Adventurous Toddler Scares Parents to Death

The title of this blog may be a bit misleading. I use the word “adventurous” very loosely, and the tot’s parents are still alive.

Perhaps you’ll see why I chose the title once you read about 3-year-old Joshua Childers latest misadventure.

According to reports, the toddler wandered out of his home around lunchtime. His mom says she went to take a nap and left Joshua’s dad in charge. Meanwhile Daddy Childers claims he was on the phone when his toddler decided to take a hike—-literally.

As it turns out young Joshua not only made it down his driveway in one piece, he kept on trucking and ended up in Mark Twain Forest in Madison County, Missouri, far away from the comforts of home. Very, very far… as in rugged terrain, mountains, bears, snakes and other non-kid friendly creatures.

Did I mention the toddler went missing wearing just a pull-up diaper, a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers?

It’s no wonder why searchers were frantically looking for the boy before the sun set and the temperatures dropped.

Fortunately, the story has a happy ending (believe it or not), thanks in large part to a searcher named Donnie Halpin. The volunteer told news reporters that he found Joshua near some large trees with his bottom sticking straight up in the air.

“I could just see the little part of his little butt sticking up there, and I took a couple more steps, and I could see his legs,” said Halpin. “I thought the worst at first. I said, ‘Hey, buddy,’ And that little feller just sit right up, gets a little smile on his face and I asked him, ‘Do you want to go home?'”

Joshua nodded yes, and was reunited with his parents after being treated by emergency crews for scrapes and bruises.

Happy ending aside, it does raise the issue of toddlers leaving their homes without anyone noticing. I suppose if you have a large home or you are simply engrossed in another activity, your kid has a good chance of escaping unnoticed.

Has your child ever left your home without you knowing it?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.