Lost Then Found: Watch The Children Carefully!

Have you ever experienced being lost as a child or perhaps, your own child?

When I was a little girl, I got lost not once but twice, or rather my mom lost me. The first time was in the old La Salle Bacolod gym when she brought three year old me to watch the Bayanihan Dance Company. My Mom who was an alumna and student leader of the Philippine Women's University (PWU) was so excited to see familiar faces and teachers, that she promptly "forgot" about me.  There I was standing behind her holding the tickets when a well-meaning usher took me to our seats, so that when my mom turned, I was no longer there.  Did she panic?  You bet she did!  She felt terror in her heart and was near hysteria.  She was about to go up the stage to make an announcement about a lost child when she saw little me sitting comfortably and fanning myself with the tickets.   Lesson No 1 - watch the children carefully!  But it seems that this was easier said than done.  Because it happened again when I was ten years old right in downtown Bacolod.

This time we were out shopping for school things.  I remember it very clearly, including the dress I was wearing... a red polka dot baby doll dress.  We were on our way out the store but the box and bag I was carrying was slipping from my hands.  I stopped and placed them on the counter to fix them, calling out to my mom to wait for me but she was a fast walker, and by the time I turned to follow her, she was gone!  I stood in front of the store (China Rose) to wait because I know that she would come back once she realizes I was not following her and sure enough, I could see her running back to where I was.  I burst out crying when she came near, not so much for the fact that I was scared but more so because I was angry that she left me behind.  That was the last time my mom lost any of her children. Lesson finally learned.

Deja Vu' - December 3, 2012

As I was parking my car, my mobile phone started ringing.  It was my mom on the other line and she was crying hysterically. At first I thought something happened to my brother, and then I realized that she was trying to tell me that my little girl went missing from her pre-school, but was already found.  My initial reaction was relief that Preemie Girl was found, and then I felt horrified with the thought of what might have happened. Thank God for her angels!

I became very angry with her teacher for allowing my daughter to leave the classroom when her nanny had not arrived yet. It is a fact that my 4 year old daughter is bright, inquisitive, adventurous, very friendly, assertive, and although she seems to understand about consequences and recognizes authority, she is also fearless and likes to be independent. This is the reason why Preemie Girl still has a nanny (yaya) at her age.  Her teacher knows that, and I expected her to be more watchful, to say the least.  After all, her training is on early childhood education and therefore, she should know the drill when it comes to active 4 year olds.  The school policy is also very clear on this:  Children are not allowed to leave the classroom without being endorsed to a parent or authorized person. Identification cards are issued and validated at the beginning of the school-year. And so, to lose one of her pupils due to carelessness, is to me tantamount to a criminal act. 

How many times have we read tragic stories about children, but it seems that adults never learn.  If you have a child like mine, it is imperative that safety rules must be understood and implemented by her teachers and caregivers.

After this incident, the following are my safety rules for my active 4 year old daughter outside the house:

In malls or stores
  1. Keep an eye on her at all times
  2. No running.  If she starts to run, then explain to her that she will have to wear her safety harness because nanny or mommy cannot run as fast as she can. That she could fall and hurt herself or worse, get lost because we cannot see or find her among so many big people walking around.
  3. No escalators, but elevators are allowed.

In school

  1. She absolutely cannot go out of the classroom alone (not even on the playground) while she is waiting to be picked up by her nanny.  The teacher must always turn over the child to the nanny (never to anyone else).
  2. In instances when classes have ended and the nanny has not arrived yet, but her Lola (my mom is the education committee chair of the parochial pre-school my daughter goes to) is around, she is allowed to go to the administration office/children's library but the teacher must endorse her to the school secretary so she can be watched.
  3. Avoid walking in the main streets. If she and her nanny have to, because they are looking for a ride home, her hand must be held firmly and they must use the sidewalk when walking in the street, keeping her inside, away from the road.
  4. When riding the pedicab (tricycle), she should sit in the inner side of the the cab seat and the nanny outside.

retrieved from eHow.com

It is always better to be safe than sorry.  This dictum applies not only to children but also to us, adults...and for that matter, to everything else that we do in life.


  1. That is a total nightmare for us moms! I can't even imagine.

  2. I strongly agree with the title of your post Maritel. With my big Sis' case, she was intentionally abducted while with mom in Divisoria, Manila shopping for clothes. Mom was holding 3 year old sis' arm all along when for a split second she was gone from her side. She panicked and eventually everybody in the area was having a commotion. It was in the nick of time when she spotted my sis being held by a woman in the far end of the "pasillo" about to turn to a corner and almost escaped her view. Next was a hysterical confrontation but the woman managed to escaped. It was a very traumatic experience for my parents that up to their senile age, they kept on telling and re-telling the story. Indeed,watch your childern carefully!

    Happy to visit here again. Beautiful post!


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