100% the right thing, and thank you for not taking her and calling the police.
I know what I am talking about here.
Feb 1, 2007
I went to my folk dance group as usual. I took my daughter, my almost 4 yr old son wasn't ready to go in time and I left him at home with his dad. After class we went to Walmart to pick up cat litter & a few other things- it was 10 something at night.
I get a call from my husband who is screaming and crying that my son is gone- that some lady put him in her car and drove away. I am seriously panicking, and ran out of the store. I called 911- then called my husband back while we are frantically driving home. He said the woman came to the door, asked if we had a redheaded boy & where was he. My husband replied- "in his bed!" She said no he isn't, you're a sh*tty dad! When ran to his bed (he had put him down an hour before and had gone to bed himself.)- my son was gone, and she was driving away. (My son had showed her where he lived.) Thank goodness she stopped and picked him up- but she obviously freaked out.
It turns out- my son went looking for me because he wanted to go to class. It was 30 degrees out, he was barefooted, in his jammies and had gone up my street and down another! She said to the police (I never talked to her) that she found him in the road and almost hit him with the car. (this is still really hard to talk about)
911 said the police had him- 2 cops showed up and were complete dicks. I asked where he was- I was really still freaking out but trying to keep calm)- turns out he was being held up the street. They told me I didn't need to be worried about him being driven around without a car seat, ( I didn't know if he was 7 miles away at the station or what- we live way out in the county) that I needed to be concerned about him being outside like that. (are you kidding me- I was completely horrified- worse than I have EVER been in my life!) They brought him back.
I had to explain everything to the detective who called my work the next day, who told me it had been reported to Child Protective Services but he would call them and explain.
Next thing you know, CPS is leaving notes on the door trying to catch us home. We got investigated. (I am a Girl Scout leader, for crying out loud! I understand but it was terrible to go through.) The investigator was right out of college. I relaxed a little when she told me her brother did the same thing at the same age- but back then people just brought kids back home.
Whew. Needless to say- we deadbolt lock him in every night now. He is 5, and hasn't tried to get back outside, but he LOVED riding in the police car, and doesn't seem to have been afraid at all. He still talks about it. He just said "I was out looking for you, mom.)
I have about 20 gray hairs now.
Now that I have read all the responses- let me say I definitely advocate stepping in and helping kids. But be careful not to jump the gun. I could have had my kids taken away while they figured out if it was neglect or not. They came to talk to my daughter (she was 11 then) at school. I spent the night for 2 nights lying in front of the door to make sure he didn't try it again before we could get the deadbolt with the inside lock (with a key- we had the turn kind that he had climbed up on a chair and opened.) We are very caring and helpful parents who volunteer in the community, don't take drugs, etc. This situation made our life a living hell for weeks. (although I am thankful because it could have been much, much worse.)
OTN: - Tree of Life afghan, socks, afghan for Dad, Tura Maeve baby dress, alpaca Winter Mountains scarf, Frida poncho
Recently FO- Quinn cabled bag, Evangeline fingerless gloves (2 pairs), Topknot baby hats, pompom & earflap hats, 8 pairs of socks, Baby Folkwear Caftan, Debbie Bliss Baby Shawl (blanket)
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