While I realize that most parents do not leave their child stranded at the bus stop, this did happen at our bus stop earlier this school year. A 6 year old girl got off the bus along with the other 20 kids and the driver drove off. The problem was that nobody was there for the girl. Her mother and grandmother had been taking turns getting her but that day neither one showed up.
I happened to look back after crossing the street with my triple stroller full of children and noticed her standing there crying. I walked back and asked the young lady if she knew her mother’s cell phone number. Two things became alarmingly obvious: English was not her first language and she was very scared. She did not know any phone numbers.
I did the only thing I could think of and walked the girl to her home, hoping that someone would be there, fast asleep on the sofa.
No such luck.
So now what do I do?!?!??
In the end I called the school and explained that I had a 1st grade student with me, waiting on the sidewalk, and that we had no way of contacting her mother. The school made a phone call and after another 45 minutes, Grandma finally showed up.
What would have happened if I hadn’t turned around? How long would the 6 year old have waited or what would she have done?
Have you ever had a toddler run off at the mall/store? If your toddler knows your cell phone number, s/he can help an adult track you down!
When my oldest was about 2 I made up a “sing-song” version of my phone number. I taught it to her and for a few days I asked her to sing it to me or with me and then over time I asked less frequently. This information has come in handy a few times. It’s comforting to me to know that she knows how to get a hold of me or can give other people my number if they need it.
My oldest is now teaching her little sister, who is 2, the same sing-song version of my phone number.
We did the same thing for our address. I felt a little silly (okay, a LOT silly!) making up the songs but it’s worth it. My child knows vital information about her life.
Why don’t you spend 5 minutes and make a song up for your phone number and teach it?? Songs are easier to remember than numbers!