A split second is all it takes for a mishap to happen

As parents, we can never be too careful but there are times when all it takes is a split second for a mishap to happen. This incident happened last week but my heart is still tugging heavily thinking about it. I did not want to share about it because it felt stupid on my part as I was at fault and I still can’t forgive myself but somehow I feel it is good to share so others can be more alert and not let this happen to them.

We were in a hotel that Thursday evening. We went up the elevator to the poolside and after spending some time there, proceeded back to the elevator to go down to the lobby. There are 4 elevators. Let’s name them 1, 2, 3 and 4. 

I was holding onto Ayden while big brother Ethan was standing next to the father. Elevator 2 was blinking indicating that it will open and is going down. At that very moment, Ayden took his hands away from me and walked towards the Daddy. I let him.

Elevator 1 opened before Elevator 2 and the Daddy thought of going into it but I told him that it is going UP so we should wait for Elevator 2 and so we waited. Just when Elevator 2 was about to open, I heard footsteps and to my horror I saw Ayden inside Elevator 1, ALONE and the door was closing!

I shouted for Ayden and the Daddy threw himself to the door just in the nick of time to squeeze his palm between the closing door to pry it open. He quickly carried Ayden out while I was slumped on the floor. My entire body went numb. 

Our world just froze that second while the Daddy was carrying Ayden tightly and Ethan holding onto me. Neither of us muttered a word. When I finally managed to shake myself out of that shock, the first thing I said was, “What should we do if the door really closed on Ayden?”. The Daddy answered, “I will run up the staircase and you will tell me by the phone which floor he stops. I will run like crazy but I will not stop until I find him”.

Both of us (the Daddy and I) then looked at the boys and told them, if that should ever happen to them, they should stay in the elevator until we find them. We told them NOT to leave the elevator. Just stay put until they see Daddy. But deep down in our hearts we know that it may not be possible for them to just stay put if there are others who boarded the elevator along the way and worse comes to worse, the people is a bad one :(

We went into the car still in a state of shock, thinking how did it happen. I recalled holding onto Ayden. I also remember him letting go to walk towards Daddy BUT I do not remember making sure to see if the Daddy noticed Ayden is with him and to hold his hand. This is where I was at fault. Ayden is my responsibility as I was holding him. I did not make sure the Daddy knows that Ayden is walking towards him. I assumed the Daddy is aware but the Daddy was more conscious of Ethan standing next to him. The Daddy assumed that I was taking care of Ayden while he is taking care of Ethan and in that split second, Ayden went into Elevator 1 because he heard the Daddy saying to go into that but failed to hear me saying that it is going up hence we should wait for Elevator 2. 

We are lucky the Daddy managed to hold the door open and get Ayden out of the elevator. It taught us a big lesson to NEVER be careless even for a second. Being a parent is tough. It doesn’t give us a chance for human error. We have to be alert at all times and never take things for granted. Don’t assume, MAKE SURE!

About the Author: Merryn Tan

20 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    Thank you for sharing this heart stopping experience and for reminding us that we can never let our guard down when it comes to taking care of children.

    • //

      Hence the saying once we are a parent, we will never stop worrying. Sigh.. I am still shaken till today. That image of the door closing on Ayden kept playing in my head. I will never let go of his hand again esp at public places :(

  • //

    Oh my. What a shock! I feel you, my dear.

    I always call out to hubby when my Jamie does not want to hold my hand. Jamie does that a lot lately. Want to walk by himself; does not want to hold my hand or been carried. So I always make sure both of me and hubby keep an eye on him. The other 2 are bigger now and they tend to stick to each other so we have less worry for them but then again, caution is been practised.

    Luckily nothing happen and Ayden did not cry. Must educate our children on safety nowadays.

    • //

      This Ayden can still laugh when we asked him what happened? He laughed and said he went into the wrong elevator. I told him don’t laugh, this is serious. I don’t want it to happen again :(

  • //

    Things happen! My girl was still a toddler and we were going to church. Dunno why the mum walked in the other direction, a longer way, oblivious to the fact that I was walking the other way with my girl. My girl pulled her hand free and went towards her mum…and a car came along and hit her…and I actually saw her flying in the air and landing on the road. Luckily, nothing broken – a little bleeding in her mouth where she bit her lip – that was all. A miracle!!!

    Like what happened to Annie’s son in the shower. We do not want such things to happen but they do. We do our best…but God’s will be done, pray always for His guidance and protection. I still do…to this day.

    • //

      Oh dear, Arthur! That is a scary episode! I can’t imagine seeing Melissa flew in the air like that! Indeed a miracle for her to come out of it with a little bleeding in her mouth. And yes, what happened to Annie’s son is frightening too. I can’t make myself to look through the pictures further :(

  • //

    i feel you too. my girl went in and the door closed…..a minute of hell for me. Daddy came out from parking and asked me where is Carol. I remembered he panicked and like ur hubby, proceeded to search floor by floor. I stay at lobby floor coz my instinct told me she’ll be coming down. True enough, after 30 seconds, door opened and there were her and a mat salleh. This mat salleh told me Carol went to 6th floor , same unit number and knocked on their door. We were at 7th floor. Carol was holding our room key when she disappeared behind the elevator. I could only thank God the mat salleh guy is very kind and not some kind of p#vert. Came to think about it, if she dissappeared longer then I’m gonna ask the reception to close the main hotel lobby until we found her. Merryn, dun be too hard on urself. We make mistake and we learn new coping skills. Mine is worst coz Carol is a girl.

    • //

      :O Okay now this is horrifying! Thank goodness for that kind soul.

      These are all lessons for us. Be more alert and not take anything for granted. I don’t wish to read about such incidents happening to any toddlers again and parents again.

      Sigh. I always thought of myself as always careful, but somehow, mistakes happened :(

  • //

    That’s so scary! Glad that everything is alright!
    But I think if Ayden didn’t press it then it won’t move right?

    • //

      Is it? I’m not too sure. But what if someone upstairs press for the elevator? It will go up right? Or even down?

  • //

    To make you feel not so bad.. let me share you something..

    B was left OUTSIDE the elevator a few months back when we travel!! I thought she has gone in the lift car together with me, and I went ahead pressing DOOR CLOSE! and when I turnaround, I didn’t see B with me in the lift car!!! Thank GOD that the lift wasn’t moving yet, and I managed to press OPEN DOOR again, and there I saw my B standing at there crying and the moment she saw me, she SCOLD me!!! WHY DID YOU CLOSE THE DOOR!!!

    • //

      Alamak Cyn, I feel you! Thank goodness all is well. Hugs. Hugs to B too.

  • //

    Oh my.. Really have to be more cautious. >< it happens…

    • //

      Yes Isaac, especially with two active boys -.-

  • //

    That was scary! Thank God Ayden is safe and that the elavator door could still be opened! Reading your blog each day makes me feel bond with your family and Ayden!

    • //

      Thank you Ranny for taking the time to read and bond with my family. I really appreciate that :)

  • //

    Yes, accident can happen in that split of second. Lesson to you, myself and all the parents out there :) *Hugs
    I will do that extra thing rather than regret when anything happen~

  • //

    Gosh my heart was pounding when i read this. Luckily Ayden didn’t go up alone. Similar thing happened to Ash when she was younger and we managed to stop the door from closing just in time. Scary!

  • //

    Aiyoyo, my heart froze too reading this. Ayden is a plucky boy. Twice he cheated extreme danger. God’s with him always.

  • //

    This happened to me when I was a kid too. My mom was really scared so I remember it but to me it was less scary coz I knew how lifts work so I know not to get out. I must admit, there was a few minutes where I got a little anxious wondering if my parents would get me or not, but of course they did. My mom panicked too and ran up the stairs like you would have done. There were no mobile phones at the time though so I actually found my dad first (who was waiting on a different floor than my mom) and my sister. I later learned they split up to wait on different floors so they would catch me (coz again, no cell phones) and my sis was really young so she went with my dad. My mom was the one running to different floors. Haha. I guess it was a different time also, it was the late 80’s so crime wasn’t that bad, and besides we were on vacation in Singapore (no lifts in Sibu then). I think it was at OG, a really old department store but one of the biggest in Singapore then.

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MeHome is where MY heart is.
I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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