Matthew and I were shopping at Wal-Mart the other day. Lately, Alex has been a great shopper, as long as we let him walk with us, instead of sitting in the cart. In light of speeding up our experience at the human zoo, we split up, Matthew took the TP isle while I took the Bathroom cleaner isle. Alex opted to stay with me. He was behind me in the isle when we started, and by the time I got to the end of the isle Alex was missing! I thought he might have changed his mind and went with Matt, but he wasn’t there.
Fear ensued, did some weirdo take my kid? I paced the isles looking for my baby and Matt made a bee line for the toy section thinking Alex may have needed to do his own shopping. 3 minutes of horror pass without my little spazz when the overhead rings “We have a lost mommy…” Instant relieve pours over me (and embarrassment). As I’m on my way to the service desk, everyone in the small town who recognizes my name on the overhead now has to talk to me about losing my child at the super-center.
Pushing our cart to the register, Matthew and I realize that we’ve been duped! We aren’t bad parents, we had the situation under control! Some over-concerned helicopter style parent/old person swooped in because our child wasn’t pinned to our hips. Mystery helicopter idiot caused our hell! Unless the kid is crying his/her eyes out and approaches you, stay out of his/her business.
As for Alex, we have to teach him not to talk to strangers for sure! He wasn’t fearful, or scared when he didn’t see us, he was simply convinced by a stranger that he was lost, and swooped up in a single breath.
Have you had a similar experience? What are your thoughts on allowing your children free-range?