Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bye Bye, Baby

Kids disappear and I'll tell you why. Because of the carelessness of least part of the time. I was involved in a perfect example of it today at our library. Dylan and I had walked over there this afternoon so I could pick up a couple of books that I'd placed on hold and as I was checking them out, I heard a little voice down around knee-level and close at hand saying, "Baby!" I glanced down and a darling little girl who was somewhere around Dylan's age was standing next to his stroller and the two of them were staring intently at each other. She had on a little t-shirt that said, "Cuter than a cupcake" and I told her, "Well, you certainly are cuter than a cupcake!" in my 'grandma's' voice. Which, interpreted by her two-year-old mind, must've meant a 'safe' voice because she stuck close by us as we maneuvered over towards the door. Another woman standing in a different line had been smiling indulgently at us and I thought the little girl must be hers but as Dylan and I and little "Cupcake" edged closer to the door, the woman never spoke up to tell the little girl to come back. I hit the Handicapped button to swing the doors open and as I began to walk out into the foyer area, "Cupcake" was still right next to me, perfectly happy. Finally I halted and looked back at the woman in line and asked, "Isn't this your little girl?" and she shook her head no at me. By this time, most of the people in the library were looking at me and I spoke up and asked, "Does she belong to anyone here?!" loud enough for everyone to hear me. Finally, the father stepped forward from a table in the back corner. Not that appearances have anything to do with it or should influence me one way or another...the little girl was clean and well-kept...but Laid Back Dude slowly sauntered over and picked her up, heading back off for his table. Chains dangling. Tattoos everywhere. Rings sprouting from every facial orifice. His appearance didn't alarm me anywhere near as much as his seemingly total non-concern for his daughter's well being. It frightened me. I could've been anyone. If I'd been intent on taking that little girl, I could've and I don't think anyone would've questioned or suspected me of foul play because she was so trusting, so willing to go with me. And how threatening do I look, a silver-haired Grandma with glasses? What was this man thinking?!?


Anonymous said...

Poor little girl! What chance does she have? Maybe Mama off working while no-good papa doofs off eh? I often think of the song the Carpenters used to sing: "Bless the beasts and the children, in this world they have no choice, they have no voice"...seems all of it is appropriate today!

Alaine (or Lanie) said...

:( That always makes me so sad when I see a kid wandering around and noone seems to care (at least not the parents). I know if I lose track of my kids I panic and I find them right away. I have those kids that think it's funny to HIDE from me in stores and it drives me crazy...thankfully they're starting to outgrow that. That poor little girl. I hope nothing ever happens to her because of her parents' carelessness with her little life.

Dee said...

I agree with you. I see so much of this in our area in stores. It bothers me for the very reasons it bothers you too. ~shakes head~ I can't imagine letting a child get out of my site long enough for them to follow a complete stranger around. Bless Cupcake's heart, I worry about the next strangers she follows? It breaks my heart to think of it.

Fabulous entry Kris. I was out surfing and thought I'd check in and see if the new grandbabe has arrived & what's new in you part of the world.

Wishing you a fabulous day!

Judy said...

Oh. Poor little girl.

Let's hope she has a grandma somewhere and you reminded Cupcake of her.

Marty said...

I get extremely upset when I see a situation like you've described. In our old neighborhood there were two sisters who lived on either end of our street. Their kids would run between the houses, and often there were toddlers in diapers and no shoes running after their siblings without supervision.

I felt so responsible observing these babies, and angry that their mother's didn't feel the same way. The kids all grew up safely, which was a miracle.

Liz said...

What a silly man! It's a good job it was you.