mother’s house while she was out of the country. She told me that the worker was a guy, and they were talking about teenagers, and the guy said he thought body piercing were really neat, but thought dyed hair was a big No No….. Say what??

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Geez, @Dutchess_III, I can’t get my head around that, unless he was baiting, to see what your reaction would be. What was your reaction?

Dutchess_III's avatar

My friend said she just told him she disagreed! I mean, piercings are more permanent than hair color!

jca's avatar

Whatever the mother’s opinions are regarding piercings or hair dye has nothing to do with what’s legal regarding child care, neglect and abuse. The worker was probably making conversation. People need to remember that a CPS worker is a human being just like anybody else. I used to talk to my CPS clients the way I would talk to anybody else.

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