Catie came up missing today....

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Catie came up missing today....
14
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 12:21am
Well, she finally did it. She finally figured out how to escape. She was here one minute, and gone the next. DH started going door to door, i went through the apartment complex asking people outside if they had seen her. Finally, i saw another lady holding her hand coming back from the pool area.

Well, apparently my 3 year old unlocked our front door, climbed down the stairs, walked two buildings over, followed some people into the gated pool area, and then JUMPED INTO THE POOL.Thank God people were there and pulled her out. But again, they didnt know who she was or where she belonged. She just showed up, fully clothed, and jumped in the pool!!!

Can you guys believe this?? I mean, she has NO FEAR. Go with anyone. Not afraid of water or heights. This kid is going to kill me, if she doesnt kill herself first.

Just wanted to tell you, had ANOTHER rough day. My husband is finally talking to me again. He was in the bathroom and i was, well, supposed to be watching her. As he put it. Well, didnt matter that just 3 hours before HE was "supposed to be watching her" and he was asleep on the couch. We are in our home... and i cant go to the bathroom or take a shower cause this kid is everywhere.

It is easy for him to blame me for this. I JUST saw her playing with her wagon in the hall. I didnt even HEAR her leave. I asked him, you think i KNEW she left and i was like "oh, she will be fine??" I have baby proofed everything in the apartment.

OH! and check this out. DH went to Lowes to buy a chain lock for the door. He put it on while we were upstairs and i was warning our neighbor about what Catie did. She watches her sometimes so i wanted her to know. Well, we werent home 5 minutes when Catie saw the lock. She pulled a box over that she plays with, and proceeded to climb on the box so she could UNLOCK the chain locK!!! I cant keep this kid IN. Dh said, throw the box away. i said "ok, there are only SIX chairs at that kitchen table she can pull over there. THis just isnt goign to work. We are going to need something else. This is nuts"

Any suggestions?? i dont think i can sleep now... she has me going bonkers...

Helen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 1:07am
Oh Helen, what a day. It can be so hard to make people understand that sometimes I wonder why I even bother. Cyberhugs to you, I know how hard it can be. As for the lock on the door, how high is your daughter when she stands on the chair? I put one of those hotel locks at the top of the door when my son learned how to unlock the knob. If he had to build a tower to get it to it I would hear him. How about talking to the landlord about installing key-lock door bolts? I've heard a few members mention those. I need to go, but wanted to let you know your not alone.

HUGS

bless

bugs

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 2:23pm
Wow - how very scary! I'm so glad she was okay! The thing that came to mind was using a keyed deadbolt - the kind you have to use a key to lock and unlock. Then keep the key in your pocket so she can't get to it. Good luck with this! Sorry your dh isn't more understanding. :(

Julie
Avatar for maresgood
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 5:04pm
Oh my, I feel for you! My dd jumped into the pool 1 time when I was right there. She took off her water wings & forgot. I was looking at a magazine & I looked up & there she was flailing in the pool. It was so scary & of course my dh who wasn't there put all the blame on me, so I know how guilty you can feel. Thank God she was safe & ok!!! As far as keeping her in- I would add more difficult to figure out locks on your doors. She sounds like Houdini at age 3. I would watch out for balconies too esp. since she likes to climb. Try taking her to the playground or Gymboree to wear her out. My girls were always @ the playground & I would stay as long as I could to tire them out-MaryAnn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 8:58pm
Thanks for the support you guys. My hubby got over being mad at ME, when he realized he was just angry that it happened. I pointed out it could have happened easily when he was watching her, so to back off. She is houdini. We put on a chain lock, and she was already studying it, trying to find a way. So today he went back for second chain lock, and put it at the VERY top of the door, so i have to stand on my tip toes to undo it. But you know, i dont mind. I would rather have to climb on a ladder to get out to keep her safely in side.

Since we live in an apartment, we have to have permission to add major locks like dead bolts. I am already going to have to go to the office in the morning and explain what happened, and explain we have two extra locks on there now. Chances are they wont mind, cause they wont want a law suit.

But i have to say, both of my parents are in the "wow" stage. And they are NOW starting to understand what i have been trying to tell them for the last year. I can only be in so many places at once, i can only do so much. So when my husband is out of town for 3 days, when should i shower? When can i use the restroom? It is a constant battle for sanity around here.

So it is nice to know that even though i have my hands full, others can somewhat relate to me. I am SOOO looking forward to see this doctor this next week. he will LOVE this story...

Helen

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 9:04pm
I would even ask management if you pay for the lock and turn in the keys to it when you move, would they install it? (So they know it's done right) I really think a keyed deadbolt is your best answer - and/or an alarm system! lol! Good luck, whatever happens. My 3 yo is quite apt at just leaving the house when she wants - whether we have told her no or not. And she's an NT child - and quite the houdini wannabe herself. Thank HEAVENS for our keyed deadbolt! lol!

Julie
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 11:24pm
Ya know I had one other thought. When we had a foster child who threatened to run away they installed this motion detector thing. There were motion detectors by the doors and windows. I only turned it on when I need it (like in bed). but when she set the thing off by going to the door it would wake the dead. It is similar to motion detectors when you go in stores or ones they use near pools. I think they have it at radio shack. The nice thing is it makes very small easily repaired holes in the ceiling and is easy to remove and take with you when you move.

Renee

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 1:34am
What a great idea on the motion detector. We will look into it. We have to get our radiator fixed first. We are down to one car and now it is starting to act to up. So, we have some car repairs to do. But i think the motion detector is a good idea, along with the kieyless lock. Catie and i will be making a walk to the office in the morning.

Helen

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 12:10pm
In addition to the great ideas already mentioned here (extra locks, motion sensors), you may want to contact your local law enforcement office and provide them with information about your little Houdini (photo, description, that she's autistic--say autistic, they won't "get" AS or PDD as labels) and that she is prone to escaping despite your best attempts. That way, if one of the neighbors finds her and calls the cops, they "should" be able to respond appropriately (as in, not immediately calling Child Protective Services on you). Be sure to let them know how she acts with strangers (e.g., goes willingly with anyone, no fear, or else, won't talk or communicate, whatever your situation is) so that they have as much information as possible and can be your allies rather than your adversaries when you're dealing with trying to find your child.

Elizabeth

mom to Chris, 10, AS

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 12:13pm
What a WONDERFUL suggestion. I will do that today. I will call my local police department and see what i can do for her. We live in a smaller town north of Salt Lake City. But since the Elizabeth Smart case, EVERYONE has been on their toes when it comes to kids. Thanks again...
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 12:47pm
My gosh! I just got off the phone with the police station and they DONT have anything like that here. They dont have a database or a registry or anything. They said all i can do is make an ID bracelet for her, and sew her name in her clothes. Once she comes up missing they would enter her information into a database that is nationwide, but that is all they can do.

I know when we lived in Dallas, the home of Amber (AKA Amber Alert) they have booths set up several times a year to take your child down and have their pics taken, finger printed, and dna done incase something were to happen, you and the police department already has that information on file.

But they dont do that here? I guess maybe because Salt Lake City is such a smaller city, but come on. I will do more research...

Helen

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