Well, I guess my little talks about Makenna walking off have not sunk in quite yet. Yesterday while we were at her school I was walking around talking to different people about the Summer programs and what we need to get together paper-work wise and making sure that we have some kind of care for her after she “graduates” from the ECC and before their Summer care picks up.
She was with me, or I at least knew her whereabouts until the end. By my third stop to talk to someone, I knew she was behind me, but when I turned around to leave, she was nowhere in sight. I blame myself to some extent as I knew she had walked off but I continued my conversation thinking she had just gone up to the cafeteria to talk to one of her old teachers. I think I felt comfortable knowing where she was at, or where I perceived she was at, and she feels comfortable at the school to walk around too.
When my conversation was over, I was looking for her…and then looking…then looking some more…then panicking. I went everywhere I could think of that she would go and this is a pretty big building. I even looked in rooms and areas that I didn’t think she would normally be able to get to without an adult as they have a security system throughout the building and the only way you can get through certain doors is with a code.
After ten minutes or so, and with help from staff at the school she was found. She was actually in one of the rooms I peeked my head into but since it was dark I assumed she wasn’t in there. She had gone in to use the bathroom, which is what I had figured but I checked bathrooms that I assumed she would go to.
When they brought her out to me she broke down into tears. I felt like crying with her. We sat down and I told her I wasn’t mad and kept asking her why she was crying. I was trying to see if she was scared that I was mad at her or if she was scared because I wasn’t around. She eventually said she thought it was because I was scared. But then later she said she was also scared.
I talked to her a few times throughout the night about how she is to tell me if she needs to go to the bathroom or wants to go to some other area then where I’m at. We talked about strangers and how she doesn’t go anywhere with strangers but that they could also take her against her will. I guess she eventually got tired of the talk as she told me I was frustrating her. Imagine that!
I can only hope that this time the lesson sticks!