I had the worst experience of my life this morning.
DD and I were at the park having a playdate with friends. I was drinking my coffee with the other mum and we were chatting while watching our DDs play. I watched DD (nearly 2 come out of the cubby house and walk towards a slide that she loves, which was maybe 15-20 metres away. I turned to the other mother, replied to her comment and turned back to watch DD climb the stairs to the slide. I watched her reach the top and started walking towards her as it's a steep one and I knew she would want to hold my hand coming down. DD turned around and it wasn't her!
My girl was wearing jeans, white shoes and a pink knitted jacket with her hair tied back. The girl at the top of the slide was wearing jeans, white shoes and the EXACT SAME pink knitted jacket with her hair tied back the same way. I had, for the last few minutes, been keeping an eye on the wrong little girl.
I have never felt so numb and scared and helpless as I did when I realised I couldn't see my daughter and I did not know where she was. I ran two laps of the playground yelling her name, before I spotted her over in the garden about 50 metres away. She was happily sitting, playing with a stick in the dirt. I was so relieved that I burst into tears. All in all I lost my daughter for maybe 3 minutes, but it felt like hours.
I learned a very valuable lesson today, and I'm still feeling a little shaken. When I think of what could have happened in those 3 minutes I feel sick.
Please tell me I'm not the only one this has happened to?