Lizzie loved to walk around the racks of clothes and feel the different types of material and then would watch them swirl and move as she pushed them back and forth. She would zoom around the store and I would follow behind her with the stroller telling her to “slow down” or ”don’t touch that.”
This particular visit, Lizzie decide to take off faster than I could follow with Evelyn and before I knew it she was gone. I called her name and she didn’t answer. My heart rate began to increase, and my stomach slowly crept up into my throat. Lizzie was not responding to me at all. Trying not to panic, I found a security guard and explained the situation. Thankfully, I could remember what she was wearing that day and was able to describe it to the guard.
The guard did not think I was crazy and immediately radioed someone in a security room. He said the exits were secured and they were watching to make sure no small child with that description walked out with another adult. He also said there were no small children walking around fitting that description.
My outward actions may have been relatively calm, but inside, I was in full blown panic mode. “Where is my baby?” and “How could I have lost my child?” were screaming inside my head.
A few moments, later, which seemed like hours, the guard received a call that they could see her and to not move. Then I began to hear the most precious sound ever, “Mommy? Mommy? Where are you?”
There was my girl. I grabbed her, hugged her and told I loved her. Then I realized she was holding a red purse. Before I could say anything, the guard asked, “What have you got there?” Liz began to babble about something and it ended with “and I found this red purse!”
Relieved that no one took off with her and she was found safe, I thought maybe I could buy this red purse that she found, especially since she went through so much to find it. I turned over the price tag and realized she had found a $400 purse.
The security guard and I took the purse back to the purse section. Apparently these kinds of pursed were locked up behind the counter and this one was not. It was sitting on a shelf when Liz found it. Very proud of herself, she even pointed out where she found it.
After explaining to Liz that we couldn’t take the purse home, the security guard thanked her for finding it and locked it back up. I hugged her and thanked her for her help.
Overcome with emotions about this situation that could have ended very differently, I had a tight hold on Lizzie and began walking out of the store to the playground. As I think back over this incident, I can only concluded that at least she has good taste!”