Becoming a parent is like instantly gaining 37 levels in a role-playing game—some acquire superhuman reflexes for whenever your kid decides it’s time to tumble down the sofa, while others get that perk where you don’t need a ‘long rest’ for days because you divide up your sleep into naps to coincide with the kid’s sleep schedule.
However, even heroes can err, and sometimes—just sometimes—there is a moment when we turn away for one gosh darn second and our kid is already gone like Copperfield vanishes from his glass boxes.
A netizen by the nickname of u/blamingpig456 asked parents of Reddit to share their I looked away for ONE second stories, which prompted nearly 10,000 comments and brought in over 42,500 upvotes and 180 plus Reddit awards.
We’ve collected the best stories from the viral post to create a curated list that you can find below. Scroll down to learn what the little critters ended up doing during that moment of complete freedom from their parents, and why not vote and comment on the stories you enjoyed the most!
More Info: Reddit
#1I swear babies that can't even flip over yet can teleport short distances when no one is observing them. You put that thing down in one spot, turn your back on it for one second and then it's moved a few feet away.
They can do this because they don't understand how it's impossible. When babies learn enough about physics and object permanence to be able to move and navigate they lose the ability to teleport, because then they know enough to figure out it can't be done.
Image credits: ThadisJones
#2I glanced at the salt, and toddler daughter grabbed a whole new potato off my plate and shoved it in her mouth. She then tried to swallow it and choked. Longest 15 seconds on my life getting it out of her. Learn child first aid people! They are suicide machines as toddlers.
Image credits: Mischeese
#3She found some glitter
Image credits: Selphis
#4We moved into our new house on Halloween in 2001. Most of the heavy lifting was done, so the wife decided to begin unpacking the important stuff and I would take our 8 year old daughter out trick or treating. We stepped outside and I realized I left my phone.
Standing on the front porch I tell her..."Don't move, I have to get my phone. I'll be right back. Do not move."
Narrator: She moved.
New neighborhood. Kids and parents everywhere. I'm running up and down the street frantically and after about 15 minutes later I spot a family, mom and dad and a handful of rugrats...with mine in tow.
They had a good laugh telling me they just turned around and there she was, having appeared out of nowhere. Decided to stay close assuming some hysterical parent would eventually come running.
Image credits: catching_comets
#5My son was 3. We were leaving Target. He left my sight as I was adjusting my bags. Maybe two seconds, tops. Poof. He was gone. I try to act cool , but my true crime podcast obsession got the best of me. The store locks down. We are all looking for him. People are checking cars outside. I’m calling my son’s name louder than any intercom system. We were just about to call police.
And then my toddler slides out of the cart area and acts like,”’Sup?” He decided it would be a most excellent idea to shimmy underneath the carts and sit there as the world turns inside out searching for him.
I hugged him and yelled at him for a good 10 minutes, ugly sobbing.
100/100 grateful for my Target folks. We catered lunch for them as a huge thank you and sorry my kid is an a-hole.
Image credits: Italics12
#6When I was a kid my mom was watching me play while hanging laundry. When she turned to hang a garment I discovered a “bouncy spot” in the grass and fell down a 100ish year old abandoned well. She said that day took years off her life.
Image credits: nervousdonut
#7My older brother was the kind of baby that would get into things if you didn’t pay attention to him for second and it drove my parents crazy. My aunt told my mom she was just a bad parent so my mom said “Ok then. You babysit him tomorrow when I’m at work.” The next day my aunt called my mom while she was work freaking out. There was white smoke coming from up stairs and it turned out that my brother got ahold of baby powder and was just going ham on it upstairs. After that my aunt apologised to my mom.
Image credits: Angelic_Demoness
#8Not me but my wife. Our two younger kids are 14 months apart. When our daughter was around 3 and our son was 2, my wife went into the garage to grab a frozen pizza out of the deep freezer and one of the kids, not sure which one, shut the door and locked my wife in the garage. She was banging on the door and could hear the little boogers in there laughing at her. My wife was not amused, she got a flathead screwdriver from my toolbox and manage to unlock the door. This all took 15 minutes or so, when she got in the house they were in their room watching cartoons and eating cookies they manage to steal. They would’ve left her out there all night. Its funny now 10 years later but my wife was scared s**tless. We have kept a spare key hidden in the garage ever since.
Image credits: 1980pzx
#9It was 23 years ago, but still fresh in my mind.
I looked in my rearview mirror, and my son, in his car seat, was happily gazing out the window, gnawing on a chicken McNugget.
I hadn't been to McDonalds in weeks.
My memory is fresher than that Mcnugget was.
Image credits: seattleite4
#10I was making dinner for my twin 18mo when boy twin starts to fuss, so I carefully put the knife about a foot away from the edge of the counter. I intentionally put it away from the edge because my girl twin is NOT to be trusted. I go change my boy and turn around and my girl is casually holding my large, sharp chopping knife. I had to get it from her like a hostage negotiator so she wouldn’t run away with it. I couldn’t figure out how she got it so I looked at the video and as soon as my back was turned she was grabbing the cutting board to pull the knife closer and then immediately skipped over the carrots and peeler to grab the knife. I was clearly correct in not trusting that feral child
Image credits: try_new_stuff
#11I had taken my four year daughter into a public toilet in France, which was next to a main road. As we left, I let go of her hand for a split second as I looked away to close the door behind us. When I looked back she was running into the main road as she'd seen her Mum on the other side. From where I stood, my view of the road was obstructed so I couldn't see if any cars were coming, and she had gone too far for me to catch her. By a complete miracle, she got safely over the road. It sends shivers down my spine remembering the helpless terror I felt when I saw her in the middle of the road.
Image credits: Goose-rider3000
#12Went to the toilet, leaving the newborn asleep on a blanket on the floor (on top of a large fluffy carpet). 3 year old was watching tv nearby. Came back to find baby literally rolled up in carpet like a dead body, 3 year old sitting on top, with a cushion under him too. Still don’t know how he did it at all let alone so quickly, and how the baby was totally chilled and unharmed.
Image credits: peripateticpeople
#13I was shopping in Sears with my son who was 4 years old at the time. I had to speak to one of the employees and I turned and he was gone in a matter of seconds.frantically calling his name, people are helping me look for him 10-15 minutes go by I'm crying I am extremely distressed of course and I hear a man calling and waving "over here over here " I run over to where he was and there is my 4-year-old sitting on a riding lawn mower that was on display making his vroom vroom noises, happy as a lark.
Image credits: moogiemomm
#14Left my son at the kitchen counter while preparing pancakes. One minute he’s there, the next thing I know he’s successfully empties the syrup bottle All. Over. The. Couch. I mean puddles of syrup in our cushions and pillows. First time as a parent I remember calling my mom crying because I was at such a loss for how to clean it all up.
Image credits: ashleynr12
#15Getting ready for my first Christmas party at a company. It's a family affair. We all looked great. Hubby was already in the car, ran to the bedroom for something I forgot, we were running a little late. Ended up going to to the party with my 3 year old looking like a smurf because he thought my blue nail polish was "just like mommy's makeup". Still to this day don't know how he got the cap unscrewed because he's 10 now and can't open an already cracked bottle of water to save his life
Image credits: Regular_Award_3200
#16My daughter was 18 months old. Standing in between my husband and me in the kitchen, arm distance from both of us. She slipped, fell and broke two front teeth.
Image credits: Why_So_Slow
#17So we took the kids (7, 3, 3 and 3) to a water park. One of us would stay in the kiddie area with 2 of the triplets and the other parent would take one of the 3 year olds and the 7 year old on a ride. It was working pretty well.
Note, the kiddie area was mostly contained, but there was no gate or anything. At one of the swaps, we blinked for a second and our adventurous 3 year old was gone. Instant oh f**k panic. Get security there, staff is looking, I'm running around looking.
Anyway, we eventually found him. He had ridden a waterslide with my wife earlier, and decided "That was fun, I'm gonna do it again" The 3 year old had gone back to get in line for the waterslide by himself, and they found him about 2 from the front of the line.
Image credits: RoboNinjaPirate
#18I had been drinking scotch one evening while doing dishes. So I'm standing at the sink. I hear my 3 year old stumble into the room, pull a chair out from the table and climb up. I'm not thinking anything of this until I hear a small voice say "Juice!" as I turn to watch him dump about 1/2oz of single malt into his mouth. This was immediately followed by a gasp, then he turned bright white, then bright red.
He went to bed early that night.
Image credits: theservman
#19I work from home. My son is usually with me while I work in the evening. One night I take a call, he was sitting on the floor next to me playing with his cars (he's three). The next minute, I look over and watching him as he is flying through the air next to me. He had climbed up on our table and just launched himself off! I always mute myself when I'm not speaking when he's home so thank god the customer didn't hear my OH MY GOD as i caught him lol
Image credits: [deleted]
#20I was the child in question, two years old at the time. We were at the beach, where about two feet into the sea there's a shelf where it suddenly gets twice as deep. My parents were distracted by my brother, so didn't notice me wander into the surf. When they next looked up, all the could see was my hat away floating on the water. Panic set in, and my dad sprinted into the sea. Discovered that I was still wearing the hat, and was somehow floating completely vertical with just the hat showing above the water.
Turns out this is not that uncommon! Remember, when you're near a body of water, never stop watching the kids.
Image credits: lankymjc
#21My toddler at the time grabbed a stick of butter out of the fridge and tossed it into the fish tank. Minutes later all the fish were floating dead in the fish tank. Last time we owned fish
Image credits: earthenfirebrand
#22Not my kid, but about 20 minutes ago a toddler just kinda... wandered into my apartment. I had the door unlocked so maintenance could come in and out while working on something. My daughter and I heard the TV go on and sure enough some little blonde girl with cute pigtails is just plopped down watching cartoons. Lol. Her parents were probably s***ting bricks.
Image credits: GarbageDayyyyy
#23My daughter said "Ouch" and was looking at her thumb. A few minutes later the same thing happened. That is when I realized she was trying to stick a paper clip in an electrical outlet.
Fortunately no harm. I think that was the last time she was allowed to go to work with daddy.
Image credits: Morganzata
#24Woke up once and my two sons had climbed out of a window onto a flat roof. They were 1 and 3. I still don't know how they even got the window open.
Image credits: [deleted]
#25Telling it on my dad's behalf. On a fishing trip and I fell in a rapid while playing on the rocks. Never a strong swimmer, just kinda started my travel to the sea. He barely caught me by the arm.
Image credits: Dangercakes13
#26When my daughter was little, probably about 3, she went with me to shop for some tools. I turned away to look at something and heard behind me "Daddy, what's this?" "Uh, honey, that's an axe. Please give it to me." She did, and all was well, but I'm glad my wife wasn't there--she would have panicked.
Image credits: retailguy_again
#27Growing up we had a shed with our laundry room attached to our porch. My mom had me sitting on the floor of the porch playing with some toys (I was about 2), while she was doing laundry. I was just out of her eyeline for the time it takes to start a load of laundry, but by the time she turned around I had somehow managed to find a snake and had picked it up and was playing with it.
Image credits: imwalkingafteryou
#28Went to pee , put my kiddos in there room with the door open and the gate up. I also had the bathroom door open...come out to find a dozen eggs cracked on the kitchen floor and into the butter and my youngest covered in peanut butter naked. My now ex husband was sleeping...I walked into our room woke him up and tagged out..my brain was fried at that point. To this day I have no clue how they escaped, they are 16&18 now.
Image credits: HolyPallyGirl
#29He was playing outside in the sand box just 10 feet from me. I had the window and door open and could hear him playing. Suddenly I was aware that he wasn't making any noise. I couldn't find him. I searched the yard, I asked strangers on the street and made a larger and larger circle and met my neighbors. 10 long minutes and he was nowhere. He had curled up in his stroller and was asleep.
Image credits: DarrenEdwards
#30I looked away for 1 second and my son (1yr at the time) ate my pack of cigarettes that I thought he couldn't reach. Called poison control and they told me he'd be fine, and he'll probably throw up. When he did throw up, noticed he only ate a little bit if the tobacco, no filters or anything. I quit soon after that.
Image credits: Iamthe8percent
#31On more than one occasion my daughter jumped into her bath fully clothed. I was turned around to get the bubbles or her toys or something and then SPLOOSH. She was like 2. Lol
Most recently I was sitting down after finishing some chores and she walked up to me really proud with a chunk of her hair. "Look mama, I cut my hair!" She just turned 5...
Image credits: kannakantplay
#32I was sitting in a high chair, climbed out of it, onto the counter, and stole my mother’s coffee.
All she did was to put her shoes at the door, 3 feet away
Image credits: FANTOMphoenix
#33Obligatory not a parent: I was watching my sister's kids and told them we would grill for dinner and have pie. I went to the bathroom, came back, and the pie was ALL OVER the living room. When I asked them what happened, they told me it was daylight savings time, so dinner was now. I couldn't help but laugh.
Image credits: RubyRogue13
#34Nothing compared to others , but last week I took my 3yo son to use the public urinal after dinner in the city, I look away and he’s lent forward and placed his hands on the urinal to watch the water fall over his hands… gross to say the least
#35My mom recounted a visit at the zoo where I ran into the pond and she had to fish me out before I submerged myself under the water.
Image credits: TituCusiYupanqui
#36Not a parent, but my little brother somehow made it to stick 3 discs and a 50ct coin into the Wii. We needed tweezers to get them out again
#37My mom had gotten me one of those huuuge snickers bars for Christmas one year. My kiddo was 3 at the time, I was doing something and come back to the kitchen to see the snickers with the chocolate eaten off of one end, like, teeth marks scraping off the top layer of chocolate, and the whole thing in the trash. Kiddo was smart enough to try and hide his crime.
#38when my sister, brother and I were young, probably 2, 4 & 5 or thereabouts...my mom left the room for 2 minutes and in that time we had managed to spray an entire container of baby powder around the room. She said it looked like it had snowed in there.
Image credits: happy_freckles