When your child goes missing …. or hide and seek level 42


I saw a note on Facebook about a mom (Lisa-Marie) who received a call that her daughter was absent, when the mom had dropped the child at school.  Her daughter is in Grade 1 — it’s not like she could have decided to go and hang out at Forever 21 for the day.  She is 6.

Mom has a cardiac arrest and spends the next two hours breathing into an old McDonalds brown bag.

It reminded me of an incident with Connor that happened a few years ago.

I get to after care and I look for Connor, who is no where to be found.  I walk up to to the sign in sheet and notice he hasn’t signed in.

It is just after 17h00 and he would have signed in by 14h20.

I ask the after care teachers where he is — they say, they don’t know.

I can feel a full on “episode” coming on, but I am trying to look calm and control my facial features.  Already I have visualised the call I will make to nearest and dearest about the fact that somehow I managed to lose my oldest child and now he is dead.

I sort of started speaking in that slightly hysterical voice and saying “well where is he — he is meant to be at aftercare?”

I think the teachers could smell the impending poes collapse, they also came to look at the sign in sheet and agreed he hadn’t signed in.

Thanks, I am missing a child, not fucking suffering from retinal fucking detachment.

I start to go outside and call for him — which is one step further up the ladder of insanity as after 17h00 all the kids are inside.  So if he was outside I would not actually need to call for him — because he would be alone on the playground.  Unless he was Casper.  Then he would be on the playground and I would need to call him.

I started phoning a few of the usual suspects — again keeping it light and fucking breezy, when I was freaking the fuck out — “so, is there any chance you fetched Connor from school today….?” “no…” “okay…” “no, no problem — just a matter of him not being here and no one knows where he is … but other than that, it’s all thumbs up over here”  “yes, of course we are still on for the braai …. no worries…”

So now I am in full blown panic disorder territory, but I am still trying to look vaguely normal.

After care teachers do not feel comfortable when a mom is going fucking insane in the aftercare when little children are watching.

I swear if one more fucking teacher looked at that sign in sheet I was going to murder her with the clipboard the sign-in sheet was on.  I am not missing a signature — I am missing a child.  Similiar, but one is slightly larger and less likely to fit in a 10cm line space.

At this point I realised I was the only one here who was fully understanding the situation and I started to do that frantic run you do over the school grounds, when you think your child has been snatched.

If you haven’t experienced it yet, then I can highly recommend it.

Not only do you run faster than you ever thought you could, but you manage to learn to pray, string swear words together and start to plead with your imaginary maker —- it is all quite something.  I was having religious epiphanies, planning a funeral, deciding on an epitaph ….. it was all quite exhilarating.   I am not sure if this is that “moment” that runners feel when they are in the zone, it is hard to say.

I eventually found Connor down at the cricket nets —- his friend was not in after care.  Connor and Devin had decided they were going to play cricket till their moms arrived.  Devin’s mom knew where her son was —- my son was not where he was meant to be.

Connor of course forgot the key part of informing his mom or after care.

I can’t explain to you the relief you feel when you find your alive child at the school and not dead or in the back of a black panel van with tinted windows, with four dodgy blokes.

{my imagination and hysteria have very particular details to them}

At the same time that the relief endorphins move through your body, the other “I am fucking going to kill you” hormones make their way to your eye balls, mouth, and hands and you seriously want to fucking kill that child.

Right there.  Right then. Fuck epitaphs.

I screamed at Connor like I have never done before.  I think kids two fucking schools away learnt a valuable lesson that day. “Sign in to fucking aftercare like we fucking agreed ….” My fuck filter was totally off that day.

Connor couldn’t grasp why I was acting like a unhinged person — he had a cricket bat in his hand.  I felt an over riding urge to take the cricket bat and have a go at his knees.

For the next two days I kept looking at him with a sense of relief …. and then an immediate urge to beat the living shit out of him.

Parenting is super fun.  I don’t recommend it.  Get a dog — they usually leave you after 14 years and that is about just enough time to get attached to them, like them, and not have to get angry with them because they are going to steal the car and drink all your beer.








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  1. Oh the things I have to look forward to! I cannot wait.

  2. Karen

     /  March 27, 2017

    My son came back from cricket on the school bus. They were dropped at the back of the school, where they park the school bus. NOBODY plays there. Dodgy back part of school. I told him, just wait, I am quickly running to Woolies next door. I came back from Woolies, put by groceries in the car and went to aftercare to pick up son. Son is nowhere!! I searched over 30 minutes for him. Aftercare teachers were looking for him. I started walking around the school perimeter. When I got to the back of the school – there he sat, next to the bus. When I yelled at him, what the hell is he doing? He answered back, but I said just to wait here….. Here like at the school – at aftercare! Not sitting on the ground next to the bus!

  3. Robert the Bruce

     /  March 25, 2017

    You made me snort my coffee over my laptop. Keep doing what you do. The world needs people like you. You are your own best medicine. No matter what happens, the sun will always rise in the morning (unless something really fucking bad happens) and now we can also all look forward to some more of your great humour.

  4. I was at the office. An hour away from the school. Aftercare picks up the kids at 2pm. I get a phonecall at 3:30. “Listen, don’t panic, but is your child maybe with you”. WHAT. THE. FUCK. All the same thoughts went through my head. Added with it I was thinking of those children that go missing and parents search for them for years and years. (I grew up with the Gert van Rooyen thing). Aftercare is at the school and they had the school on lock down. Ended up she was hiding in the bathroom with some friends, also not from aftercare. I wanted to grab and hug her but at the same time strangle her.

    • One does not recover from this sort of phone call.
      I always nearly shit myself when ever my phone rings and it shows the kids’ school —- immediately I am thinking “okay how close to dead is my child” … and then the person on the other end does not tell you upfront that your child is alive and breathing — they start talking about other shit and all you are thinking is “how dead is my child?”

      This parenting thing is really totally over fucking rated.

  5. Where was the little girl found?? #stressingfortheotherkid

  6. Oh my God!!! This is my new favourite post!!

  7. Sweet Jesus, you just managed to make me snort-laugh at my worst nightmare. Impressive, lady. Very very brilliantly described as well.


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