The moment all parents dread..September 28, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Posted in Days Out, General Advice | Leave a comment
Tags: Blenheim Palace, Butterfly House, missing child
We went to Blenheim Palace yesterday afternoon to enjoy the late summer sunshine with some friends and the bear quickly settled into eating wood chips in the adventure playground, as per usual. All parents have to have eyes in the back of their heads, but I have developed this in built sensor that seems to alert me when the bear moves from grab to gulp; he is absolutely determined to digest one of the little brown biscuit like chips sooner rather than later.
Talking of eyes in the back of your head, William our little four year old friend managed to escape all of us including his mum en route to the butterfly house (we headed there to divert the bear from his afternoon snack, as well as stopping friends younger son getting any more sand into other children’s eyes following some frantic spade action).
On realising that William was missing, mum calmly headed back to retrace her steps and retrieve her son. 10 minutes later she appeared having located him in the cafe. He’d gone there to find something to eat because he was hungry. At the age of four, really nothing stands in the way of logic. Hungry, need food – head to the cafe of course and ask for cake.
Shortly afterwards, sitting on our picnic blanket enjoying said cake, I watched with tears coming to my eyes as another mum charged frantically around the grounds screaming her daughters name. It was a stark shock to the system that losing a child isn’t always as simple as tracking son down in cafe. She could hardly breath she was so panicked and even now I feel how suffocating that must be.
Moments later her husband appeared with a little girl of about three and I sighed a huge sigh of relief. I swear she ran faster than Hussein Bolt. She kicked off her flip flops to get there faster, and sat on the grass clutching her daughter for what seemed like ages.
With the bear only just having learnt to walk, we’re yet to experience this terror. I’m not sure how I’ll cope. That ‘what if’ feeling sickeningly lurking deep down in your stomach is enough to paralyse you with fear and halt a rational search. I hope I never experience it, but if I do – I think I’ll check the cafe first…