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‘I Woke Up and He Was Not Here’ – Missing Toddler Found in Unlikely Place

Marissa Jalea woke up from a nap with her toddler expecting to see him snoozing beside her. Instead, he was nowhere to be seen. She checked everywhere in the house and nope, her missing toddler, Aiden had disappeared without a trace.

This stomach-churning moment is something many parents can relate to. Wake up from a “quick 10-minute nap” three hours later, confused and unsure if it’s morning or night, with no toddler next to you. In most instances, you’ll uncover your tot somewhere in the house, most likely helping himself to snacks in the pantry or colouring on the walls with texta.

But not Marissa. Instead, she found that Aiden had left their house and walked to Mcdonald’s.

The cheeseburgers were calling 

Marissa shared the story on TikTok:

“I woke up and he wasn’t in the house. I just had to run out of my front door because I woke up and this little boy was not here. He was not in the house. He was not in the basement. He was not in the front yard or the backyard. He was not around the block.”

Where was he? While his mum was sleeping, little Aiden woke up, put on his shoes, left out the front door, and walked to Mcdonald’s.

While Marissa didn’t want to give away her exact location, she did explain that the Mcdonald’s was about 300 meters away from her house and he had to cross a busy street to get there.

Marissa admits she’s never been so scared in her entire life. As soon as she realised he was gone, she called the police who discovered the her missing toddler in the Mcdonald’s play area playing with some other kids.

Missing toddler found in mcdonalds
Aiden decided to let his mum sleep and took off to Maccas alone. Source: Bigstock

When they found him, apparently he just said, “Hi mum!”

“Y’ALL I GENUINELY HAVE NEVER FELT SO SICK and SCARED! You never think it can happen to you until it does!! Y’all know I got this house baby-proofed as much as possible but OMG,” she wrote in the caption.

While, at the time, the situation was horrendously scary, Marissa is able to look back on it now and have a bit of a laugh.

“It’s not funny, it’s hilarious that his fat a** went to McDonald’s,” she wrote.

@mamarissax2 YALL I GENUINELY HAVE NEVER FELT SO SICK & SCARED! we already had the basement door switched out so we can lock it at night but NOW i need something for the front door! You never think it can happen to you, till it does!! Yall know i got this house babyproofed as much as possible but OMGG#greenscreenvideo#autismawareness#fyp#aidenandaleiya#twins#escapeartist#scared#twinsoftiktok#omg#runaway ♬ original sound – Marissa Jalea

Jokes aside, what to do if you lose your child

It’s not something anyone wants to think about happening, but, if you do lose your child in a crowded area, mum Krista Piper Gundrey has some excellent advice. Rather than calling out their name, call out what they are wearing.

This almost acts like a call to action to those around you. Stop and start looking for a child wearing that outfit. Calling a child’s name, which is what most of us would do if we lost our child, doesn’t help strangers assist in the search. Calling out the outfit does.

So if you ever hear a frantic parent call a child’s clothing description out in public, take it as a call to help out. Be alert, look around and hopefully, with the help of more eyes, locate the missing child.

Other safety tips to prevent losing your child 

Supervision is key, but if you ever lose your child in a crowd, these smart safety tips can hopefully help locate your child easier.

ALWAYS MAKE A PLAN: Wherever you go, always have a ‘meeting point’ in place just in case. Under a tree at the beach. Next to a park bench at the playground. Beside the self-checkouts in Kmart. In front of the cafe at a busy trampoline park. Try to keep the same meeting place every time you visit that specific location.

BRIGHT CLOTHING: This is especially important if you are around water. Choose bright-coloured swimwear to easily locate them. Check out this swimsuit colour chart which actually demonstrates the most suitable colour choices for swimsuits (orange and pink are standouts).

SMART WATCH WITH GPS: We’ve sung the praises of smart watches several times, not just for an activity tracker and phone, but also for their GPS capabilities. You can see where your child is through the app at any time.

WRITE THEIR NAME: This is an important one if travelling overseas with kids. Write their name and number on a child’s wrist or place a piece of paper with this info on it in their child’s pocket. Explain to them that if they get lost, they can show this piece of paper to an adult. For older children, teach them your phone number as soon as you can.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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