Parents Share Their Craziest 'I Only Looked Away For One Second' Experiences
Photo by Malvestida on Unsplash

A lot of parents can relate to this: Imagine you're out with your kids. You're having a good time. Maybe you all went to the park to take in the sunshine. The children are playing. You're sitting on a bench, keeping an eye on them. All of a sudden, what happens? One of them is gone. Where'd they go? Did they vanish? Are you simply losing your mind? Did you ever even have a kid or kids? A lot can happen when you look away for just a second.

After Redditor blamingpig456 asked the online community, "Parents, what are your 'I looked away for ONE second' stories?" people told us about their experiences.

Reddit Users Share Their Best 'It's A Small World After All' Experience

"I hugged him..."

My son was 3. We were leaving Target. He left my sight as I was adjusting my bags. Maybe two seconds, tops. Poof. He was gone. I try to act cool, but my true-crime podcast obsession got the best of me. The store locks down. We are all looking for him. People are checking cars outside. I'm calling my son's name louder than any intercom system. We were just about to call police.

And then my toddler slides out of the cart area and acts like,"'Sup?" He decided it would be a most excellent idea to shimmy underneath the carts and sit there as the world turns inside out searching for him.

I hugged him and yelled at him for a good 10 minutes, ugly sobbing.

100/100 grateful for my Target folks. We catered lunch for them as a huge thank you and sorry my kid is an a-hole.


I may or may not...

...have done this to my mother a few times growing up.

Thankfully, she'd trained me to go up to a salesperson and explain the situation if I couldn't find her, so nothing ever escalated to anything like the story above!

"I was downstairs on the computer..."

Our firstborn was about 18 months. Walking but not that agile. I was downstairs on the computer, wife yelled down she was using the bathroom and for me to watch him. We misunderstood each other so he was alone for about 3 minutes. She comes out asking where she is and he is nowhere to be found in the house. Thinking he's just hiding we start a full search only to notice the back patio door is slightly open after a few minutes of hunting. Growing concern at this point but figuring he just snuck out back.

A full search of the fenced/gated yard shows nothing. Now the heartbeat is going. Start running out and down the street. Find him two blocks down. He was heading to the park which would have required crossing 2 roads, one of which was a busy one. Nice neighbors found him and were walking him home as they'd recognized us from previous walks. Years later the little neighbor girl would remind us how he "saved his life". Needless to say, child locks went on all the doors in the house after that.


"Went to the toilet..."

Went to the toilet, leaving the newborn asleep on a blanket on the floor (on top of a large fluffy carpet). 3 year old was watching tv nearby. Came back to find baby literally rolled up in carpet like a dead body, 3-year-old sitting on top, with a cushion under him too. Still don't know how he did it at all let alone so quickly, and how the baby was totally chilled and unharmed.


Believe it or not... are curious, and curious about things they probably shouldn't have any right to be curious about, haha. Kids will take a newborn and drop them just to see if they bounce.

"Woke up once..."

Woke up once and my two sons had climbed out of a window onto a flat roof. They were 1 and 3. I still don't know how they even got the window open.


"I quickly said goodbye..."

I had just moved into a new neighborhood on a cul de sac with my two young daughters (ages 5 & 2). I walked out to the community mailbox to grab my mail and met my next-door neighbor while I was there. We chatted for a couple of minutes when I heard my older daughter yelling from the front door "Hey Dad! Younger Daughter (YD) is naked!". I look over at my house and YD is standing at the end of the driveway as naked as the day she was born. I locked eyes with YD, and with a laugh, she turned around and started bolting the opposite way from me up the street.

I quickly said goodbye to the neighbor, tucked my mail under my arm, and started chasing her down the block. I ended up scooping her up with my other free arm a block later while she was laughing her head off. All of the other neighbors got a good laugh seeing me chasing her down. Couldn't get mad at her as it was so funny, and was impressed she could get undressed so fast.


"He kept a firm grip on her..."

Husband reading a sign about watching your children on the trail at Gooseberry Falls in MN. Looks up to see the middle child heading to the edge of the trail. People fall every year. Some die. I was further down the trail with the youngest.

He kept a firm grip on her for the rest of the walk.



Kids don't tend to read signs.

"We moved into our new house..."

We moved into our new house on Halloween in 2001. Most of the heavy lifting was done, so the wife decided to begin unpacking the important stuff and I would take our 8-year-old daughter out trick or treating. We stepped outside and I realized I left my phone.

Standing on the front porch I tell her..."Don't move, I have to get my phone. I'll be right back. Do not move."

Narrator: She moved.

New neighborhood. Kids and parents everywhere. I'm running up and down the street frantically and after about 15 minutes I spot a family, mom and dad and a handful of rugrats...with mine in tow.

They had a good laugh telling me they just turned around and there she was, having appeared out of nowhere. Decided to stay close assuming some hysterical parent would eventually come running.


"My daughter..."

My daughter was 18 months old. Standing in between my husband and me in the kitchen, arm distance from both of us. She slipped, fell, and broke two front teeth.


"When my daughter was little..."

When my daughter was little, probably about 3, she went with me to shop for some tools. I turned away to look at something and heard behind me "Daddy, what's this?" "Uh, honey, that's an axe. Please give it to me." She did, and all was well, but I'm glad my wife wasn't there--she would have panicked.



So we took the kids (7, 3, 3, and 3) to a water park. One of us would stay in the kiddie area with 2 of the triplets and the other parent would take one of the 3-year-olds and the 7-year-old on a ride. It was working pretty well.

Note, the kiddie area was mostly contained, but there was no gate or anything. At one of the swaps, we blinked for a second, and our adventurous 3-year-old was gone. Instant panic. Get security there, staff is looking, I'm running around looking.

Anyway, we eventually found him. He had ridden a waterslide with my wife earlier and decided "That was fun, I'm gonna do it again" The 3-year-old had gone back to get in line for the waterslide by himself, and they found him about 2 from the front of the line.


Maybe it's just me,

...but I don't think I'm going to have any children. Too much hassle. And I think I'd worry too much about them doing something wild like... well, anything listed above. I'll just stick to making sure I take care of myself. That's a full time job in and of itself!

But parents: Hey, don't be too hard on yourselves. These things happen. Kids aren't easy. You're doing great.

Have some stories of your own to share? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments section below!