My coworker, P, and I walked today in Saddle Brook County Park. It was sketchy at first as to whether we'd even walk today, because there were predictions for thunderstorms all weekend. Like always, though, the weathermen were wrong- it was hot, and cloudy, and muggy, but no storms.
Together P and I raised $790. Nowhere near last year's high of roughly $1300, but it was still a pretty good amount. We did well on the walk, too- we walked the 5K in under an hour, and were one of the first groups to finish.
While we were eating and chatting with some other groups, a little girl wandered around our table. When I say little, I mean that- she was probably about 14 or 15 months old, old enough to walk, but not old enough to talk. P and I looked around and asked her where her mommy was. She looked around, chewed on the cookie she was carrying, and looked around again. P said, "You keep an eye on her- I'll get a cop." The little girl chose that moment to wander towards the swings, so I followed her.
She poked at the swings and I asked her again, "Where's your mommy? Show me your mommy." She looked around, and this time began to give me what we in my family call "boo-boo lip"- you know, when the lower lip starts quivering, just before they start crying? So I picked her up and started to the walk and jiggle- bounced her up and down on my hip while crooning, "It'll be okay, we'll find mommy." It was at this moment that P came back with the cop. The little girl burst into tears as he came close- he didn't seem at all surprised and told me, "It's the uniform- you keep holding her and follow me." So I did.
He walked all over the playground area, with me right behind him, asking different groups if they knew who she was. No one did for several minutes, and then a woman who looked to be about 50 said, "Oh, my God!" She came running over to us, and the little girl, who was crying by that point, reached her arms out to the woman. The woman babbled to the cop, "She was with her mom, they were over by the face-painting, oh my God!" The girl definitely knew her- as I said, she reached out to her, and stopped crying immediately as the woman took her- so I had no problem handing her over to her. The cop and the woman thanked me and P for our help, and he stayed to ask her some questions.
I really try not to judge people...but, okay, I will. I mean, when I am out anywhere in public with Frank, I am a lunatic. When I lose sight of him for two seconds on a playground, I immediately begin to freak out. When we go to Target, or the Library, he has to hold my hand or hold onto the shopping cart; when he was younger, he was in a stroller or the shopping cart.
Based on where the face painting was, as compared to where the playground was, the girl had to have wandered by herself for several minutes. There was a PA system set up- if a mother was looking for her child, we would have heard an announcement. How do you not keep track of a child that tiny in such a huge crowd for long enough for the kid to wander off that far??
I think the whole thing disturbed me so much (I mean, anyone could have picked that girl up and wandered off with her in that crowd) because she had such beautiful blue eyes, exactly like Niece #3, Little Brother's daughter. I keep picturing N#3 in that kind of situation.
In other news, Frank peed in the potty enough, and earned enough stickers on his chart, to win one of his Big Prizes this evening. He picked a Cars...thing. Some assembly required. Ugh. He still hasn't pooed in a potty yet, and now I hear he's giving them a hard time about sitting on the potty at school again. *sigh*
6 years ago