This is one of those moments where your stomach lurches. Not just a little, but you go from zero to 100 in a split-second and you’re sent into a blind panic.
It was a normal day, like any other. Realising I was almost out of the essential groceries, I decided to pop to the supermarket after the school pick up. The girls were tired as it was the end of the week and so they asked to stay in the car whilst I nipped in.
I thought nothing more of it and left them in the car. I was only going to be a few minutes.
I saw my friend Deb in the store and I said hello. She was towing her kids around whilst loading her trolly and she seemed surprised to see me without kids so I explained they were waiting in the car for me. There it was. That feeling of guilt because I had left them in the car. ALONE. And now I had a witness to my ‘bad-mummy moment’!
I said ‘cheerio’ and then hurried off because I didn’t want the girls waiting too long. It only took me a couple of minutes to grab what I needed but I was then held up at the till a little longer.
Coming out of the shop I could see into the car and noticed that they weren’t in their seats. They had done this before where they climb into the foot wells of the driver and passenger seats at the front but as I rounded the car they weren’t there.
That was the moment when all the receptors in my brain fired, hormones were released and the hairs on my body were raised. Where the fuck were they?
So many things went through my brain in a split second. Where could they be? Could someone have opened the doors and run off with them? Wouldn’t they have screamed? Wouldn’t someone have noticed?
I’m always telling my girls to scream if anyone tries to run off with them, and I’m sure they would, but all of a sudden I could hear muffled screams.
Almost at my wits end, I came round to the back of the car and realised the sound was coming from the the boot (trunk) of my car!! Opening it up I saw them there, crying their eyes out.
They told me that they wanted to hide from me as a joke and so they’d climbed over the back seats into the boot and lowered the parcel tray over themselves. They didn’t quite realise how dark it would be so they got scared, panicked and started crying and screaming.
Oh. My. God. I have never felt such extreme terror in such a short space of time in my life.
They were both perfectly okay, but I was shaking. The incident had taken about 10 seconds, but it seemed to all happened in slow motion.
I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone, and my heart goes out to any parents that have had their kids taken or go missing. I really don’t know what I would do.
I don’t want to experience that again. EVER. They are under strict instructions to NEVER climb over the back seat again.