A 3-year-old Wisconsin child escapes the crib and heads to McDonald’s while mom and twin sister sleep

The little man really loved it! His mother, not so much.

A Wisconsin mother recalled the frightening moment she woke from sleep to find her child missing – only to find the three-year-old had escaped his crib and fled to McDonald’s.

“He wasn’t in the house. He wasn’t in the basement. He wasn’t in the front yard or the back yard,” Marissa Phiffer, the twins’ mother, explained on her now-viral TikTok.

“This little boy woke up, put his shoes on and went to McDonald’s.”

Phiffer told TODAY.com that she fell asleep next to the children.

However, when the mother awoke from her brief slumber, she made a heartbreaking discovery.

One of the twins, Aiden, wasn’t in the crib with his sister Aleiya — and worse, his shoes were missing.

Phiffer said she checked out the neighbor’s backyard — a place where her son is also known to hang out.

“I thought that’s where I would find him. They have a bunch of rocks and he likes to line them up and play with them,” Phiffer said.

The 23-year-old mother immediately called 9-1-1, terrified of what could have happened to her son right under her nose.

Police responded within “two seconds” with a photo of their son at the distraught mother’s home and later told Phiffer that Aiden was safe at McDonald’s across the street from her home — about a 0.2-mile drive.

Aiden after being picked up by his mother after going to McDonald's alone.
Aiden after being picked up by his mother after going to McDonald’s alone.

A concerned citizen noticed Aiden on his way to the fast food chain and called the police, Phiffer said.

“We run in and he yells ‘Hi Mom!'” Phiffer told the outlet, finding her son hanging out in the fast food chain’s play area.

Phiffer stated she was too relieved to be angry at her son since he was safe.

Aiden, who his mother says is a big McDonald’s fan, told her he made the independent trip because he was “hungry.”

“I almost bought him a Happy Meal, but I was embarrassed,” Phiffer said. “I just wanted out of there.”

When the mother arrived, she found her son hanging out with other children in the play area.
When the mother arrived, she found her son hanging out with other children in the play area.

Phiffer, meanwhile, has installed child-proof locks and deadbolts on the doors to prevent children from sneaking into the restaurant unsupervised.

Such is the craving of toddlers for McDonald’s that Phiffer explained that if they turned onto the restaurant’s driveway, he would wake up from a deep sleep.

“Fries, nuggets and slices of apple — he ate that every day,” she told the outlet. “But it was actually his first time going to PlayLand there.”

A McDonald's Happy Meal, similar to what Aiden likes to eat.
A McDonald’s Happy Meal, similar to what Aiden likes to eat.
Toronto Star via Getty Images

The TikTok has been viewed over 2.8 million times since it was posted on July 31 – and has garnered over 500,000 likes.

Commentators were pleased to hear the boy was safe and the mother was not alone in the fiasco of the wandering toddler.

“My son did that! “He didn’t walk to Mac Donald’s but walked across the street, me and my husband were sleeping, the cop came to our house,” shared a user of the mother.

Some even praised the boy’s determination.

“On the positive side, he’s a go-getter and has a lot of confidence. It’s been a long time since my kids went to a store by themselves,” one mother wrote.

“I want to send Aiden a McDonald’s gift certificate,” another commented, saying she was “so glad he’s doing well!” He’s a brave boy!”

Caroline Bleakley

Caroline Bleakley is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Caroline Bleakley joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Caroline Bleakley by emailing carolinebleakley@ustimetoday.com.

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