I took SY for her registration. She was attracted to the Raya decoration at one corner, and I told her to wait for me there while I registered her. The deco corner was just beside me, you see, hence I never really bothered to keep turning my head to check on her. So you can guess how shocked I was when I turned to find her gone after I was done with the registration. In fact, I didn't even register her because I was told that she can go directly up to see her Speech Therapist! Imagine, in such a short second, she was gone!
Panicked, I scanned the whole area with my eyes, searching frantically for the familiar cheeky face, but met none. I then checked out the bakery because she used to ask me to buy bread for her. None. Then, I quickly ran to the lift which we normally took, because I thought she might have gone there when she couldn't see me. Halfway there, I turned back, as I realized that she wouldn't dare to take the lift on her own, so I went back to the registration counter area. I searched again, but couldn't find her. So I quickly make a phone call to Hubby to inform him, only to be scolded by him of my carelessness. He told me he'll come right away.
I was contemplating whether to make a report to the security, asking them to help me make an announcement. Maybe SY would come to me when she heard it. But I didn't know how to go around that - I didn't see any security officer around. Just then I noticed the inquiry corner, which was just opposite the deco place. I asked the nurses there, if they had seen any small girl there. They gave me an equally lost look, after recovering from a stunned moment. So without waiting for an answer, I quickly dashed into the toilet nearby and shouted SY's name. At that time, I just did it as an impulse because I suddenly thought about stories from the forwarded emails that I received - where strangers kidnapped little girls and took them to the toilet, shaved their hair, etc, until no one could recognize them before transporting them out without causing any suspicion to the security. I shuddered at the thought of that (I was very sure that SY wouldn't go off by herself, because she never did while we're outside, the most was she would wander off a little bit, but be sure to stay around the area where I could see her).
The cleaner looked up when she heard my shout, but suddenly I heard a very familiar voice, "Yes?" It came from outside, so I quickly dashed out, and I saw that girl sitting happily on the seat there, watching Mr. Bean! My, how relieved I was then, and I kept asking her why she didn't inform me when she went to sit there. She told me that she saw Mr. Bean so she waited for me there. That TV area was just besides the deco area, and I guess I didn't really scan the seating area in detail as I was in a panic. Furthermore, she's so short (her head just merely reached the top of the chair, so I won't be able to see her from behind). I tell you, I could never forget that 5min or so (or was it 10min?) ever. Every time I thought about that, even now, my heart felt like falling out, at the thought of nearly losing my dear little girl. I quickly informed Hubby, and took her up for her class (I later learnt that it would be her last lesson too, as she completed her assessment with flying colors - she only mispronounced two cluster type words, but could be corrected immediately).
Well, that's a near experience which I would never forget. Little did I expect it would happen to me because I've always prided myself for being very careful, especially when it comes to my kids. Now, I could really feel for those parents who lost their child for a few days. Mine was just 5-10minutes but that experience was harrowing enough for me. I'm so glad that I shouted her name, I should have done it the first thing but I felt silly because I could see the whole area very well, but not her.
Indeed, we should never take our child for granted, even though they're big enough to understand things.