GILBERT, Ari. — A Gilbert mother is encouraging all parents to teach their kids their family’s address and phone number in a song, after her family had a scare earlier this week.
On Sunday, 5-year-old Jaymason Todd and his 4-year-old sister wandered off together as their father loaded groceries into the car.
“It was a matter of seconds, and they were gone,” said Amber Todd, the kids’ mother.
The brother and sister intended to go to a pizza place in the same shopping center, but turned the wrong way.
“I saw them around Baseline and Higley,” said Hardik Patel, who was jogging in the area.
“It seemed dangerous and they were really tiny kids. There was no one around so I thought, we need to stop and figure out what’s going on,” he said.
Patel asked Jaymason where he and his sister were going.
“He said he was on his way to a pizza restaurant. There’s no pizza restaurant around here so I was like OK, I think they’re lost,” said Patel.
As the children’s father frantically searched for the children and contacted Gilbert police, Patel stayed with the children.
He asked Jaymason and Tatum if they knew their parent’s phone number and address. He was surprised to learn they did.
“I called their mom and told them I had her kids and initially she freaked out a little bit,” said Patel.
“It’s the worst phone call you can ever get,” said their mom.
The childrens’ mother raced over to meet her kids at the intersection. Todd is thankful to Jaymason’s kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Corrie Schreiber at Entz Elementary in Mesa, for encouraging families to teach their children their family’s phone number and address in a song.
“I was like oh, that’s a cool idea. At first, I didn’t do it, then I was like, no, I’m going to do it; I’m going to teach him this information,” said Todd.
The brother and sister easily memorized the information.
“It’s seconds, and teach your kids in a song your information they will remember it. It might sound silly when you’re doing it, like, why are we doing this? That’s the point! It’s silly; it’s catchy. They’re going to remember it,” said Todd.
Jaymason’s teacher is thankful her lesson helped bring everyone home safely.
“It’s great information to get out there. I only ask parents to teach their children an address and phone number because at five years old, they are old enough and it is a life skill they need. A song helps the information be remembered,” said Mrs. Schreiber.
While Jaymason will be grounded for wandering off, his family says his bad decision is a lesson for all parents.
“If you can teach them how to recite your information because they went the wrong way, and they’re lost, then they can get back to you safely rather than a tragic thing that can happen,” said Todd.
The Todd family believes a dangerous situation was avoided thanks to the kids’ knowledge of their personal information, their kindergarten teacher and Patel.
“Thank you, Hardik, so much. I don’t know what I would have done without you,” said Jaymason.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You two are my heroes,” said Todd.