How It Feels When Your Child is MISSING at the Grocery!

Readers — Trust me. This ytkdsasfke
is one
to share. it’s by Jennifer Newlin, at

I Lost My Child In The Grocery Store And Every Parent Should Know How That Feels

Parents: Read this.

On Thursday evening, I was with my 4-year-old son, Jacob, at the supermarket. He was tagging along beside the cart. When we reached the salad bar, I turned away for maybe 10 seconds in order to gather ingredients. When I turned back, Jacob was gone. Nowhere to be seen.

If you’ve never had kids, you couldn’t possibly understand the sheer euphoria I felt in that moment.

While I frantically searched the area for any sign of Jacob, I remember one question above all others dominating my thoughts: Is he really gone? Gone from my life forever? The pain, all the responsibility, and the tedium of caring for a child, vanished in just one careless moment?

I started checking every aisle, just to confirm to myself that he really had disappeared. In my blind ecstasy, it was hard to think clearly. I felt myself concocting 6,000 different scenarios at once…

Here’s the rest! Enjoy your weekend!

Where's Snookums???

Where’s Snookums???

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35 Responses to How It Feels When Your Child is MISSING at the Grocery!

  1. Laura July 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    When I read this this morning, I itched to share it to my Facebook wall… but I’m afraid a lot of my friends don’t have nearly enough humor to appreciate it in its glorious hilarity. Whoo, I love it.

    (Incidentally, I would let my daughter, starting at about 5 years old, hang out in the book aisle of the grocery store to read while I shopped. Man, people do NOT like that. They’d come up to her and ask her if she was lost, and eventually bring her back to me. So she’d hang out with me for an aisle or so and then go back.)

  2. E July 11, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Perhaps I’m not cool enough to get this.

    Trust me, I recall the little dance I did on the first day of kindergarten when my youngest climbed on the school bus and was finally in school…I remember the feeling I would get when I would realize that I was in my home ALONE…I remember getting the rare sitter (expensive for us) and making rules that we wouldn’t talk about the kids….

    But I don’t get this one. And while I know it’s work to be a parent I am generally turned off by the self congratulatory and pity for people that made a choice to have them….even the ones that try to be funny about it.

    Oh we’ll, it’s probably just me. 🙂

  3. just_a_parent July 11, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    @E yeah I didn’t care for it either. I “got” it but it seemed inappropriate. That said, I’ve “lost” my child numerous times in public and never really worried about him. Some kids just have an independent spirit!

  4. hineata July 11, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    OMGosh I love this! Yes, yes, yes!

  5. anonymous mom July 11, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    Clickhole is an Onion spin-off. It’s a joke.

  6. SOA July 11, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

    When I have lost the kids I always tell myself don’t panic I am sure I will find them in a minute, just keep looking they will turn up. They thankfully always have turned up eventually.

  7. J.T. Wenting July 11, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    your child is old enough to walk on his own without a leash, expect him to wander off and go exploring on his own.
    Don’t want that? Put him back in a stroller or on a leash, preferably packaged in bubblewrap.

  8. everydayrose July 12, 2014 at 12:46 am #

    @J.T. Wenting…you would think that but it’s not really the case with all kids. When my daughter was little you’d practically have to pry her off of me with a crowbar and even now, at 13, I’m frequently getting onto her because she won’t go do things without me. It drives me batty, let me tell you. When I was her age I would have done anything to get away from my parents but I wasn’t allowed. But here I am giving her all the freedom that she could possibly want and I can’t get her to leave the house.

    I guess that’s how it works with kids though, huh?

  9. hineata July 12, 2014 at 6:49 am #

    Thanks so much for the link, Lenore! That’s my new second-favourite site :-).

    Anyone else enjoy the impossible standards of beauty being set for felons?! And the ‘stick of butter’ video? :-).

  10. Warren July 12, 2014 at 9:07 am #


    When I received my first daughter, she was 5 yrs old. She had the gotta stay right there with you habit. I tried to encourage her to move on, but her first 5 years were not the greatest, which lead to insecurity.

    Went to the shelter, adopted a wonderful 6 month old female German Shep. named Rawsha. My girl picked her out. The two of them bonded and within days my daughter was walking way ahead, roaming the park with her new best friend. She never went too far, as she picked up on the fact that her dog was great fun, great company, would keep her safe, but her dog was also something she was responsible for when she had the leash. The transformation was incredible.

  11. hancock July 12, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    My two older kids (4 and 6) disappear at Wally’s all the time. They usually burst into tears when they realize they are alone, and come looking for me; but slowly are becoming less panicky. They know I am somewhere nearby. I think it’s a little strange in fact, that Wally’s has that effect on them. They go outside on their own all the time, romp all over playgrounds without my immediate presence, and frequently depart at other stores with narey a second thought. They usually don’t care whether they can see me or not, but Wally’s freaks them out when they discover they are alone.

  12. CrazyCatLady July 12, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Warren, that is a great story! A dog is a great way to solve that particular problem.

    My oldest lost me in Target when she was two and a half. I figured she was around, and we would find each other pretty quickly. I looked under the clothing racks and called for her some.

    Sure enough, within 3 minutes she was back. She found someone who worked at the store, told them she couldn’t find her mom, and they paged me. She looked a little worried, but there were no tears on the part of anyone.

    The store worker did say, however, that had I come to the store telling them my child was missing, they would shut down the entire store and not let anyone in or out. Must have been that store because just a couple years ago I was at a Target during the Christmas season and the staff were searching for a child but letting customers go in and out. That child was also located quickly – hiding under a rack of clothes.

  13. K2 July 12, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    Authorities would call that neglect. The woman would probably get arrested and might lose custody. I personally would not call that five minutes peaceful or euphoric. I think maybe she doesn’t quite understand how bad that situation can actually be if someone else helps her or her kid out by calling for help.

  14. M. July 12, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    @K2, first of all, the article is satire (aka. a joke). And even in this ridiculously overprotective climate losing site of your kid for a second is NOT neglect. Get a grip.

  15. M. July 12, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    *losing SIGHT, stupid iPad autocorrect

  16. pentamom July 12, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    “The store worker did say, however, that had I come to the store telling them my child was missing, they would shut down the entire store and not let anyone in or out. ”

    I’m pulling this out because I think it needs more attention. Take it as a warning: do not notify the store about a missing child until you’re sure you need help to find him, if it is a large store or a large chain operation. It’s a shame you can’t just ask for help from the service people who are there to provide, well, service, without causing a major disruption and panic, but apparently that’s how at least some of them roll these days. And I daresay you can’t be sure which stores do it and which don’t.

  17. Andrea July 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    Good stuff.

    I’ve lost my 5 year old (or, more accurately, he has gone off on his own) in 3 or 4 stores so far. The first time was (in a Target) when he was around 3, I don’t remember panicking at all. I just asked the security guard to make sure no little boys with curly hair ran out of the store. I figured as long as he was in the store somewhere, he was probably fine. The guard radio’d the staff for them to keep and eye out for them, and they found him sitting in the furniture section, relaxing. But they didn’t shut the store down or anything.

    The employee who returned him to me said something to him along the lines of “Look, you’re mommy is so happy to see you!” Not sure where she got that, because I was decidedly NOT happy with him.

    Now I am trying to teach him that it is okay to leave me, but he has to tell me where he is going, first. It’s a work in progress.

  18. Jenny Islander July 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    When my kids were past the age of climbing everything and/or pulling stuff off the shelf to see it go smash, I taught them which color vest to look for in each store and let them stop and smell the flowers or whatever while I went on ahead. When they got older, I showed them where customer service was. My son was 3 when he had me paged. He told the “store lady” solemnly that I had gotten lost!

  19. Coasterfreak July 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    When my now 25 year old was about 5, we started letting her and her 4 year old brother hang out in the toy section while we were shopping. They knew not to leave the section, and they knew not to play with the toys, just look. I don’t remember if they panicked or if a “helpful” person asked if they were lost, but one time they ended up at the service desk with lollipops in their mouths and we were paged. Now, my daughter has always been a bit of an attention seeker, so once she saw she would get attention and candy if she was “lost”, it became her favorite thing to do in stores. As soon as we were out of sight, she’d walk to the service desk and say she was lost. So we had to stop letting the kids hang out alone in the stores for a while.

    It got so bad that one day we were in a mall looking at some of those stereogram pictures at a kiosk, and suddenly realized we couldn’t find her. It took us about 10 seconds to realize she was about 20 feet from us….sitting on the counter of an information kiosk, lollipop in mouth, with several mall employees gathered around. She wasn’t even trying to look upset, just drinking in all the attention.

    We finally had to start holding her hand when we were in stores, until that phase finally passed. LOL

  20. Teri July 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    My favourite “kid lost in the store” story was when my dad was out shopping with his mum. Its a common story; he was looking at something and then turned around and she was gone. So, there he is wandering back and forth, looking up and down the aisles trying to find her until a shop assistant asked him if he needed help. He paused for a second, then said “I’ve lost my mummy.” Given that he was about 40 at the time, and his mother in her spry 60s, I doubt he was able to keep an entirely straight face as he said it. Apparently the look on the assistant’s face was priceless.

  21. pentamom July 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    What’s cute is when the really little ones grab your leg because they’re used to identifying by leg, and you’re wearing the right kind of pants/skirt. Then you look down to see what’s up and see this temporarily panicked little face. Usually mom or dad is just a few feet away, so they recover quickly, but I’ve had this happen more than once.

  22. Amy July 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    @M I think K2 is stating how it could be in our over-protective culture, not how she views it. She said “authorities” specifically. And she’s probably right: I am somewhat careful due to over-zealous strangers/CPS rather than fear of someone swiping my kids. Your prickly, angry reaction is interesting.

  23. no rest for the weary July 12, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    Clever. A good antidote to the “parent’s worst nightmare” trope that gets played over and over again. As if it were really my “worst nightmare” that my child went missing for a couple of minutes and returned to me safely!

    I can’t say it’s my worst nightmare to have a kid whining at me, but depending on the day, I might claim it is.

    When my 5 year old escaped my clutches at an outdoor art fair, I panicked completely because I was in the middle of a nasty custody battle where the other parent was claiming I was neglectful and trying to strip me of my rights to see my child! What a horrible moment. He had taken himself home and was having a nap in the basement. He’d walked a half a mile to get there in huge crowds. I knew then that I never had to worry about my kid getting lost. He’s got a better sense of direction than I ever will.

  24. lollipoplover July 12, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Just be glad that missing kid wasn’t part of the tag and release program:,36271/

    I love these humor sites. There needs to be more fun in parenting amid all of the craziness out there.

  25. E July 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    Anon mom, thanks for explaining the site…now it makes more “sense”

  26. SOA July 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    My mom used to do the old embarrassing if she could not find me and it was time to leave she would have the store page me up front. Did it multiple times. Oh the embarrassment.

  27. Cynthia812 July 13, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    Coasterfreak, that is hilarious. I’m sure it was super annoying at the time, though. This piece reads as much more funny now that I know it’s an Onion type site.

  28. Warren July 13, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    When mine would wander off I would just stop and wait. When they found me, they could tell by the looks that they were busted.

  29. Harpo July 13, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    You do realize this is a satire site, right? They are not serious, they are making a very successful attempt at humor.

  30. Sharon Davids July 14, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    In the 1970s I would get lost in my grandfather’s clothing store. Eventually I would walk around until I found the break room (which usually had treats for me). I started at about age 5 until age 12 when he sold the store.

    I could never imagine letting my daughter do that today. I am sure I would be arrested for not knowing which aisle my daughter was in. She would have loved especially because she loves window shopping.

  31. Dirk July 14, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    I think it is pretty funny and true for a lot of parents a lot of the time. But it makes me think of that Dad in Georgia and how funny he probably would think it is. Kinda dark (but hopefully rare?).

  32. Roger the Shrubber July 14, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    My boys were never the clingy type and a encourage their independence. At 2-1/2 years old I left my first boy on a lawn mower display while I shopped in the next isle of a bog-box hardware store. When I returned 3 minutes later, I had to chase him down the isle and retrieve him from a well intentioned elderly lady who was escorting him to customer service. I worry more about do-gooders than child abductors.

  33. Sarah July 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    Funny. When we were at our 4th of July party one of the moms was looking for her for year old. After asking a few people “where’s Charlie?” some drunk dude says “you lost him? ALLLRIGHTTTT!!!! PARTYYYY!!!!” She did not look happy.

  34. Lissy July 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    All of you who let your 4-6 year olds wander around the store…Have you ever heard of Adam Walsh? I’m all for allowing kids freedom at appropriate ages, but a 4 yo is easy to scoop up. My sister was groped at Disneyland when she was 4 and it only took 2 seconds for it to happen.

  35. Jenny July 16, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    When my three year old daughter turned around and realized she’d lost me in the grocery store she very sensibly walked to the front of the store and told an employee who called me over the store intercom. I was so impressed my her judgement.