Facebook Pixel

Pregnant and Distracted: Don’t Make This Mistake

Rate This

I was about six months pregnant. My belly was big, but I was feeling good. I had energy and was happy to be spending a few hours alone with my toddler.

I had just dropped off my other son at his preschool and decided to go shopping with my toddler for a few hours. We were having a great time. We rode the escalator, we shared a pretzel and we pointed to colors and shapes that we saw in the mall. Then I decided to walk into a clothing store to look at kids’ clothes.

As I looked, my son continued to compete for my attention. “Look at me, Mama!” he would say as he tried to hide behind the clothes. “I see you,” I said, with only one quick glance up. “Oh, this shirt is SO cute! Do they have a 4T?” I became distracted by looking at all the cute little boy and baby clothes - so distracted that for a few seconds, I didn’t realize that my son was no longer hiding in the clothes next to me.

My thoughts snapped back to reality and I looked up. I didn’t see him. I called his name. No answer. We were in the middle of the store so I quickly moved up toward the entrance, calling his name and trying to look behind displays. When I reached the front of the store, I still couldn’t find him. I ran back to the display where I was when I realized that he was gone. There was a salesperson putting more clothes out. She had been there the whole time. “Did you see my little boy?!” I asked her loudly and in a panic.

“Uh, no,” she answered. She started to say something else but I couldn’t hear her. For a moment, I felt like the store was spinning and my stomach felt like I might throw up. I started searching again for him, making my way back toward the entrance of the store, this time pushing past people. I was looking behind hanging clothes, pushing them right out of the way where other women were looking. It was rude, yes. But it was because my son was missing.

Each time I called for him, my voice became louder and was beginning to crack. Two store employees ran up to me. “What is he wearing?!” one woman asked me. They stared at me but I couldn’t answer. No words were coming out of my mouth. “WHAT DOES HE LOOK LIKE?!” she asked me firmly this time.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

After having a lot of experience with looking after kids (I have 8 siblings, 7 of which are younger than me), I know the shopping experience well. We would try never go to a large store without a toddler either in a pram or on a strap - they're WAY too easy to lose (even when there were only a few to look after). Now pregnant with my own baby I intend to keep to this!

October 5, 2009 - 9:33am

Wow. This seriously brought a lump to my throat. The way you described what you were feeling is so powerful -- from knees buckling to the store spinning around you. And any mom who's been there knows exactly how it feels, how frightening it is, and how milliseconds turn torturously long when you've lost sight of your child.

I once "lost" one of my kids for a handful of minutes that were the absolute longest minutes of my life. We were staying in a vacation home way up high on a cliff in La Jolla, California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The view was breathtaking, but so was the danger of the rocky cliff, with nothing at all separating one from the edge. We were so diligent with keeping all windows and doors closed and locked in order to keep our 18-month-old from wandering outside. We weren't so worried about our 8- and 9-year-olds since they obviously knew better than to get near the edge of the cliff. But one morning someone accidentally left the back door open, and the minute I discovered it, I realized that I didn't know where my baby girl was.

Your description of what you felt in the store totally sums up what I felt at that moment when I was certain my little one had toddled off the cliff. It turned out that she was just toddling around the house in one of the back bedrooms, but that moment of terror is something I'll never ever forget.

I'm so glad your experience was simply a game of hide and seek and that it turned out so well at the end. Whew! This parenting gig can be hard at times, huh??

May 14, 2009 - 4:02pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Relationships & Family

Get Email Updates

Relationships & Family Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!