Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lost at Target

We needed to go to Target today to get groceries and some random file folders so I packed up the three kids for an excursion. It felt great to push the shopping cart with the boys walking on their own right behind me with Audrey in the cart before me. Nikko was dragging his feet looking at things around him but managed to keep up. I turned into the athletic clothing section for a quick browse before heading to the produce aisle while Ronin was darting in between clothing racks. Suddenly I heard a faint whining that was coming over the other side of a partition. I realized that Nikko must have been distracted and didn't see me turn into another section, then discovered that he couldn't find me at all. I called out to him and thought he'd emerge on the other side of the partition, but it extended even further than I thought, blocked by other clothing racks. I could hear Nikko's whine turn into panic so I turned to Ronin and ordered him to stay with Audrey and the cart. I walked quickly off toward the front of the store, calling to Nikko and trying to pinpoint his crying. I saw Nikko dart toward the check-out lanes. He couldn't hear me over his guttural cries so I had to put on the speed and caught him by the coat collar about 30 feet away from the exit. He was teary and red, so I took his hand and gave him some reassuring strokes telling him that he was ok, let's go back to Ronin and Audrey. I was nervous walking back, hoping that no one tried to take my other two kids, and was relieved to see Ronin standing right next to the cart.

*Heavy sigh*
Sometimes I think I have absolutely no business having three kids. It's getting increasingly difficult to take them on a simple grocery trip without negotiating lollipops with Nikko or toys with the other two, and not knowing which kid is going to grace me with a tantrum is like Russian roulette. When I think about the ramifications of this afternoon, I get really mad at myself. Here's Nikko, lost in a store and TOTALLY UNABLE to say his name, or mine for that matter, or call for help. There's 1.5 years of ABA for you. :P He's not a bolter anymore, he was just scared that I was nowhere to be found and probably ran toward the exit because it looked familiar. What if he managed to run out of the store into the parking lot? And to top this all off, I had a two and three-year old that I had to abandon briefly to chase after Nikko. What if Ronin started running after me and got lost as well? What if some sicko saw my situation and decided to take one of my kids while I ran after Nikko? I can't avoid going out in public with all three kids, but the variables that could happen while we are out are starting to paralyze me with fear. I can't always get someone to watch the kids while I go grocery shopping, that's not even the point. I feel like just when things are supposed to be more comfortable with all three kids walking and [at least two of them, not Nikko] talking, something like this happens that pulls the rug out from under me, showing me that I have no business taking three little kids to a store if I can't make sure they are all safe and within eyesight. What really rattles me is that I had to leave two kids behind to chase the third, couldn't even give it a second thought in the moment for fear that Nikko was running somewhere, unable to communicate. Who does that??

1 comment:

  1. :(. That's pretty scary Ate Mich... You had to make a choice once you realized the situation, and thankfully the situation didn't get worse. Good thing for Ronin being compliant. Maybe dumping Ronin in the cart with Audrey and taking off after Nikko could have been an option? I'm sorry you had to be in that situation. :((