About a year ago we found a child wandering around the park I worked at. He couldn’t have been more than 2 years old. He was old enough to walk, but not talk. Old enough to find the park, but not able to find his way back home. We didn’t know his name, how he got there, what would become of him. He was still in his pajamas at almost 11am. He had a diaper on that was probably from the night before, it was so full. He wasn’t scared, but wasn’t sure. He was dirty and lost and, of course, my mommy instincts kicked right in.
Luckily, I had plenty of clean diapers and toys in my minivan. I changed him and gave him a safe space to play in my office until we could figure out his fate. The Sherriff’s department came to pick him up. At that point, I was glad I had changed him, because these officers certainly weren’t prepared for such a thing. I half cringed as they took him away. Mostly because of the obscenities they were using to describe the person who could be so irresponsible to be missing a child and not be frantically looking for them.
A few hours later we found out that the boy lived 3 blocks from the park. He crossed multiple streets to get to our park and whoever was supposed to be watching him (a young man) was very embarrassed to have multiple squad cars at his front door and all the neighbors out watching as this boy was brought home. I found it just heartbreaking to hear. It’s been a year, why revisit this now? Well, my boys are out of diapers and “what if”?
What if this happened again? What if next time I don’t have diapers in my car? What if it happened at another park? City hall? Does the Sheriff station even have diapers? We have a decent sized stash of size 6 diapers and I’m dedicated to making “Mommellah ‘Mergency” Bags. Bags that facilities across Bellflower can keep for, g-d forbid, another issue like this arises.
What is in my Mommellah ‘Mergency bag?
- Diapers (size 6 because you can always fold it down to fit the child)
- Receiving Blanket (in case there’s no clean surface to lay child down on)
- Diaper Cream
- A roll of plastic bags (for dirty diaper safe disposal)
- A small child appropriate toy
- Safety swabs
- Feminine pads (because all women have emergencies sometimes)
I’m starting off with 3, with goals to create and distribute more. If you’d like a kit at your facility, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to help, please consider donating the following
- Any of the above items
- Small backpacks
- Gallon and/or quart size Ziploc bags
- Gift cards to big box stores or online retailers
Mommellah – working on positive change, one poopy diaper at a time
Update: June 2017
I had a great surprise at work yesterday! Someone mentioned my Mommellah ‘Mergency kits to the City Manager and I was presented with an in service award and a $50 Amazon gift card. How thoughtful and generous of the City of Bellflower! They made me promise I would spend it on myself and not more Mommellah ‘Mergency kit supplies, so I started campaigning for more donations to make more kits to distribute elsewhere.
As great as the recognition was, I am mostly looking forward to hearing that someone used and was helped by the kits!