*Warning: I didn't sleep well last night and am pretty tired, so I'm rather emotionally fragile today. The following scene may not have merited the entire response I gave it.*
I'm told that the most heart-stopping fear you can experience as a parent is losing your child. Being in a big crowd of people, suddenly realizing one of your kids isn't where you thought they were, etc. It sounds terrifying. I thought that my taste of that was years away. Ironically, it's not. And we were home.
Elijah and I were playing in his room. He likes changing the noises on his sound machine and pulling all the books off the shelf, so he was quite happy. I heard my phone get a text message in the other room, so I went to the living room and read the message. A friend was asking for another friend's phone number. I don't know if there's a fancy way to pull up a number and forward it automatically to someone else, so I needed to look up the number, write it down, and then type it out to text back to my friend. I sat on the couch to do that, and then glanced through the emails in my inbox. Elijah let out a little whimper, so I quickly finished the one I was reading, then got up to go back to him. I don't run at every sound because he really just cries cuz he wants me back in there with him. He's fine, but he doesn't like me to walk away from him. So I wasn't in a hurry or concerned or anything. So I walk back into his room to where I left him and HE WASN'T THERE!!! I had been gone for maybe 2-3 min, not a super long time. I spun around to double-check, but he was NOT in his room. I had been sitting in the living room, and I hadn't seen him come out, so I had no idea where he could be! I thought maybe he'd somehow gotten himself under the crib and stuck, and was frantically searching for and calling my baby when I heard another little cry, which was definitely not in the room with me. I raced out of the bedroom and still didn't see him immediately, but then I saw him. He was scooting himself across the dining room toward the kitchen. The room was dark, so I hadn't seen him. I guess he was probably coming looking for me, but usually he takes longer, so I didn't expect him to have gotten so far!
I ran to him and scooped him up, hugging him tight, and burst into tears. (I warned you-I'm tired and quite fragile today!) He thought I was laughing, and being the social laugher that he is, laughed with me. I was so relieved that he was fine and I knew where he was again.