So I have had all these intentions of finishing a blog post that is half drafted about um ... not much. But then today rolled around ... and this momma was dealt a bit of a scare. And it isn't so much the scare that I want to focus on ... yet how to prevent this from happening again.
Because with these two chicks ... I know it is bound to happen.
Earlier this afternoon, I lost the girls. We were all outside playing ... they were riding around in their jeep and Mason was playing basketball. I ran inside to get my shoes and the next thing I know ... Mason came running in telling me something was seriously wrong.
The girls were missing. He had gone around the side of the house to get a ball and in that time ... they had driven off. He ran down the street where he thought they had gone ... nothing.
About 20 minutes later ... after sobbing, driving around our side streets like a maniac, sobbing some more, asking my neighbors for help, sobbing and getting the police involved ... they were found. They had made their way to a trail that runs back behind our houses ... ditched their jeep and were walking hand-in-hand.
With not a care in the world.
And this is my concern. I am really not a fan of characterizations, but seriously ... children with Down syndrome like to flee. We have to keep a close eye on the girls ... and Mason ... bless his heart ... is a great second set of eyes for us. And as much as it is not his job ... he really takes it upon himself and that is a huge help since ... you know, I don't have eyes in the back of my head.
The difference is that my girls will take off and just do their thang. They have no clue how far they are from home ... or that they are lost ... or that they have no clue how to find their way home. They have no sense of fear.
As I have been rehashing this in my mind today ... I have found myself comparing my girls to Mason. If Mason ever came close to getting lost when he was younger, he would shriek out in fear ... "Mom! Mom!" And the tears would flow.
My girls? Not so much.
So I am carrying a conversation from facebook over here to my blog ... because I think it is important. I have seen these little electronic monitoring bracelets that some kids with special needs are wearing ... I just have not been sold.
Until now. Until it happens to you in the two seconds you looked away. Because that is how it happens. And you never think it will be you ... until it is you.
After we were reunited with the girls ... one of the police officers asked Payton her name. I had to explain to him that she can't say her name. My five year old cannot say her name. She cannot tell you who her parents are. She does not know what her address is. Nor does she even know what city she is from. I think that was hard for him to understand, but he was very nice about it.
It just really made me think.
Sad that it takes something like this for me to prepare for the next time ... if there is a next time, God forbid. This isn't the first time Payton has been lost ... but I think having the police involved made it that much more grand.
Here are some things I am doing ...
1) Those little ID cards they send home from school? Or even the ones you can have made at your local Sheriff's office? Keep them. Put them in your wallet. Know exactly where they are.
*The officers were running around my house looking for pictures of the girls. Current pictures. I was in such a panic ... I couldn't even think. I didn't even know where to look ... in my own house. I had one of our Christmas cards laying on the counter (see ... I knew my mess of a house was good for something) and the officer snapped pictures of each of the girls into her cell phone, uploaded it to dispatch ... err something ... and told me that each of their photos would pop up on the screen of every squad car. Freakin technology is awesome. But even more awesome would be having a mom that is prepared for something like this.
2) ID bracelets. I just ordered each of the girls one of these ... I imagine I will put them around their ankles, but we will see how that works out. For $8.95 each ... I figure I cannot go wrong.
3) I am looking at this or this or this ... and wanting more suggestions as to what might be best.
That's all. My head hurts. My babies are safe and sleeping in their beds. Never a dull moment ... that is for sure.
Brickhouse security has a lot of good items....check out their website;) we got a tag you can clip onto their shoes, clothing, whatever and there is a home base that you keep...it will beep when they are out of range and even a gps to let you know which way they went. They are all programmable.ReplyDelete
Sophie swears that when she has kids she is gonna have one of those chips put in the back of their neck, like they do for dogs. I've seen the commercial where the little boy gets lost in the park and the mother has some sort of remote and finds him, but I'm not sure how it all works.ReplyDelete
the county has offered to supply us with a wrist or ankle gps bracelet...I've struggled with it but it isn't a "collar" it is a gps tracking device and the one time I can't find her - she runs like lightening - I will regret not taking advantage of it - the police department is who contacted me from Fauquier countyReplyDelete
We also have chain locks and deadbolts at the top of every door leading to the outside. 4 doors total, why did I buy a house with so many doors???? Ugh!ReplyDelete
Denise, Loudoun has that program too. I asked the cops if PWC has it, and they said yeah, but there is a waiting list. I dunno, I have to do something. Lose your kid, have the cops involved and then you will want it.ReplyDelete
We have a program like that here too but its terribly expensive, i could probably get a grant for it though..ReplyDelete
We lost Kennedy for 10 minutes last summer and while on vacation, scariest time of my life, course I forgot the gps tags at home. ...You better believe I never forgot them again:)
My daughter is three and not walking yet. I guess I will have a run for my money when she is able too! Is it common for kids with DS to run off?ReplyDelete
Bethany...my heart sank reading this....Joaquin is SO that child...NO fear...wanders...oh my goodness. We have an ID bracelet for him from MedicAlert that Alta paid for but I'm not sure how that would work. I have also thought about having a "dog tag" made for him to wear around his neck for safety with his name and my cell phone on it....uggh...it makes my stomach turn. SOOO scary! Please keep us posted on what you do!ReplyDelete
It is very common. Nika is a wanderer. Payton not so much, just um...independent. We have lost Payton a few times. And as bad as that sounds, she just goes like she knows what she is doing without connecting that she just can't do that.ReplyDelete
Beth, I remember when you lost her on vacation. We lost Payton at Hollywood Studios. We were there with McKenna and family. It was insane. We were in a restaurant (you know those indoor food places they have at Disney?) and she was right with us at our table, and we thought she followed Kyle to the soda machine, but she hadn't. OMG there were like 4,000 people in that place and we circled it 52 times. Security was running around, we ran around the outside, I dunno ... it had to have been like 5-10 minutes before someone finally found her taking a shit in the men's room. *smacks forehead*
The thing is, I can sit them down and explain to them until my face is blue that they can't pull crap like that, but I don't think they will understand. Nika for sure will not understand. She was just a passenger in Payton's independence. Little stinkers.
Anyway, I am trying to figure out the best route to go for safety. Ugh.
I have a friend that was able to get the local sheriff's dept. to get a device and then her son has a bracelet (that he keeps on his ankle)...I know there are a few of these types of things out there. I am so glad the girls are safe...this scares me given that Ian just figured out how to open the door!ReplyDelete
Beth, where are those tags at? I can't find them. I like that idea the best.ReplyDelete
I think Kennedy is finally old enough to understand, well, I know she understands...it just a matter of her following the rules, I am praying that this is the year things change a little bit.ReplyDelete
A few weeks ago kennedy g...ot home from school, i didn't feel good and hooked her up with the wii so I could rest my eyes. The kids got home a few minutes later. Kendall asked if they could go outside, I made them go out back because we have a fence. Well sure enough, Kennedy climbed the fence all bundled up like an Eskimo and ran into our neighbors garage...they heard her and came out...and plopped her back over the fence. Good grief, so embarrassing, but thank god I have the best neighbors. I hope and pray things will be easier for us this year:)
I feel your pain!
Shoot....its not on their site...try this link tho...we have this one and it comes with 4 tagsReplyDelete
Bethany, we are right there with you. Elayna would be panic stricken if she was lost. Danny would just go about his business taking in all the new scenery. At some point (might be 5 mins, might be an hour) he'd realize he was lost and I'...m sure would get scared. He seems to think we follow him whereever he wants to go and has NO fear. I know if he made ito out to the main rd in our area, he would assume cars would stop because he wanted to cross. No concept or fear. I there was a microchip I could surgically implant...I honestly think I would do it. We are on guard 24/7....but we are human and I fear the day we let our guard down and he gets lost or hurt or worse.ReplyDelete
Bethany, I am totally with you on this one!!!ReplyDelete
Last week RUby managed to escape from our home twice and the second time I found her standing, along with my 21 month old Lily in the middle of our street!!! I posted a message on the Down Syndr...ome Map page and had some good response to it. There was a product called guardian angel which I believe is some sort of alarm system as well. Can't find the url for the product but will send it to you when I do!! I had an idea for Ruby to wear a simple ID bracelet, kind of like Medic alert....thinking of getting one made with my phone number, address, her name, school she attends etc. Any thoughts on that one?
holy crap Bethany!!!!! Emlyn is a runner. She got outside the other day while I was putting down my purse...left through the garage door and was at street in the 5 seconds I was not looking at her. We try to keep doors locked, garage closed. Am getting top locks for doors shortly, and consider using the house alarm.....but when we're out - well, we haven't figured out what we want to do yet. Great tips here...ReplyDelete
I bought this http://www.mommyimhere.com/products/Mommy-I'm-Here-Child-Locator-Pink-CL103%252dPK-Pressing-the-button-on-the-transmitter-sets-off-the-86-db-alarm-on-the-Teddy-up-to-150-feet-away!.html It should be here in a few days. I'll let you know what i think of it. It has a locater button in case she is hiding or unconscious and alarm for if she wanders off.ReplyDelete
I think this is the coolest one out there: https://www.amberalertgps.com/ We got denied it thru macy's waiver..go figure.ReplyDelete
but this thing will even alert you if your child gets within 500 feet of a registered sex offender. So cool.ReplyDelete
Samantha wandered off at the Newport Aquarium. She was in the same room with us but the crowd was THICK that day and I was beside myself. She was just doing her thing.. checkin out fish etc.ReplyDelete
Oh scary!!! So glad you found them and they were safe. I am terrified that Miss B is going to be this way--she has already found her way outside or into the garage when I thought everything was locked up tight...and she's not even walking yet! Fill us in on what you decide to do.ReplyDelete
So funny you mention this today cause we just got an estimate to fence our backyard. Our Nicholas is a runner and I'm preparing for when the snow melts here. I know exactly how you feel, we've had scares too!ReplyDelete
Oh Bethany! I am so happy it turned out good! We have had a few little scares like this with Bree and it is true, these kiddos love to flee and don't have a care in the world about it. I can only imagine how much more nervous I will be trying to keep tabs on two of them soon! I think this post was a great reminder to all of us to be better prepared. I am going to go look at those links....ReplyDelete
Glad your babies are safe....I have to say the picture in my mind of them walking hand in hand was way too cute!
I am so sorry this happened!!! Since Addy isn't mobile yet I haven't been too concerned but I know I will be. We have a program in our town (that for the life of me I can't remember the name of) that provides monitoring bracelets for children/adults that have the tendency to elope or get lost. We will just have to pay a little bit each month for batteries. If Addy would ever be reported lost the bracelet would pinpoint exactly where she is via GPS technology. It will totally be worth it. Hugs to you guys, what a horrible feeling!ReplyDelete
Oh my!!! Know how it is with one.... couldn't imagine two escapees. Hannah has improved this year. Last year she ran out of the school and escaped in the school. At home I have the plastic doorknob protecters but made sure they were the thicker ones as she can pop off the thin pladtic one on her bedroom door. Also have an alarm system. Outside she has run into our neighbors house twice....very embarrassing. She is lightening fast. I'm thinking she could do good running in the Olympics; )ReplyDelete
Oh Bethany, freaking scary - the girls out on the trail!!!!! Aleena has escaped out to our road to "take a walk". She completely wandered away from me at Kohl's one time and I had to get the store's help to find her. She was tired of sh...opping with me - she took the shopping cart WITH my purse in it and went shopping on her own! (While getting my items out of the cart at the register, I came across a sports bra that I had not put in the cart.)ReplyDelete
But, you are so right! She was lost from me, but she didn't have any comprehension that she could be in any trouble. She was just happily strolling around the store. I feel sick in my stomach just recalling it.
Aleena would never wear that bracelet. The transmitters are an idea. I've also considered these:
Soooooo glad they are safe. That's what matters most about today!ReplyDelete
(((hugs))) to you!!!!!
My hubby and I were discussing this too, as Maeve takes off and does not understand it is not safe. I also think we need something because she is still not talking. She wouldn't be able to tell someone she was lost or her name etc... Its all so scary : (ReplyDelete
Yes, yes and yes!!!! I didn't have a chance to read through all the comments, but if anyone ever suggests something on the shoes, DITCH that idea!!! Do you remember three years ago when Angela was in that crash? She was 5 states away in the semi with her dad, and at the time of the crash her shoes disappeared. She was barefoot. The truck, which burned to a crisp, was registered to the company, not to her dad. Had her dad not made it out of the truck, nobody would have known who Angela was, nor how to get in touch with me. It would have taken a long time to get it all sorted out and for her to get back to me!ReplyDelete
And, this reminds me I need to get something on Axel who is non-verbal and speaks Axelese.ReplyDelete
OMG how freakin scary!! Ella has escaped from a house or two and tries running away every chance she gets....let me know what you end up doing!!!! Our police dept doesn't have any programs.ReplyDelete
Kacey, our sheriff dept is who has the program, not the PD. Maybe try them?ReplyDelete
Olivia my 3yr old...yes 3yrs old is my lifesaver!! She is my second set of eyes. I didn't ask her to but she's taken over the role of big sister. She is my responsible one and Hannah tends to listen to her more than Me!ReplyDelete
OMG Bethany I'm so sorry. I can imagine how scared you were.ReplyDelete
Great post Bethany.ReplyDelete
The ID bracelet is definitely the way I am going at the moment as I'm not sure the electronic device won't end up in the toilet, garbage bin, or worse! At least with a little silver bracelet if it goes missing or gets broken it won't cost the world to replace!!
Sorry you had such a nightmare with your 2!! I was lucky with Ruby and Lily as it happened quick enough that I caught them BUT they were in the middle of the road and I count my lucky stars that the recycling truck hadn't made it up that far yet (as it was on it's way!!) or else things could have been far worse.....
Okay, wow I cannot believe what a crazy scary day you had!!! That made my heart beat a little faster reading all that because you are so right...our kids do not know they are lost and cannot verbalize who they are or where they belong. The quick escape also really scares me because we have a pool...things happen in a blink of an eye! So glad they were found safe and sound. oh man...so scary! Parenting ages a person quick I tell ya!ReplyDelete
I totally know the feeling! This past fall Jack said he would watch Kate (just turned 2) outside while I quickly swept the floor. I went outside and there were NO kids out there. I found Jack in a neighbors house and he FORGOT he was watching her. We have a lake in the back as well as the neighbors have an above ground pool that Kate knows what set of stairs leads to a broken gate she can open. My heart dropped and I was sure she was in the lake or pool. Jared ran to the lake. I checked the pool (thankfully she wasn't in there) and I finally found her playing in the minivan. Someone left the side door open and she was putting coins in the heat/air vents in the front. We can call and call her name and she just ignores us. It was horrible! I can't wait to see what you choose to get the girls...it might be worth it for Kate who thinks she is as old as the the big kids and obviously isn't!ReplyDelete
I read this and completely sympathized with you. My guys are getting more and more mischievous, and I am totally nervous about this summer. We live across the road from Grandma and PaPa and the boys have figured out if they look out our front window they can see Grandma and PaPas house. I KNOW.. I KNOW.. this summer they are going to take off when they are outside and go visit Grandma and Papa. It only takes a minute, something like running in the house to answer the phone or to get a drink and they will be gone... I'm so nervous. I am totally looking at all the links suggested above. I'm in the same boat girlie. Glad your outcome was good today, all be it SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!ReplyDelete
If you are interested in getting on the waiting list at all for the PWC Project Lifesave program, here's the contact info:ReplyDelete
Project Life Saver PWC (and the ID program) - office (703) 792-6070
Scariest feeling in the world. My non-Ds 5 yr old was a runner, so we already have the "hotel locks" on the front door. But Max just started walking and he HATES holding your hand, and he's already trying to open the front door to get outside. Great post - really got me thinking ahead of the game. I KNOW he's gonna be a runner!ReplyDelete
This is Joyce, Oh the memories that just came flooding back. I know all to well how you were feeling today. Takes a few years off your lifespan. Sarah too went through a spell where she would take off. One night she wondered all the way to the major road in a matter of a few minutes and came very close to getting hit by a car(the driver had to go up on the tree lawn to avoid hitting her). Scary for sure, but my greatest pain comes from the night I found TJ sobbing in his bed. After sometime of prodding he finally admitted that he had been having nightmares that it was all his fault. He had not been watching her closely enough, he said. It was at that moment, I knew we had been putting too much responsibility on him as a 7-8 year old. I let him talk it out that night but the next day found a couselor he could go talk to so he could get this stuff off his chest, without the guilt of not wanting to disappoint mom and dad. It made a huge difference for him, but I wish I had been more sensitive to what the running was doing to him as the sibling.ReplyDelete
Darn I hit post before I meant too. I was going to add that I offer our story only as something to watch for in Mason because he seems like such a sensitve kid too, and they don't always know how to articulate what they are feeling as young guys. Good luck with the monitoring stuff. That is all so new, we never had the option of anythiing electronic a decade ago:)ReplyDelete
What an emotional event! Im glad that everything worked out okay though.ReplyDelete
oh Bethany! I can't even imagine how flipped out and shaked you were, but thanks for posting this...I've never even thought about it for Brooke...ReplyDelete
I hope you were able to calm down and take a breather after the girls were found...
sooo scary! now i am already a bit worried about miss maggie and she is not even walking yet! praying you find an answer...ReplyDelete
Wow....very scarey. I'm glad everything turned out ok. We lost Kaia once while on vacation in Florida and I was scared outta my mind. It was a classic case of assuming someone else was watching her and those someone else's assumed I was watching her. Thankfully we found her, in the outdoor elevator of our hotel. She was too short to reach the buttons but all it would have taken would be for someone on another floor to push the button and away she would go.ReplyDelete
I can't even imagine how scared you would have been. Thank goodness for technology and all of the options available for parents now. SO glad they're home safe and sound.ReplyDelete
OMG Bethany, You put all of that anxiety and fear into me with this post. Emmie is a runner for sure and I really don't see her changing. The bracelet will most likely be mine, well hers!ReplyDelete
Thank God everyone is safe and your heart can try to adjust back to a normal rhythm.
If something good came out of this , it's that I and a lot of others are more informed. I didn't even know that there were these things out there to help.
So glad your girls are safe! THanks for the links, id bracelets are a great idea.ReplyDelete
I'd love to know what you decide on. I know I'll be thinking about this as the snow melts and we're outside more. Erin is the same way....not a care in the world. No fear! That is so scary and I'm very very glad the girls are safe and sound!!!ReplyDelete
OMG I can't even imagine. Living in the boone docks has it's advantages, but we are not at home 24/7. There have been a couple of times we've lost Ace in the yard, but I imagine if we lived in a neighborhood it would be a totally different story. I'm glad they are safe and sound, hugs...ReplyDelete
Wow..super scary...My oldest was a wanderer and wandered off on me a couple of times before...once we had to put the whole campground on lock down before we found her at the playground by a pond...it was very scary...Glad everyone turned out safe!!!! So far Avery is not a wanderer she stays right by my side everywhere but im sure that is going to change....ReplyDelete
I can't even imagine what you must have been feeling....I would have been out of my mind! I think the id bracelets are a great idea and I will be ordering them for both of my boys. Landon will also have one of those cell phones with the tracking device with him once he's a little older.ReplyDelete
So glad they are home safe and sound!!!!
Oh my gosh I just wrote a book about this in your comments but when posting it it got lost in cyber space! GRRR. I will try to reply to it later. I need to leave in a few minutes.ReplyDelete
Our metro police departments also encourage families with children who have special needs or the likelihood for elopement to enroll in the project lifesaver program. And we'll definitely need to look into it.ReplyDelete
I don't think anyone truly appreciates what that elopement tendency is like until they're living with a little one who is prone to it. It ISN'T an "I may slowly wander off and forget that I'm supposed to stay where my mom can see me." It is a high-speed, often calculated darting off in any direction regardless of personal risk and it has brought my own heartbeat to a near standstill more times than I like to admit. I've cared for little ones who are elopers and LC is definitely fitting that description to a T. Hugs to you after such a rotten, rotten, scare. Thanks for all the helpful links as well...it definitely has me thinking and I'll certainly be investigating more than a few of those options for the pudger, especially.
OMG, I can't even imagine the horror you experienced..just glad they are safe and back home with you. Thanks for the links, too, I'm sure I'll be in the same boat soon enough!ReplyDelete
oh, my heart falls for you, sister. like that free fall of anxiety that takes you straight to the bottom of the abyss. so very glad it all worked out in the end.ReplyDelete
p.s. Mason strikes me as the guardian, carries unseen protective and broad shoulders, and has a heart as strong and tender as a yearling. root beer floats for life for the lad.
OK-- I'll try this again. Max was a very big eloper. Every time we went to a store he would always somehow get away and run and run. He saw it as a game. You are right, they don't sense the danger, or that they are even lost.ReplyDelete
I looked into the GPS for kids when we was doing this and if I remember right, I was going to get the Brickhouse one. I held off thinking he was getting better. He did get better. He is 9 1/2 years old now I would say he stopped running all the time around age 7ish. Now he still will rarely do this. About 3 weeks ago he did it to me in Wal mart. But it was different because now he tries to beat me to where he THINKS I might be going.
Max also cannot give personal safety info out (lack of speech... and knowledge). He can say his name but nobody who isn't around him knows what he is saying. He also fingerspells it but nobody knows what he is doing. Maybe if a person who was deaf found him they would be able to help him better!!
On our doors we use a lock called, I think, Door Guardian. It is from Home Depot and for prevention of break-ins. However, we have them high and none of our kids can reach or manipulate them. If they is ever a fire I'm sure we will all be dead. Joking--kinda!
If we will be in a busy place and any chance of separation (ie tourist area) we somehow "label" him. Either by writing on his arm or body somewhere with a pen/sharpie or placing a card with names and phone numbers in his shoe or pocket.
It is scary and I'm glad they were just fine.
I think that was a the shorten version of my book I tried to post earlier..
as a camp counselor that is my BIGGEST fear. Hands down.ReplyDelete
Dont forget to secure ur house n ur family with dobermanproducts cuz family comes first. So dont let them in danger use Door alarmsReplyDelete