Life Is Just So Daily

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Am I so sane that you just blew your mind?"

Above Quote: ----Cosmo Kramer, Seinfeld


Today, a woman blew my mind.
White Nissan Maxima, license plate --- VJD.
African American female with very short hair & a super smile.
Ignorant, but looks rather friendly.

Today, lady, you blew my mind.
You zipped around that Tom Thumb parking lot, ensuring that you got that primo spot. Yes, I know...go ahead. Clearly, by the way you cut me & other drivers off (and I wasn't even going for the parking spot!) you really wanted the spot. And in your mind, I'm sure you had good reason. Why? Because shopping with a toddler really isn't that much fun, is it? Yes, I know---I had my 3 year old son with me. You on the other hand, decided that your Maxima and your front-row-Joe parking spot were adequate babysitters so that you wouldn't have to take your toddler into the store with you.

As I approached the store, I saw your child in the backseat. In his carseat, content. He wasn't crying. He didn't appear to be afraid. Was this your first time to do this? He seemed like it was a perfectly normal part of his existence. That's frightening.

I reached for your doors. They were locked. Is that a good thing? Well, at least strangers and/or predators would have to BREAK IN to get at your child...but then again, so would rescue workers. Your child didn't even flinch when I tried to open each of the doors. That's...odd.

Your keys were in & the car was running. So, I wasn't too much concerned with hyper- or hypothermia. But now we've got ourselves a whole bunch of other dangers---his window will work. He can get himself trapped in that window. He can switch the car into gear hurting/killing himself or others. So many dangers that you've exposed him to for your in & out shopping convenience.

Maam, I was there. The parking lot was full. Everyone & their cousin was there shopping & stocking up on New Year's munchies. There's no way you were going to be "in & out." Even still, that doesn't matter. As the law stands now, you broke it because you were in Tom Thumb for more than 5 minutes. In that amount of time, all kinds of horrible things could have happened. Today you're lucky---because they didn't happen to you, and they didn't happen to your son.

What further blew my mind: you came out, and stepped around my son & me as we were guarding your car & child. You loaded your groceries into your backseat, locked the car again, and walked off to another store. Had errands to run, did you? In that moment, my hands trembled, and I was talking to 911 again. Thanks for flashing me a smile just as I was about to say something to you. In that moment, I was afraid that I would lack diplomacy & tact, and somehow end up saying or doing something that I may regret. What kept me from bashing your windows in & removing your child from that car? A few things: (1) the promise from 911 dispatch that a police officer was on the way, (2) I didn't want my child to witness any arguments that may go on between you & I, and (3) I didn't want glass to hurt your child.

You went to another store, and then returned to your car. You walked around me again to get into your car. Again I found myself weak & unable to formulate just the right words to say to you. You flashed that smile again, got into your car, and backed out of your spot. You were on your way....and lucky you, your child was not hurt today.
I cancelled with 911, and let them know that you returned to your car & left the shopping center.

I went into the store, fuming, and called my mother to vent. Of course that's when the "I should have said..." and the "I should have..." popped into my head left & right. ["Your Honor, I wasn't maliciously keying her car. I was keeping record of the minutes that she left her child unattended in the car. Unfortunately I had no pen or paper with me."] And, my momma gave me permission to break the windows & rescue a child. She said that she would write me a note excusing me if I get into any trouble for it. And paying to replace a window can't be THAT expensive if you think about the life you may be saving. I'm just sayin'....

So, I was in the hectic & crazy grocery store, pushing one of those humongo-carts with the truck thing on the front. I really hate those flippin' things. But maam, you'd hate it even more if you never got the chance to take your son to the grocery store again.

My son was hungry & wanted Craisins. I went ahead & opened the bag & let him snack on them throughout the store. Suddenly the darn basket wheel wouldn't go. I bent down to check it out & discovered gummed up Craisins on the wheel. UGH! I looked behind me down the aisle...My son left a Hansel & Gretal trail of Craisins as far as I could see. Oh No! But---at least my son was safely tucked into the shopping cart & ABLE to leave that little trail.

You dodged a bullet today. My shopping trip with my son in the mega-crowded store was trying. I admit it. But it was worth it. It was worth it to me to power through with him by my side. The alternate behavior of leaving him the car could be deadly for him. You are so lucky that none of the terrible things that your negligence could have caused did not happen to you today. Other parents have not fared so well, and I'm sure they'd give ANYTHING to turn back time, and undo one moment that contributed to their child's/children's death(s)/harm.

Your actions today blew my mind. Wherever you are now---you are probably blissfully unaware of how lucky you are. And your child has no idea what grave dangers he faced today.

So, maybe I'm so sane that you just blew your mind...no, no....you're blissfully unaware that your actions today were both criminal & negligent.

My mom & I have decided that 911 probably knows me now. I'm not afraid to call & report this type of stuff. If I don't do it, who will? I can't tell you how many people walked by that car & paid no attention to the little boy all alone in the car. I'm sure others thought I was crazy for just standing there by a car with one little boy inside, and one little boy outside with me. When my son asked, "Why'd his mommy just leave that boy in the car?" Unfortunately, my emotions got the better of me, and through tears I said, "Because his mommy doesn't love him enough to take him with her." I admit that response was fueled by emotion and was completely biased. What I should have said was, "Because his mommy is not educated about the dangers of leaving kids unattended in cars." For that I apologize...but only a little... Besides---you didn't hear me, and neither did your son.

But hey---don't mind me. I'm just the aunt of dead baby; what would I know about all this, right?

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23 Comments:

At 2:33 PM , Blogger Misguided Mommy said...

oh my gosh honey. i'm sooo sorry this had to happen. and you are so much stronger then me because i think i would have keyed her car, left a note and probably harassed the police more so they came faster. i don't know how you kept a straight face! thankfully you were there to make sure nothing happened.

 
At 3:44 PM , Blogger Pam said...

You are such a good person, Lainey. Thankfully, there are people like you looking out for a little boy that you don't even know. You are so brave for standing there by her car. She had to know why you were there, right?! I will never be able to wrap my mind around that kind of ignorance. I am praying for that women today and praying for you, my friend!

XO

 
At 5:02 PM , Blogger Elaine said...

You did the right thing. I'm sure it was extremely difficult not to get into a verbal (or even physical!) altercation with this woman. I would not hesitate for a second to call 911 if that happened to me. I once did the same thing to a person with a DOG in the car on a hot day.

You are keeping your nephew's memory alive in a very real way by looking out for children like this.

 
At 6:18 PM , Blogger Laura said...

Oh my! How you kept your cool, I do not know...some people have no frigging brains. WOW. So glad you called.....

 
At 6:34 PM , Blogger Chris & Leslie said...

Laine I wish you would of said something, because, unfortunately there are MANY ignorant people in the world and maybe, just maybe, by you saying something to her she would of realized how dumb it is to do that! (yeah right) But I WISH! I can't belive the cops or EMT never showed up...they showed up within 6 minutes the last time I called!

 
At 7:52 PM , Blogger ~love said...

geez...that makes me sick.
but, you are right....she is just uneducated and ignorant. and you have probably educated at least one person with just this post...probably many more. glad you were there for that little boy.

 
At 9:13 PM , Blogger Just Me said...

That is wild. It's so very hard for me to believe that people still do that. It makes me angry. I won't even run in to pay for gas with my kids in the car...let alone run errands. It's insane. Good for you for calling 911..I almost wish that they had gotten there in time...to make her aware of just how dangerous her actions were. People need to be made privy of their irrational ways. Also, never feel bad about saving someone's life. Thank God you stayed and watched her child. God Bless and Happy New Year..It's going to be divine in 09! That's my confession and I'm sticking to it...and now this comment is waaaaay toooo long!

 
At 9:52 PM , Blogger Zephra said...

There is NO excuse to leave your child in a car alone. And anyone who says they dont know any better should not be a parent. If you do not want to deal with your child while shopping then either get a sitter or dont have kids. This just disgusts me to no end. Did you give her license to the police? If nothing else they can send her a letter telling her it is against the law. I am shocked. Why take just a chance with your most precious possession?

 
At 12:31 AM , Blogger *~Sarah Lynn~* said...

People are so unbelievable.... thank god you around, you were that little boys angel that day, watching out for him. Happy New Year!

 
At 8:47 AM , Blogger Robin said...

I wished you had waited for the police! She needed a wake up call!
This makes me upset along with the people who drive with children in NO carseat or in their lap!!
Ugh!
Happy New Year...on a better note!

 
At 10:47 AM , Blogger Cheryl said...

People continue to amaze me! Thank goodness you were there for that little boy!

 
At 11:17 AM , Blogger Beth said...

So sorry you had to endure that but bless you for guarding that little boy.

 
At 7:47 PM , Blogger Kate said...

You are a tireless protector of children. For fear of sounding trite, you make the world a better, safer place. You inspire me! And I am impressed with how you kept your cool. Truly.

 
At 8:11 PM , Blogger Bonnie said...

Unbelievable. Can she be reported to CPS so they will investigate? They could certainly find her from the license plate.

 
At 9:05 AM , Blogger Jiff said...

OMG. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face. And I am with you. I work for pediatric emergency room physicians...so I hear about horrible things ALL the time. And you are a much nicer person than me. I would've said something the first time she came back. I would've been semi-nice about it (until she started acting like a bitty hole) and let her know your story, that you were there guarding her child, etc.

What irritates me SO much is that an officer didn't get there in time to arrest that terrible mother. You're right -- she's uneducated. Or just stupid and careless. Every mother knows that we all make dumb mistakes. But THAT is NOT one of them. We think about what COULD happen to our child well before the given opportunity on most things. So I think your comment to Gage was fine. What was his response?

I can't believe that woman didn't find it weird that a stranger was standing by her car both times she came out. THAT'S FRIGHTENING!!!!

 
At 10:39 AM , Blogger lisa said...

Lainey, I would have been right there with you. Actually, reading I kind of felt like I was. It made my stomach knot. I don’t blame you for not saying anything to her. You never know what someone is going to do. Obviously she doesn’t have much sense anyway. You were right too to call 911, and to try and let them handle it. I hope that they asked for the tag, and maybe something will come of that.

I know that sometimes it might seem like you try to make a difference and you can’t. The police didn’t get there fast enough, you didn’t say anything to the mom, or just that you didn’t get through to her to change her behavior. But I just want you to know that you are making a difference. You are teaching Gage a really good lesson about helping other people by watching after someone else’s child, because they are not. And you are sharing this story with us. I for one am glad you were there.

 
At 12:52 PM , Blogger river's daddy said...

I'm sorry that you had to experience this but thank God there are people out there like you. Keep your cell phone at the ready.

 
At 12:56 PM , Blogger Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Oh honey, how awful for you. I have sat in my car many times, waiting for some mom to come back from 'just running in for a sec'. And like you, couldn't find words to say directly to them.

 
At 7:28 PM , Blogger Elaine A. said...

Oh that just breaks my heart!! At least he had you as his advocate. Part of me wishes the police had made it there before she left. Hopefully she'll get caught before something REALLY bad happens. That poor little guy....

 
At 9:35 AM , Blogger Pregnantly Plump said...

I can't believe 911 didn't get there sooner! You're definitely not crazy. I would have done the same thing, and probably also not have said anything.
Children are such a gift. I am so glad nothing happened to that little boy.

 
At 10:38 AM , Blogger MarvelousMOM said...

I am floored that the woman just walked by you and didn't think anything of it. I am more floored that the woman went into more than ONE store. I imagine with the way her son reacted this is something that happens all the time and that is so very sad. I wish that 911 would have gotten there and can't believe they didn't hurry because it sounds like they had plenty of time. I don't think I could have been as calm or collected as you and probably would have said something...maybe not though if I had the kids with me. But if I were alone, I don't think I would have been able to hold back. I know this stirs up so much and because of you, I always think of things like this.

 
At 8:36 PM , Blogger angie said...

WOW! That mother should be thankful that there was a stranger there that was willing to sit and wait to make sure that her child wasn't harmed by strangers or by himself with the dangers surrounding being left in the car! People are sometimes unbelievable...and I would have probably had some choice words with her! You are a better person for not wanting Gage or her little guy to see that. Good for you for calling 911 too! And I wouldn't have cancelled it...I would have given them her license plate number and said look her up and pay her a visit! And the fact that she actually came back to the car, looked at you and didn't even think to question why you might be standing next to her car! WHAT A MORON THIS WOMAN IS!

 
At 10:56 AM , Blogger Beth said...

un-freakin-believable

 

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