How To: Have every Mum freak out at playgroup (and appreciate that it could have been so much worse)


  1. Take Toddler to playgroup
  2. Get there 15 minutes too early (gate locked)
  3. Decide to go for a quick walk around the block with Toddler until it’s time to play
  4. Get back in time open gate
  5. Release the Toddler!
  6. Keep a eye on Toddler from a respectable distance while catching up with other Mum’s at playgroup
  7. Take turns keeping an eye on each others kids while helping out with different duties
  8. Watch Toddler go down slide
  9. Toddler runs to a toy truck and begins to load the back with random bits around play area
  10. Toddler rides truck around
  11. Toddler spots wheel barrow
  12. Toddler loads items from truck into wheel barrow
  13. Toddler takes the wheel barrow for a spin around the play area then puts it down
  14. Watch Toddler run to the bike shed
  15. Toddler grabs a toy shopping cart
  16. Watch Toddler wiz around with shopping card
  17. Look over at other kids and see FOUR pushing and riding a go-cart-trolley type toy
  18. Look back to Toddler and realise all five are on a collision course
  19. Freese in horror as too far away to do anything (other Mums are also too far away)
  20. Watch as toy shopping cart misses the kid in the front, but smacks into the main part of the go-cart
  21. Sprint with every ounce of held back energy (along with other Mums) to the carnage
  22. Toddler has landed on their back, with their legs UNDER the front wheels of go-cart-trolley and is NOT moving, crying or screaming…
  23. Look at Toddlers face – eyes wide open, looking at me with a smile on his face
  24. Glance up at other Mums and kids who are now saying things like “Oh! My GOD! Is he OK?!”
  25. Kneel next to Toddler and with Superhuman Mummy Strength lift the go-cart-trolley off their legs (So sure would not have been able to lift it up in usual circumstances)
  26. Toddler rolls over and stands up
  27. Give Toddler a quick hug and ask them if they hurt anywhere (while checking over with own hands for anything broken)
  28. Toddler replies with “Fun Mum!”
  29. Look at Toddler in disbelief as they remove themselves from the hug, pick up overturned trolley and carry on running around with it
  30. Notice that Toddler is walking/running fine
  31. Have a quick look at other kids and ask their Mum’s if anyone else was hurt
  32. Other Mum’s reassure that Toddler was the only one really in any danger and ask if I am OK
  33. Take deep breath and nod, realising that it could have been so much worse
  34. Spend rest of playgroup keeping firm eye on Toddler (who is crashing and bashing about as if nothing happened) and thanking lucky stars for such a laid back kid
  35. Other Mums come over and have a quick chat and comment on how their kid would have screamed and they themselves would have been a mess if that happened to them
  36. Assure the other Mums that if something was wrong or Toddler had been hurt, I’d have been a mess too and Toddler would have told us that it hurt
  37. Quietly think to self – for a moment there when frozen, the heart dropped and skipped a beat
  38. Get home and feed Toddler lunch, only then to realise that knees and bottom half of jeans are damp and covered in a little mud
  39. Later while having afternoon tea, find out that at another child care facility, a three year old boy died in an accident on the playground
  40. Sit stunned and think about how devastated the parents must be
  41. Pull Toddler a little closer for a cuddle and hold him tight – today could have turned out so much different.

My heart goes out to the family of the little boy who died in today’s accident. I am so sorry for your loss and I am thinking of you and your little angel.


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