Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lost Girl

I've been really anxious to sit down and post some pictures and stories from our most recent trip to Disney World. You've already heard the Splash Mountain story...and pictures from that are going to be posted soon. But there was another event that is deeply ingrained in mine and G.I. Joe's memory.

It happened on that Tuesday. My parents had also gone with us to Disney so on a whim we decided that Dad, G.I. Joe and I would all go to Animal Kingdom while Mom kept Lucy back at the resort. All we ever need at Animal Kingdom is a couple hours to do like three rides. I don't like taking Lucy there because its hot, smelly, and there isn't much for a toddler (or baby) to do. Its so different from the other parks so we don't even bother going back. One visit per trip is more than enough.

So we got there an hour before the park was supposed to close. We were able to get a parking spot up close and didn't need to ride the tram to the entrance. As we crossed the tram path we were approaching a small store on our left. Its before you go through the gate, which makes it a high traffic Crap-I-forgot-a-gift-for-neighbor-Billy spot. When we got closer an adorable little girl caught our eye. For a moment I saw Lucy. She couldn't have been any older than Lucy. Her warm brown hair was curling all over her head and she bobbed past us.

There was something odd about the way she crossed us. The three us immediately slowed down and looked for what is always behind a toddler: a guardian trying to chase them down and get them back in a stroller. But no one was coming after her. And she wasn't walking towards anyone. Had no one stopped her she would have headed right for where the tram loading area was.

We stopped. I was turning to go grab her and the family behind us asked if she was ours. When we said no they understood why we had been walking so slow and holding them up. This girl was lost. All I could see was this precious baby rubbing her eyes and squinting in the sun. If I closed my eyes for a second I could hear Lucy moaning "Momma?" like she does when she's tired and wants to stop everything and snuggle. The little lost girl took the hand of a strange man. I told everyone she had to have come from that store, it was the only logical explanation.

We walked with that family into the store, to make sure she found her family. I was already tearing up imagining her worry-sick Mommy panicking over her worst fears unfolding on their magical vacation.

The man who had the little girl shouted so the whole store could hear, "HAS ANYONE LOST A LITTLE GIRL???"

Then we heard the laughter. This forty-something-white-collar-boat-shoe-wearing dad laughed and said, "Oh yeah. She's mine. She wanders. Her mother is wandering around here too."

G.I. Joe and I were dumbfounded. I had tears in my eyes and he was ready to accept a life-time Disney ban for getting in just one good punch. When I replay this event in my head I still can't believe it. That sweet little girl's parents couldn't have cared less that she was in such danger. All I wanted after that was to hug Lucy and squeeze her and never let her out of my sight. I texted my Mom while Dad and G.I. Joe were riding Expedition Everest just to make sure Lucy was okay. Disney does weird things to you. It can make you say "Aww...look at that cute kid!" Or "Wow! I'm soooo glad we're sticking with one kid." Apparently for some people it makes them say "Hey, its just Disney! What could go wrong?! Let the toddler wander around without supervision. Mickey will stop her if she gets too far."

Our observations of child neglect didn't end that day. Later that week we saw a 3 year old sitting in a regular chair on a cement sidewalk play around too much and fall straight back hitting her head on the concrete. A worker was begging her mom to take her to the first aid station but she just kept saying "No, she's fine. She's just scared."

Seriously...why even have kids?????



22 comments:

Mel said...

Ick. It really does make you wonder why people have kids. I might really have punched the guy...wow...just wow.

Kerry said...

Gosh that just breaks my heart. Some parents today are so clueless. The messed up thing is that they probably never planned to have kids in the first place but just had an oopsie.

It's sad all around and of course the kids are the ones who end up getting the short end of the stick. :(

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

I can't believe the nerve of that guy. I'd have punched him for real. I mean I am at a loss. So sad.

Sarah said...

Oh my gosh!!! I cannot believe that! It makes me sad and I don't even have kids. =( You're right - why even have kids if you're not going to care for them?! What is wrong with people?

Margaret said...

I'm just happy her parents found her. You never want to lose your child. Scariest thing ever. Riley wanders too and it just takes a second. I remember turning around to check on Beck and she had taken off. I panicked at first but realized she has little legs:) She couldn't have gone that far. This is why she has her monkey backpack so I can keep track of her!

Mrs. G.I. Joe said...

Yeah, I still can't believe it. I kept saying "what if that happened to Lucy?" She does like to wander..but you know what, what toddler doesn't? That's why you watch them, hold a hand, or a leash or anything. For an adult with a fully functioning brain its inexcusable. I know that might sound judgmental but they didn't even care. Which leads me to believe this happens more often then it should.

Lucy LOVES to run...but I can honestly say that outside the safe confines of our home she has never even had an opportunity to get out of someone's (mine, her daddy's or grandparents') sight. One person is always watching her. People can say I'm over protective...psh. I prefer that over the alternative.

JG said...

Okay, here's a "bad Disney parent" story for you:

we were in line at the Great Movie Ride, and these little kids were sitting on the metal rails. And the Mom is like, "Don't sit there, you'll fall, don't sit there, you'll fall." But does she make a move to stop them? No. So the one kid, maybe - MAYBE - 6 years old, loses his footing and falls off the TOP rail and lands on the back of his head. On the concrete. It was a smack so loud everyone turned to hear it. And of course the kid starts screaming. The dad bends down to pick him and and the mom is like, "No, he's fine, you're just encouraging him. Stop coddling him." And "Wel, I told him not to, I told him not to sit there." And I said, "Oh, well, as long as you told him not to..." Thankfully, I don't think she heard me, because if she had sat on me she would have killed me. But yes, I almost had a punch-out moment myself. Grr. I agree. Some people should not breed. There are plenty of other, more competent adults who are unable to have kids biologically. They should just give them to them.

Ashley said...

Oh my gosh. There is NO way I would ever just let my child wander, especially at such a young age. I always have an eye, or a hand, or both on my kids at ALL times. If I cant see them, its not happening. I cant believe he was just like "Whatever." What a D-bag.

And that mom--?! What mom doesn't freak out and immediately think "Ohmygosh I need to get you checked out!" when something like that happens?!

Ashley said...

Stories like this just dumbfound me! All my litle girl has to do is pout because something upset her, or has hurt/scared her, and Im all over it. She's never out of my line of sight! These parents ... just ugh!

Granny said...

There's been times when I've been running around the house playing with Lucy, and she gets very quiet and hides from me. At times I really have no idea where she could have gotten off to, but luckily we keep doors closed and areas blocked off so that she doesn't get into anything that can hurt her.
Imagine this happening out in any public place (Disney, grocery store, mall, etc). This little girl at AK was very fortunate that you all as well as the other people were honest - because her parents may not have seen her again. There's kids kidnapped everyday -- it only takes a split second. There's no such thing as an over-protective parent.

Antiope said...

I can't believe her dad wasn't concerned. So scary.

Jessica said...

oh wow...that is soooo sad =(

Kathryn said...

Wow that is so sad. I would have been upset as well. I have seen similar things around here as well, so it's just not Disney World, it's everywhere. People like that should not have kids, they don't deserve them.

Mateya said...

Oh my goodness! I cant even believe this!

Like you said...why even have kids if you aren't even concerned?! Some people!

Samantha Wrigley said...

That is horrible. I honestly started tearing up! I have a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old, and I can't imagine! After reading this, I went and hugged them a little tighter!

Stephanie Hartman said...

Oh my that is awful that poor little girl.. I agree with you if your not responsable enough to take care of a child then you don't need to have one.

Erin said...

That is so upsetting and heartbreaking. Do they not understand how easy it would have been for that little girl to have gotten hurt badly or been taken by someone bad?!?!

Shanda said...

Unbelieveable! Whats sad is the fact that there are so many parents like that out there. Maybe I'm a little overprotective but if my 10 yr old daughter gets out of sight I panic.

MommyToTwoBoys said...

Disgusting. Just disgusting. Especially when you relate it to other stories like Layla Grace. Some people just take things for granted.

Ashley said...

HOLY CRAP!! I just sat here reading this post with my mouth wide open!! I am speechless!

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Allison @ I heart Change said...

Some people really suck. I don't understand how people can not watch their children! How can they be so indifferent to their own blood. Grr.