An Oklahoma mom experienced what she called a "parent's worst nightmare" when both her kindergartener and her boyfriend's daughter were lost by their bus driver on their first day riding the bus.
The incident occurred after the bus driver deviated from the usual protocol, resulting in a mix-up in which the children were dropped off at the wrong bus stop.
After they failed to show up at home more than an hour after the appointed time, mom Kelly Mulholland became frantic. She took to TikTok to share exactly what happened, and to explain how her son and stepdaughter ended up going door-to-door in a strange neighborhood asking for help.
Footage captured by a Ring doorbell camera showed Mulholland's five-year-old son shakily and tearfully saying into the camera:
"I'm sorry. Would you help me find my mommy?"
When the kids did not initially show up, Mulholland confronted their bus driver, who gestured down the street and said he'd dropped them off at a different stop without giving any further details.
She then narrated what happened next:
"So I go back to my car to get my phone to call my boyfriend, and a car pulls up alongside of me and says, 'Hey, are you looking for 2 kids?'"
In a follow-up TikTok, Mulholland shared what went down when her boyfriend contacted the school, which informed them that the bus driver had violated multiple procedures that led to the incident.
Mulholland said she was told by the school:
"Policies were not followed. Not only did he not check to make sure what stop they were supposed to get off at, he's also not supposed to let them off of the bus without a parent present."
She went on to say that while she's not sure what specific actions were taken against the driver, the school had obviously made changes to ensure the incident never happened again.
"The department that we spoke to obviously was not happy about the situation, and they were very adamant that actions were going to be taken."
People on TikTok were shocked and outraged on Mulholland's behalf, with many fellow parents agreeing that the situation was, indeed, their worst nightmare.
Mulholland also applauded her kids for their quick thinking in how to handle the situation. While Mulholland's son rang doorbells, her boyfriend's daughter kept watch on the sidewalk to make sure he was okay.
It's unfortunate they had to think about such things, but it underlines the importance of teaching children what to do in the event of an emergency. Thankfully it all worked out in the end.