Anonymous

Have you been in this situation? What happened? What did you do?

My son just turned 2, so he doesn’t speak much yet. The other day we were at the aquarium and we had to leave for lunch and nap. Naturally, my son wasn’t ready to leave so I wrestled a screaming toddler into the stroller. Next thing I knew, he was screaming “help me” repeatedly to the family next to us. I calmly got him in the stroller and left. First, I’m super proud that he’s now saying two word phrases. Second, what if someone called the police or CPS on us? How do you prove that he’s your child and you’re not doing anything wrong? What would’ve happened? I was talking to another mom about this and she told me a story about a mom and her son (she estimated him to be about 8 years old) in line at Costco. The kid all of a sudden fell to the ground and screamed that his mom pushed him. He also added that she hits him at home and abuses him. A lady then called 911 and police arrived shortly. The mom couldn’t tell me what happened next as she finished paying and left when she saw the police arrive. Has anyone had something similar happen? I know that I have nothing to worry about since I’m just being a mom.. and the screaming child is mine. But I guess I’m just curious about the hassle of dealing with authorities because someone was just trying to do the right thing and save a child.

  • antigrav_kids
    Jan 08

    Oh, the number of places I walked out of hauling at least one, and sometimes two screaming kids under my arms with the third in a wrap on my chest :) I only ever had to deal with the police once. That was because somebody called the police suspecting the baby under my hoody was in fact a bomb. Fortunately the cop bounced off his own car door, and screamed "don't touch anything!", when he became terrified as I unzipped the hoodie. I hesitate to imagine what the goofball's plans were if he could have escaped his car. I eventually got to unzip 'slowly', and everything was OK. So, my experience is that everything winds up pretty much OK. I've read lots of the kind of stoies you mentioned though, and it really worries me too. I'd suggest, based on my experience, that people who think they're being helpful by calling the cops might not be using their common sense, and also might not be helpful, but that's just my opinion.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 08

    Omg. Yeah I played a whole bunch of scenarios in my head and I can see everything turning out ok but just going through the stress of all that... ugh so unnecessary. I’m sorry that happened to you. In the point of view of the people that call the police in these situations... I can see them saying “better safe than sorry.”

  • Julie
    Jan 11

    Glad to hear I’m not alone! This recently happened to me as I was forced to leave the children’s museum with my 2-year-old that doesn’t really speak. He was upset and when I went to put him in his car seat to leave that’s when things escalated to him pulling my hair and yelling “No! No! No! No!” Over and over. So here I am, wrestling a toddler into a car seat, saying “Stop! Don’t kick me, calm down!” all the while wondering which of the strangers on the street would thing I was abducting a child and call 911. I’ve heard though that if the police do arrive they usually are pretty good at recognizing when a child is actually in danger and when it’s just a day of difficult parenting. I never thought about having to prove his is mine, yikes!

  • Allison
    Jan 11

    My daughter, now almost 2.5, went through a phase where she did this all the time. She would scream "Help me, ouchh, heeellllppp you're hurting me" when we carried her out of a store. She was not actually being hurt. No one ever called the police (that I know of). I think most people understand that toddlers throw tantrums. If you had to prove it was yours you could probably show your phone and the million pictures most people have of their children.

  • Hope Brown
    Jan 11

    This was my sister in laws fear, as well as mine because we both have mixed children that don't look like us. I'm still lightweight terrified that someone will think I'm kidnapping my own child but so far nothing has happened in either case. I do keep their passports on deck and my IDs as well.

  • travelmom
    Jan 11

    Most (reasonable) adults have either had children or have been around enough of them to know that children throw tantrums. As far as proving they're yours, how many millions of photos are on your phone? I have a friend who's child was misbehaving in a restaurant & she was "taking him to the bathroom to discuss it" and he screamed very loudly "NO, DON'TBEAT ME, MOMMY!!" on the way. No one called the police, of course most of them had been witnessing his behavior.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 11

    So that’s one of the scenarios I ran through my head... police ask me to prove that my son is my son, so I show them pictures on my phone. Then they say that it’s not enough because it could just mean that I kidnapped the child several months prior and started taking pictures then. 😱 I have my photos cleared out and saved elsewhere every couple of months. My son is a mixed kid and more people say he looks like my husband than the other way around. Here’s to hoping that whatever authority is called, if called.. that they have really good judgement.

  • Catherine
    Jan 24

    My middle son once yelled out ”Dont hurt me no more Daddy!!!” to my husband. First off my husband and I were in shock trying to think of one time he had punished him considering my husband was never around much because of his job and secondly we were trying to rationalize why would he say that? Now that my son is 17 we have asked him why he said that then.. He said that he had a way of imagining things and they would get out of control in his mind so had would blurt out random things.. Which explained so much!!