Thankful the car stopped

by Marita on February 9, 2012

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This year my plan is to walk to school as often as possible. Annie was very excited about this talking about saving the environment from a car trip and the benefits of exercise.

The first two days of school we walked along singing “I’m going for a bear hunt” … and variations thereof – “I’m going on a school hunt” or a fairy hunt, or a puppy hunt etc.

Day 2 and I’m tired, crabby, walking to school means no breakfast for me as I want to avoid a Crohn’s flareup whilst away from toilets. I’ve cut back to one coffee a day, which is certainly not helping my mood. However I’m determined, this is going to turn into a normal every day part of our routine, we will walk to school darn it.

The girls sing and walk, Heidi picks up a feather, a large seed, they spot a Labrador snoozing on a trampoline, stop to say hello to each person who walks past. There is lots of stopping, the girls stop walking each time they want to say something, stop to get drink bottles out, stop to put drink bottles away, stop to point at things, stop, stop, stop. My mantra is “Just keep walking”, said more in a grumpy mummy growl than a sing-song Dory voice.

We crest the final hill, and there is the avenue of tree trunks carved into war memorial statues. The girls want to stop and put flowers on the soldier at the corner. I watch as a preschool aged boy across the road opens the front gates and walks onto the footpath. He starts walking down the footpath, I see his mother coming out the gate too, pushing baby in a pram, holding a toddlers hand.

My girls start walking again and we keep pace – the preschool boy on one side of the road, us on the other. Mum calls for the preschool boy to stop, he starts running faster. I decide we will cross the road, but then there are several cars.

While we wait the toddler boy escapes from Mum and races after his older brother. Mum goes running after them with the pram.

We cross the road, now several meters behind the family, mum is yelling at her two boys to stop, they both laugh, it is a game.

Annie and Heidi continue to hold my hands tight even though we have finished crossing the road. “I won’t run away” Annie assures me.

Mum catches her toddler by the wrist with one hand and lets go of her pram to smack him hard. I watch as in slow motion the pram rolls off the footpath and onto the road, a car drives past us towards it.

“Your pram” I’m yelling, my girls hands tighten on mine.

The car swerves, the toddler is dropped as Mum lunges for her babys pram.

Everyone is safe, the family ahead of us walk on. The car returns to the legal side of the road.

“That was scary” says Annie and I agree.

I’m thankful the car missed.

I’m thankful my girls are no longer toddlers and preschoolers who think it is a fun game to run away from Mummy.

We can walk and stop and walk and stop for as long as it makes them happy.

Now go on over to Kate’s to see who else is joining in Thankful Thursday.


Aroha @ Colours of Sunset February 9, 2012 at 7:19 am

Oh. My. God. My heart was racing reading that story. I can’t imagine seeing that, as any one of the characters – you, the mum, the driver of the car…I’m SO thankful my son is past that stage, but it wasn’t that long ago and I remember it clearly!

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm

My heart was still racing an hour later!

Nicole (SportyMummy) February 9, 2012 at 7:32 am

Yikes! Thank goodness that pram missed!! I so feel for the mother of the runaway toddler……sometimes it can be just so hard being a mum!

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Oh yes, being a mum is a challenging role.

Happylan February 9, 2012 at 7:42 am

Oh what a close call. So glad that car missed too.

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Thank you :)

Kyrstie @ A Fresh Legacy February 9, 2012 at 7:51 am

Oh my goodness! How frightening. That poor mum… I hope your last walk of the week tomorrow is a nice relaxing one :)

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Thank you :-)

Lydia February 9, 2012 at 9:07 am

It is so hard to be a mother of 3 little ones. My second one was a runner so I had a lovely little child’s restraint / harness on him when in danger areas. A shiny, yellow plastic one.
The shit I copped was nothing compared to the fear of cradling my dead or injured little boy in my arms, covered in blood and grave,l if he wasn’t wearing it.

Maybe, if you walked with her for some mornings and took a toddler in hand it would help her so much. Do you think the girls would like it?

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm

We had a dark blue harness for my oldest daughter, so many people would assume she was a boy and seeing me pushing the pram very rarely made comment about the harness.

My younger daughter had a monkey backpack / harness and she wore it till she was 5yo. Lots of judging on that one, but like you better restrained than dead.

Both of them were runners.

Annelise February 10, 2012 at 5:24 am

People seriously judged you on a cute fluffy harness? And felt free to comment? Far out, I’m already stressing about the fact that people think a pregnant woman’s tummy is public property, but apparently the fun just doesn’t end!

Marita February 10, 2012 at 6:17 am

The joy of parenting, some how having children makes others feel it is okay to comment on what you are doing.

I’ve decided that it says more about the person who is commenting / judging you – what kind of person thinks it is okay to say negative / derogatory things to a stranger? Not a nice person.

x S.K.K x February 9, 2012 at 11:17 am

I was On the edge of my seat reading that story! Wow what a heart stopper! I can’t imagine watching! I think we are all thankful that car stopped!

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

It was a gut wrenching moment. Glad it ended well.

Sarah @fignutmum February 9, 2012 at 11:22 am

Gosh my heart stopped just reading this. I couldn’t imagine how you’re felt. So glad everyone is safe

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Thank you.

Fiona February 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Wow. Close :(

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Was, my girls have been much more careful about crossing roads and staying on the footpath since.

Tracy February 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

What a close call. Definitely something to be thankful for! My heart stopped reading that story.

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I was still shaking an hour later. Very scary.

Robyn (@slightly_deep) February 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I am so glad the car stopped too! I can so relate with that mother right now, as I have a baby and a toddler who likes to run away- it is so scary when they do it!

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Terrifying. Both of mine were runners and I’m ever so grateful they have grown out of it.

E. February 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm

How scary. Thankfully neither of my children were runners when they were younger. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to keep up with two running little ones as well as having a baby.

I still hold Miss 8′s hand when we cross the road. I don’t care if other people think I’m over protective, I just want her to be safe.

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I still hold both my girls hands when crossing the road – 7yo and 8yo. Rather be safe than sorry.

Mrs Savage February 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

How awful, that can happen so easily. Poor Mums. I can’t wait for my child to stop bolting!

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm

It happens in a blink of an eye. Eels have nothing on a toddler determined to escape, they just slip away no matter how tight your grip.

kelley @ February 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm


Boo constantly runs out into traffic. Being almost 6ft people just expect him to stop. He expects them to stop. This is why I rarely leave the house.

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Heidi thinks parked cars are dangerous because there is no driver to control where they are going. Moving cars on the other hand are safe because drivers will make the car go around you.

We are still working on educating her about that one. I was very sad when she was simply too big for her backpack harness

Annelise February 10, 2012 at 5:28 am

Well that’s a perspective I never thought of!

Linda (Me) February 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Wow – that was close. So glad my days of walking little children are over – now I just have to worry about the dogs pulling their leads out our hands when we walk if they decide to chase cars !
Have a great Thursday !

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I’d much rather be walking dogs than little children too. :)

Lyndal February 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm

wow… what a close call, so glad that everyone is safe!

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Me too.

Kate February 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Oh my gosh :o

So scary. I feel for the Mama… I know too well the bolting preschooler and pram scenario right now.

So glad the car swerved.

Marita February 9, 2012 at 8:58 pm

It is scary, Annie used to do it often when Heidi was a baby and it terrified me each time.

Jess February 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Oh thank God! I’ve known escaping toddlers myself from time to time, and thankfully it’s never been anything like this.
Definitely angels on he road that day!

Marita February 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm

There certainly was, thank goodness.

Ceejay February 9, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Wow, my heart stopped there with yours for a split second. *gulp*

I’m thankful the car stopped.
I’m thankful you were able to blog this today.
I’m thankful I’m down to one “runner” these days.

Massive hugs and deep breaths to you! xx

Marita February 14, 2012 at 9:43 am

It is scary being the mum of a runner. Glad this ended well for all concerned.

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