DD6 went missing for 45m today.
She is gone by the time After School Care (ASC) arrives. They report it to the boss and she recalls a permission slip from me saying DD6 could go to Art Class instead of ASC (never happened). They look for it. They call the sad clown. He says he knows nothing about it. He doesn't call me. He should have.
These two errors (one human, the other - I don't understand) meant 15-30 min gap before ASC boss realises she got the kids mixed up. Calls me apologising - tells me other kids said she went with other friends mum. She and I realise DD6 is missing.
My spider senses go off with this friends mum - I never let DD6 be alone with her. I let her go with her once on Halloween with a parent I do trust - never alone.
I call her 10 times no answer as I'm heading to my car. If DD6 is there I will tear shreds of this mum. The mum calls me and says no - she's not there. Her DD hasn't been to school today because she's sick.
My mind goes to terrible places. I will rip her house apart looking for my child. I will kill her if she is hurting my child.
I'm driving like a maniac trying to get out of the tightest, biggest, busiest carpark in Sydney.
As soon as I have phone reception again I call the sad clown - he still thinks I've made arrangements on his day. I haven't. He realises she is missing. He is on his way.
I call ASC and they say they will go to friends mums house to look for DD6. They're checking the school grounds, the local parks. Everywhere.
Driving fast and trying to be safe and calling every parent I can. No-one has her. I call the police. Terror is setting in.
There's been lots of media lately about the Daniel Morcombe case here - a boy who was kidnapped and missing for years. It took them years to find him. The guy who told them where the body was is now claiming he didn't do it so lots of media. Horrific.
A pedophile attacked two little girls in a park 1 kilometre from my house recently. A million other news stories are going around and around in my head.
Please be OK. Please be OK. Please be OK.
I then do a second call asking them to call every parent or carer they know. On this second call to BFFs mum I ask her to ask her DD if if she knows where DD6 went. She says "OK, I'll call my babysitter.". WTF? Why didn't you say that when I first called. CALL HER.
I'm upset and trying to stay calm but I can't stop shaking.
I get to the school, see the cop car and right then BFFs mum calls to say babysitters husband has confirmed DD6 is with babysitter. This is 30-45m AFTER being told she was missing.
I get out of the car and fall down on the grass bawling my eyes out and screaming with joy/relief/fear. Scared all of the ASC kids. Then a full blown panic attack (the 4th of my whole life - first one was DD, two others in the months after, never before or since).
Cops and carers run over - it takes me a few mins to blurt out she's safe because I can't fucking breathe. I finally say she's safe and spend 15 mins trying to locate her (they're out for a walk - old lady babysitter doesn't have a mobile. FML).
DD6 and her BFF have convinced this babysitter that DD6 is allowed to go back to her place.
Cops are lovely and want to know if I'm OK to drive. I'm apologising for freaking out - I'm still shaking like a leaf. I just want to hold her RIGHT NOW.
I find out they are home, I rush over there and grab DD6 - I'm crying and kissing her and she is scared "Daddy said I could". I yell: NO HE DID NOT. DO NOT LIE and tell her she has scared the hell out of me and her dad, her nonna, ASC and everyone, I was scared that she had been stolen, she has scared everyone, everyone is worried sick, police have been looking for her. She starts crying and I'm hugging and kissing her. I never want to let go. Ever.
I could have handled it better - I scared my little girl.
I then lay into the old lady babysitter in PG words. DO NOT EVER TAKE SOMEONE'S CHILD UNLESS AN ADULT TELLS YOU ITS OK. WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU THINK THAT WAS OK? She's trying to say sorry and I'm telling her to jam her sorries - I could have killed myself on the road or someone else. I thought I lost my child forever. I thought horrible, awful things.
NOT OK. Thank you for keeping her safe. I'm so happy I could die right now but you can NEVER do this to anyone ever again. NOT OK.
I feel a bit bad about it - it was an honest mistake but... Jaysus. She won't be making that mistake again.
The sad clown shows up. He is concerned but calm and isn't being a fuckwit. For that I am grateful. I realised I didn't call him as soon as I knew she was safe. He was in hell for 15m longer than necessary. I apologise. He is gracious. Again, I am grateful.
I debrief him on what happened - we also agree to inform each other when we make arrangements outside of the status quo (it is a part of FRR but I didn't inform him for that hour on Halloween, he didn't inform of several instances).
I hug my girls and sit in my car wailing and trying to compose myself. I drive off for the 2m trip home and have to stop a few times to compose myself. The adrenalin has well and truly taken over.
I just want to be home. I just want to hold my girls.
I will ask the sad clown to attend meetings with me, DD6 and the ASC boss and also meet with her teacher and the principal. I am hopeful we can all present a united front on this.
NC is great but because we don't communicate and its 50/50 custody there are gaps that my very smart 6 year old is starting to use to her advantage. First a few little things and now this very big thing.
He may start sharing important information with me after this. I won't hold my breath but I am still hopeful.
I cannot even express my relief. I'm sitting here crying for the Morcombe's and everyone else who did actually lose their children. I only had a glimpse of that hell and it was more horrific than I even imagined.
I'm crying because I want to hold her tonight. I want to talk to her and apologise for scaring her and explain that I was out of my mind in fear and that she must never, ever do this again.
I have seen some scary things but I honestly never been so scared in all of my life.
This is the best possible outcome for today.
Worst and Best Day of my life all in one.