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What Would You Do?

Simple question — What would you do?

I was in the parking lot at the grocery store this weekend. I had just put my groceries and over-tired daughter in the car. I was pulling out of the parking spot when I realized that in the Subaru next to me there was a boy who looked to be about 3 years old, fast asleep and alone. A quick scan of the car and the parking lot turned up no apparent parent. I wanted to just stay and wait until someone returned, but New Girl was screaming in the backseat. I didn’t call the police. Should I have? Maybe the child was sick and Mom was running in to quickly pick up medicine at the pharmacy and didn’t want to disrupt a delicate sleep. Police intervention could have caused this mother to have her child removed from her custody. Would that have been right? Since becoming a parent I have a new appreciation for the variety of ways in which families go about their lives, what they think is safe, and was causes them concern. But in this case I just don’t know. What would you have done?


  1. Anonymous April 24, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I would have done the same thing.
    Bravo for not calling in the so called authorities. Parenting is not a one size fits all kind of thing. We need to take responsibility for our lives and quit relying on the government authorities to decide what is right or wrong.

  2. Anonymous April 28, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Part of me says I would have gone into the store and had customer service page the owner of the [color] Subaru in the store parking lot. Part of me says I would have stayed until the owner returned just in case the boy woke up alone and crying. I could not have left him there. I’m not a new mom, however, so New Girl being overtired and screaming in the backseat would have been my conscience not to let this happen to my child. My hope is that you were right, that Subaru Mom dashed inside and was out again before you even got out of the parking lot.

    Mother of 3 with 1 on the way!

  3. baby names May 5, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I don’t know what I would, probably the same thing.

  4. Anonymous May 5, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    When I was standing in line at a bank a few years ago there was a mom so embarrassed by leaving her sleeping toddler in the car she kept telling everyone about it and peeking out the window to check on him. She was frantic, every time another person walked through the door she reiterated her apology. It was a long line too.
    I hadn’t had my daughter at that point looking back i wonder if i should’ve offered to stand watch.

    I don’t know, I ‘d like to think I would’ve waited it out instead of reporting the person.

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