Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is it just me?

Spoiled Princess took cupcakes to school today for her birthday (don't worry, I'll share pics in the next post) which means I had to take her to school, get out of the car with Fishing Pole & TheToddler in tow and carry 24 newly frosted precariously balanced cupcakes into school.  Or I would have if Daddy Chaos hadn't called off sick b/c he messed up his back yet again.  Instead I made him ride along and sit in the car with the boys.  The point here is that I would have done it. 

Just the same, the boys were napping when it was time to pick the kids up from school so I left them all at home and drove to the school early to park and go inside to help Spoiled Princess carry out the tray and any leftovers (Gasp! Yes there were 3 leftovers.  Sin, pure sin.).  Yet again, had Daddy Chaos not been home with a bum back I would have unbuckled the boys, put their coats on them (no coats in car seats- it's not safe) and crawled around the van to find TheToddler's shoes which he had probably pitched in different directions.  

Instead I went in alone. 

It was weird.

When I came out of the school with 2 kiddos in tow, two new cars had parked next to me.  As I'm sitting in my seat waiting on my super slow kiddos to get their coats off and get themselves buckled I happened to see a little flash of movement out of the corner of my eye. 

What was that?

I turned to the van beside me and sure enough there is a baby (less than 1) waving her little hand around at the mirror installed for her rear-facing infant seat. 

I looked a little closer and there is no parent in the car.  No adult anywhere within viewing distance.  Ohh and there's a preschooler strapped in too.

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I sat there for several minutes even though my girls were buckled in until the mother showed up because even though until that point I had no clue who's children these were I , as a stranger, didn't feel safe letting them stay there alone. 

Several minutes later their mother comes along with the school aged child that she had went up to the school to get.. Clearly out of line of sight.  I cannot be 100% certain but I did not hear any telltale click, nor did I see her keys in her hand (because they were in the ignition with the car running) so I am fairly certain the car was not locked either.

Sure we live in a small town.  But I would NEVER EVER leave my little kids alone in a vehicle. (With the tiny exception of my parents house- they live in the country virtually alone and I have been known to park at their garage and run in to pee or what not for a moment- in fact I will stop there if it's on the way rather than wait til I get home because I live and town & won't leave the kids in the car in the driveway)

  If I am craving a pop, sure I could park right in front of the gas station where I could clearly see the car at all times and just leave them in the car because it's more convenient than taking 2 kids in where one will likely run the minute his feet hit the ground & the other will likely cause some kind of scene.. BUT I don't! I never have.  If I need to run into the post office, the little ones run in with me. Sure it takes me 2 or 3 times as long but I know they are safe.   The only time I leave my kids in the car is if Drama Queen is in there as well & she is in charge.  If you aren't old enough to babysit then you aren't old enough to be left alone ANYWHERE.

 Is it just me? Maybe I'm crazy over-protective but I don't understand how people can think this is ok..   Ironically once the mother came back, I realized that I know her from MOPS. I should have said something but I didn't.

Everyone , please leave me a comment and tell me what you do. Do you leave your kids in the car alone? What are the circumstances? When do you feel it's "ok" to do it?  I really want to know your responses even if they aren't the same as mine.



  1. I'm on about the same page as you. I would, and have, left my kids in the car if I can see them. I have left them in the car in MY driveway and my best friends, but it just goes with the neighborhood I think. Same for the little gas station near my home, the one I can see the van at all times from.

    But never would I leave them unattended, especially in an unlocked vehicle, while I went all the way into a school or other building that I can't see the vehicle from at all times.

    And yes, that means I have drug THREE kids... one being an autistic 4 year old, another a wild 2 year old, and the third a baby... into various buildings. I am the strange woman who pushes her double stroller through the clinic, the store, the post office... you name it. But I'd rather haul out that thing (which isn't THAT heavy, just kind of odd to fit around in some places) than leave my kids in the car.

  2. I totally agree with you. I do leave my kids alone in the car in my garage while I run in to find something (usually my phone). I would NEVER leave my kids in the car and go where I could not see them. Period. Honestly, I think this is against the law. If it's not it should be.

  3. I have left my kids in the car and ran into the store, but here are the circumstances. Hubby was deployed, and for 2 straight weeks we couldn't leave the house, because of vomiting. So I drove to the local family dollar with the great big picture window ran in and grabbed milk, cereal, a few staples, some disinfectant and medicine. The doors were locked and the van was out of my sight maybe 2 minutes tops. 2 kids with cell phones in the car. I had mentioned to multiple friends we had nothing and no one offered help. It was to the point that I had literally nothing to eat. But if I took sick kids into the store I would have gotten the same look as leaving them in the car. I feel like I can't ever win.

  4. Nope, I would not leave them in the car in the pick up line at school. Good crap. I know it's a lot of extra, frustrating hassle to get the kids out and take them in. So is reporting a kidnapping. A toddler who gets out of his seat can cause all kinds of damage, from putting the car in gear, to checking out the cool push button that is a lighter and setting the car on fire. Which happened here.

  5. Thanks for the comments ladies! I guess it isn't just me!

    5 little monkeys -- I can understand your special circumstances and I think the difference there is that you obviously had two somewhat responsible children in the car (with cell phones). It sounds like you probably wouldn't have just left your infant and 3yr old in the car alone (if you have those ages! lol).

    Essie-- I know! Seriously? We have had several carjackings in the last year in the bigger city where ppl have stolen a car & oops, there's a kid in there.. Some parent left their kid in a running car (to keep them warm or cold) and ran into the gas station for something.. Sure it didn't happen here in our city but STILL! ugh.

  6. My kids are now older, but when they were younger, leaving them alone would NOT have happened.

    Now there was an incident where I left Freckles (then 8) in the front seat, I gave her explicit instruction to lock the doors, and I stood at the trunk of the car (I was dropping off an order) and talked for a bit. I NEVER LEFT THE TRUNK OF THE CAR! Little turd ended up locking us both out when she got out to ask me a question. I learned my lesson.

    Standing at the trunk of the car is one thing, or say getting gas, but to actually leave the immediate vicinity...absolutely NOT!


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