The case of the vanishing toddler.

I have a disappearing toddler. One minute he’s standing at my feet playing happily, and the next; he’s vanished.

The other night he vanished while I was getting his bath ready. He had been playing in his room and I ran into the kitchen to get something. When I came back? Gone. Since I had left the door to the bathroom open, I had a short moment of panic that he had fallen into the bathtub and was drowning. I raced in, only to find the tub happily filling, sans toddler. THANK GOD. But where was the toddler?

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“Sleeping” in the laundry basket, of course. Our laundry basket is tucked in between the dresser and the wall and isn’t readily visible from the doorway, so I hadn’t seen him initially. (I also couldn’t HEAR him, which makes him especially hard to find.) When I did find him, he looked up at me, said, “Night night” and laid his head back down. If only getting him to sleep was that easy.

Last night, while I was making dinner, he was playing in the kitchen with me, and then went into the living room. After a few minutes, I thought, “Hmm..it’s awfully quiet,” (notice a pattern?) so I went to check and make sure whatever he was doing wasn’t preventing him from breathing. (The house is mostly childproofed, he isn’t likely to actually suffocate. Don’t call CPS yet.) He wasn’t in the living room, and he wasn’t in his room. We have a large box that his new carseat came in floating around the house, so I checked in there. Nope. No kidlet. Off to check the dog crate, and the laundry basket. Kidlet is NOWHERE to be found.

I had the front door open, and I was pretty sure that I had locked the storm door, but since there’s pretty much nowhere else for him to be at this point, I ran over and double checked anyway. It’s locked. And now I’m completely confused. Where in the hell could he have gone? I’m also edging towards panic. We have a small house – there just aren’t many places to hide.

So I holler down into the basement (hubs works from home in the office down there), “Hey! Do you have the baby?” And hubs, from the bottom of the stairs says, “Yeah. He’s down here with me. You didn’t let him down here?” OMFG, NO, I didn’t let him down there.

Lest you think I’m crazy, let me assure you that we have a gate at the top of our stairs, WHICH WAS CLOSED.
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Notice that gap at the bottom? We left that gap there when we hung the gate (ages before kidlet was even on the horizon) so that the cats could move from upstairs and downstairs freely (their little boxes are down there) but the dog would be trapped upstairs. Apparently the child can, very stealthily, squeeze himself under it.

The best part? (Well, really the only cute part, once I calmed down.) Hubs had the door to the office closed and hears a little “knock, knock” on it. He opens the door to find O standing there. He says to O, “Does your mom know you’re down here?” To which O replies, “Nooooo.” But hubs also figured that I *had* let him down there, because how the hell else would he have gotten down there?

Now we have to move the gate, I guess.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “The case of the vanishing toddler.

  1. Awwww. He is so cute. And able to squeeze through small spaces. If you didn’t live under a television rock, I have an AWESOME X-Files reference I could use here.

  2. babyinbrooklyn

    Wow I’m impressed by O’s stealth (and cute!) moves. Ivy likes to yell after she hides from me, which defeats the purpose, if she indeed had some kind of purpose. Mostly I think she just ‘hides’ so she can pop out and yell.

    • He’s SO stealthy lately. I need to get better about listening for the silence. Otherwise I’m going to find him out in the yard one day.

  3. Geek Dad

    Ha ha, great stuff. As a father of two toddlers, I can FULLY understand.

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