24 Parents Share Their "I Looked Away For ONE Second" Stories, And I'm Having Heart Palpitations From Reading Them
"They decided to stay close, assuming some hysterical parent would eventually come running."
If you have known a child, you know — sometimes, there is NO stopping them. You can look away for one second and then feel your heart drop the moment you see what they've gotten up to in that one second that your eyes weren't glued to them.
So here are some of the wildest and funniest responses they received:
1. "I went to pee and put my two kiddos in their room with the door open and the gate up. I also had the bathroom door open. I come out to find a dozen eggs cracked on the kitchen floor and my youngest covered in peanut butter, naked."
"My now ex-husband was sleeping. I walked into our room, woke him up, and tagged out. My brain was fried at that point. To this day, I have no clue how they escaped, and they are 16 and 18 now." —u/HolyPallyGirl
2. "My son was 3, and we were leaving Target. He left my sight as I was adjusting my bags. Maybe two seconds, tops. Poof. He was gone. I try to act cool, but my true-crime podcast obsession got the best of me. The store locks down. We are all looking for him. People are checking cars outside. I’m calling my son’s name louder than any intercom system. We were just about to call the police."
"And then my toddler slides out of the cart area and acts like, 'Sup?' He decided it would be a most excellent idea to shimmy underneath the carts and sit there as the world turns inside out searching for him.
I hugged him and yelled at him for a good 10 minutes, ugly sobbing. 100/100 grateful for my Target folks. We catered lunch for them as a huge 'thank you and sorry my kid is an a-hole.'" —u/Italics12
3. "Our firstborn was about 18 months — walking but not that agile. I was downstairs on the computer, and my wife yelled that she was using the bathroom and for me to watch him. We misunderstood each other, so he was alone for about three minutes. She comes out asking where he is, and he is nowhere to be found in the house. Thinking he's just hiding, we start a full search only to notice after a few minutes that the back patio door is slightly open."
"We're growing concerned at this point, but figured he just snuck out the back. A full search of the fenced-in, gated yard shows nothing. Now the heartbeat is going. We start running out and down the street. We find him two blocks down. He was heading to the park, which would have required crossing two roads, one of which was a busy one.
Nice neighbors found him and were walking him home as they'd recognized us from previous walks. Years later, the little neighbor girl would remind us how she 'saved his life.' Needless to say, child locks went on all the doors in the house after that." —u/Rancethetank
4. "I went to the toilet, leaving the newborn asleep on a blanket on the floor (on top of a large fluffy carpet). My 3-year-old was watching TV nearby. I came back to find the baby literally rolled up in carpet like a dead body and the 3-year-old sitting on top, with a cushion under him, too."
"I still don’t know how he did it at all — let alone so quickly — and how the baby was totally chill and unharmed." —u/peripateticpeople
5. "I woke up once, and my two sons had climbed out of a window onto a flat roof. They were 1 and 3 years old."
"I still don't know how they even got the window open." —u/1987mark
6. "I had just moved into a new neighborhood on a cul de sac with my two young daughters (ages 5 and 2). I walked out to the community mailbox to grab my mail and met my next-door neighbor while I was there. We chatted for a couple minutes, when I heard my older daughter yelling from the front door, 'Hey Dad! Younger Daughter (YD) is naked!' I look over and YD is standing at the end of the driveway as naked as the day she was born. I locked eyes with YD, and with a laugh, she turned around and started bolting the opposite way from me up the street."
"I quickly said goodbye to the neighbor, tucked my mail under my arm, and started chasing her down the block. I ended up scooping her up with my other free arm a block later while she was laughing her head off. All of the other neighbors got a good laugh seeing me chasing her down. I couldn’t get mad at her as it was so funny, and was impressed she could get undressed so fast." —u/Lintman1
7. "I was making dinner for my 18-month-old twins when boy twin starts to fuss. So I carefully put the knife about a foot away from the edge of the counter. I intentionally put it away from the edge because my girl twin is NOT to be trusted. I go change my boy, turn around, and my girl is casually holding my large, sharp chopping knife."
"I had to get it from her like a hostage negotiator so she wouldn’t run away with it. I couldn’t figure out how she got it, so I looked at the video. As soon as my back was turned, she was grabbing the cutting board to pull the knife closer and then immediately skipped over the carrots and peeler to grab the knife. I was clearly correct in not trusting that feral child." —u/try_new_stuff
8. "Husband was reading a sign about watching your children on the trail at Gooseberry Falls in MN. He looks up to see middle child heading to the edge of the trail. People fall every year. Some die."
"I was further down the trail with the youngest. He kept a firm grip on her for the rest of the walk." —u/MNConcerto
9. "We moved into our new house on Halloween. Most of the heavy lifting was done, so the wife decided to unpack while I took our 8-year-old daughter trick-or-treating. We stepped outside, and I realized I left my phone inside. Standing on the front porch, I told her, 'Don't move, I have to get my phone. I'll be right back. Do not move.' She moved."
"It's a new neighborhood. Kids and parents everywhere. I'm running up and down the street frantically, and, after about 15 minutes, I spot a family — mom and dad and a handful of rugrats — with mine in tow.
They had a good laugh telling me they just turned around and there she was, having appeared out of nowhere. They decided to stay close, assuming some hysterical parent would eventually come running." —u/catching_comets
10. "When our daughter was around 3 and our son was 2, my wife went into the garage to grab a frozen pizza out of the deep freezer. One of the kids shut the door and locked my wife in the garage. She was banging on the door and could hear the little boogers in there laughing at her."
"My wife was not amused. She got a flathead screwdriver from my toolbox and managed to unlock the door. This all took 15 minutes or so.
When she got in the house, they were in their room watching cartoons and eating cookies that they managed to steal. They would’ve left her out there all night. It's funny 10 years later, but my wife was scared shitless. We have kept a spare key hidden in the garage ever since." —u/1980pzx
11. "My daughter was 18 months old, standing in between my husband and me in the kitchen, arm-distance from both of us. She slipped, fell, and broke two front teeth."
12. "I had been drinking scotch one evening while doing dishes. So I'm standing at the sink. I hear my 3-year-old stumble into the room, pull a chair out from the table, and climb up. I then hear a small voice say, 'Juice!' as I turn to watch him dump about 0.5 oz of single malt into his mouth."
"This was immediately followed by a gasp, then he turned bright white, then bright red. He went to bed early that night." —u/theservman
13. "I glanced at the salt, and my toddler daughter grabbed a whole new potato off my plate and shoved it in her mouth. She then tried to swallow it and choked."
"Longest 15 seconds of my life getting it out of her. Learn child first-aid, people! They are suicide machines as toddlers." —u/Mischeese
14. "When my daughter was little, probably about 3, she went with me to shop for some tools. I turned away to look at something and heard behind me, 'Daddy, what's this?' 'Uh, honey, that's an axe. Please give it to me.'"
"She did, and all was well, but I'm glad my wife wasn't there — she would have panicked." —u/retailguy_again
15. "So we took the kids (7, 3, 3, and 3) to a water park. One of us would stay in the kiddie area with two of the triplets, and the other parent would take one of the 3-year-olds and the 7-year-old on a ride. It was working pretty well. At one of the swaps, we blinked for a second, and our adventurous 3-year-old was gone."
"Note, the kiddie area was mostly contained, but there was no gate or anything. Instant 'oh fuck' panic. Get security there, staff is looking, I'm running around looking.
Anyway, we eventually found him. He had ridden a waterslide with my wife earlier and decided, 'That was fun, I'm gonna do it again.' He had gone back to get in line for the waterslide by himself, and they found him about two people from the front of the line." —u/RoboNinjaPirate
16. "My toddler grabbed a stick of butter out of the fridge and tossed it into the fish tank. Minutes later, all the fish were floating dead in the fish tank."
"Last time we owned fish." —u/earthenfirebrand
17. "My 5-year-old had a drawer of plastic cups that were always accessible to him. He could get a cup, fill it at the sink, and get a drink of water whenever he wanted. He had been doing it since he was 3. One day, he decided he wanted an actual glass of water. I got up to pee — away for literally a second — and he pulled out a chair, moved the chair to the kitchen counter, climbed the chair, and used the shelves to climb up to the glasses. I walked back into the kitchen the moment the top shelf broke. He fell backward."
"I dove forward and caught my son in midair, moments before his back landed in a pile of shattered pint glasses. My forearms, hands, and wrists were all embedded with broken glass. Anyway, it was quite a day." —u/MajorasJock
18. "I had taken my 4-year-old daughter into a public toilet in France, which was next to a main road. As we left, I let go of her hand for a split second as I looked away to close the door behind us. When I looked back, she was running into the main road as she'd seen her Mum on the other side."
"From where I stood, my view of the road was obstructed, so I couldn't see if any cars were coming, and she had gone too far for me to catch her. By a complete miracle, she got safely over the road. It sends shivers down my spine remembering the helpless terror I felt when I saw her in the middle of the road." —u/Goose-rider3000
19. "I was 2 years old at the time. We were at the beach. About two feet into the sea, there's a shelf where it suddenly gets twice as deep. My parents were distracted by my brother, so they didn't notice me wander into the surf. When they next looked up, all they could see was my hat away floating on the water."
"Panic set in, and my dad sprinted into the sea. They discovered that I was still wearing the hat and somehow floating completely vertical with just the hat showing above the water." —u/lankymjc
20. "My sister baked some cookies for work. When her 3-year-old daughter saw them, she asked for one. Instead of explaining she wasn’t allowed to have one, my sister said they were 'yucky.' Confident that her lie was successful, she turned to finish cleaning. My sister turned around just in time to see all the cookies slide off the plate into the garbage."
"Her daughter smiled and just said 'yucky.'" —u/DickyBurd
21. "I was at my buddy's place, sitting in the garden with a beer. His kids were 7 and 5 — both super nice. Out of nowhere, the eldest calmly walks up behind his dad and takes a full home-run swing at his head with his foam bat. Fucking clobbers him. This bat is coated in foam, but it's still wood beneath it, so it's basically mid-level assault, maybe attempted murder. Dazed, the dad turns round to defend himself, at which point the youngest sees his opportunity, grabs the beer from the table, and starts chugging it."
"Not just drinking it, full-on frat boy chugging it out of nowhere. In the three seconds it takes me to recover from the shock and reach across the table to stop him, the kid drank about two-thirds of the bottle. It's not much for an adult but a lot for a kid weighing about 14 pounds.
Within about three seconds, we went from nice family BBQ to concussed adult, domestically abused by a 7-year-old, and a wasted 5-year-old. It went real dark, real quick." —u/Black_Sky_Thinking
22. "I work from home. My 3-year-old son is usually with me while I work in the evening. One night, I take a call, and he was sitting on the floor next to me, playing with his cars. The next minute, I look over and watch him fly through the air next to me."
"He had climbed up on our table and just launched himself off! I always mute myself when I'm not speaking when he's home, so thank god the customer didn't hear my 'OH MY GOD' as I caught him." —u/as_told_byginger
23. "My then–5-year-old daughter was very defiant. She wouldn't get out of the car in the kiss-and-drop lane. I was four weeks postpartum — no shoes and dressed in sweat pants and a nursing tank. I hopped out to open her door, and she locked the doors."
"Here I am, lactating, blocking the line, ready to either collapse in an emotional sobbing heap or break the windows out of the car.
This escalated to the entire parking lot being rerouted before my neighbor showed up with spare keys. When my daughter saw her with the keys, she hopped out of the other side, yelled, 'Have a good day!' and ran into the school." —u/Chloedancer1234