Grandmother of unsupervised toddler speaks out

By Online News - Rereātea
  • Auckland

The grandmother of a toddler filmed crying and wandering in the street has stepped up to support her daughter in what she says was a major misunderstanding.

The online video of a woman finding the toddler and returning her home has gone viral with many people taking to Facebook to criticise the mother of the child.

Grandmother Katie Meke says the toddler was with a 25 year-old-relative when the mother left to collect another child from school, but admits the adult relative had fallen asleep and didn't see the toddler leave the house in search of  her mother.

Meke says she wasn't aware of the video until another daughter called her to tell her she had seen it posted on Facebook.

"She was crying on the phone and she was telling me about the video that she saw on Facebook.  So I had no other intention of working...I didn’t even want to work anymore.

"I just cried and drove straight to my daughter's house and she opened up the door.  I said “Wheres baba?”  I just walked in and grabbed her, grabbed my granddaughter and my grandson ran up to me as well and they were wondering why I was crying.  My daughter was asking me, “what is going on mum?” and I said nothing," Meke recalls.

Meke says although she had not personally seen the clip that went viral, she was 'angry' at her daughter.

"She tried to question me and I said I’m taking the kids now.  And then she said “whats going on?”  I just said go on Facebook and see it for yourself, I don’t want to tell you anything right now."

The mother of the toddler was unaware the woman who brought the child home was filming the ordeal.

“Oh my gosh, that lady put it up.  I didn’t know she was recording, I just said thank you to her.  I didn’t know anything like this would go on Facebook,”  the child's mother said. 

The children are now temporarily staying with Meke and her husband.  Meke admits her daughter made a mistake, although she insists her actions were not intentional. 

"She didn’t deliberately do it.  My daughter loves her children.  She has a 7-year-old boy.  Nothing like this has happened before.  I know my daughter loves her children.  It’s just that she was rushing to get her son that had finished school that was all.

"I’m here to support my daughter and I know my daughter, no one knows her better than me."

The children will remain with their grandparents while police investigate the situation. 

"I told her, after this investigation that if she agrees with me then baby is coming to stay with me because I'm home all day.  And baby can come and stay with her in the weekend.  I know she is going to reject it.

"She insists she misses her kids when they come to us too often. That’s her, that’s why I say she loves her children.

"This is a wake up call for my daughter, a very very big lesson for her," Meke concludes.