Dad Forgets Baby In Parking Lot, I Don’t Judge

Dear father in Roanoke, TX who forgot his 6 month old in the parking lot of Dominos,

When my son was 8 weeks old, we drove to Texas from Virginia with everything we owned, a 4 year old niece and 3 animals to close on our house the day we arrived. After our exhausted journey from the closing to our hotel that day, we arrived to find our precious newborn had spent the 30 minute drive in his infant seat, UNBUCKLED.

We were… horrified… and full of guilt. It was a terrible mistake that, thankfully, ended well.

How could we forget something like this? What terrible parents we must be! The only ones in the entire world to ever let their child’s safety suffer due to our lack of concentration and vigilance. 

We thought.

But then my mom told me about that time she forgot my sister in the car while she went to grocery shop, and our friend told us about that time she drove all the way to work before she remembered her sleeping baby needed to be dropped off at daycare, and countless others let us in on their momentary lapses of parental focus and vigilance.

Did that make what we did okay? No. Did it make us feel more human? Yes.

I want you to know, I don’t judge you. You have 4 kids. You took them all with you. Maybe to give your wife a break. Maybe to get in some family bonding time. Maybe because you were solely responsible for them and had no choice. You took them ALL, even the 6 month old in her infant car seat, in to pick up the pizza. You were vigilant and thoughtful enough of a parent not to leave them in the car while you quickly ran in.

Why you accidentally left your baby in her car seat in the parking lot and drove off, only you know. But, I’m betting it had a lot more to do with stress you’re under, the noise and chaos of getting 3 other kids and pizza in your car so you could all get home in time for dinner, or exhaustion brought on by, well, parenting 4 kids than you being a negligent parent who should have your children taken away.

“Memory is a machine… and it is not flawless. Our conscious mind prioritizes things by importance, but on a cellular level, our memory does not. If you’re capable of forgetting your cellphone, you are potentially capable of forgetting your child.”

That’s a quote from David Diamond, professor of molecular physiology at the University of South Florida, a “memory expert.”

It’s taken from one of the most profound pieces of writing I’ve read as a parent- Fatal Distraction by Gene Weingarten. It won a Pulitzer Prize, and it is the heart-wrechingly awful account of parents who have forgotten their children… in their cars. Their endings were not happy.

It became clear to me after reading that that parents are not infallible, though, no doubt, many of us do everything in our power to be. Sure, there are parents who don’t try. There are parents who do more harm than good and don’t care.

But, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt. The news said your family has no record of abuse, no reason to suspect neglect. Until someone proves that you were blatantly neglectful or high, I’m choosing to believe you’re one of the good ones.

Why did the 3 other kids not notice or say anything about the baby not being in the car? Why did nobody realize until you got home and your wife frantically phoned the pizza place?

Maybe they were busy playing their gaming devices. Maybe they were tired. Maybe they sat in the back of the car and took turns playing Punch Buggy. Maybe they were a handful at the pizza place and you told them you didn’t want to hear a single peep out of them the entire ride home… and they obeyed.

Who knows. That’s the point. Nobody knows what happened except you.

All I know is that this could have been me, or my husband, or so many other loving, caring, busy parents. It happens.

Does that make it okay? No. Are we human? Yes. It was a mistake. 

And even if the unthinkable, God forbid, happened and your baby wan’t returned safely to you, even if  it wasn’t a happy ending, it would have still been a mistake.

Luckily, that’s not your reality right now, though I’m sure those scenes will not stop playing out in your mind and in your wife’s mind. That, alone, is enough to deal with. No judgement here, and, despite the accusatory and judgemental comments on the news websites and in the story itself, I don’t think I’m alone in the way I feel.

Sincerely,

A mother who’s really happy many of her worst parenting moments haven’t wound up on the evening news

P.S. I’m really glad your baby girl is okay.

 

 

  • TheNextMartha - Exactly.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - I’m right here with you. I know one day, it will be me. Scares me to pieces.ReplyCancel

  • Tottums - You know what’s sad? I can TOTALLY see something like this happening to me. You’re rushed to get home, you’re thinking about what you have to get done tonight, ‘did I get enough applesauce for the packed lunches tomorrow?’, the kids are screaming, you’re buckling car seats, balancing pizza, trying to answer the phone … and you drive off. To get home and get things done. Multitasking makes me sloppy … and I can one hundred percent say that this is something that might happen to me if I had four kids and a bad day.

    I agree with giving dad the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure he’s beating himself up enough as it is.ReplyCancel

  • mollie - yep. my dad left me and my sister at the mall once. i was 2, she was 5. he made it back out the door with only my 3 year old brother. he’s still my hero 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Carolyn (temysmom) - I have a hard time believing that there is a parent out there that doesn’t have something… something… that they would be utterly ashamed to admit they have done to/for/regarding their children. We ALL make mistakes. Doesn’t mean we are evil or mean or abusive. We’re human.ReplyCancel

  • Jasmin - Great post! So many people were going straight for the jugular! Many of the parents were acting like this could never possibly happen to them. There are so many times where my husband and I can forget a diaper bag, cell phone, and etc. Often we have to remember to check and make sure we have our 3 month old. Our rambunctious two year old keeps us busy. Since the 3 month old is so quiet…we can easily miss her while handling our toddler.Our minds are running a million miles a minute. You just never know! I’m so thankful that we have not ended up in this situation. I’m happy his baby is okay. This is a great reminder for other parents to make sure we make the time to pause for a moment to make sure our children are okay.ReplyCancel

  • thejennigirl - We left our newbown daughter in her crib and drove our not yet 2 year old to the ER after a nasty tumble down the stairs that resulted in more than a dozen stitches. We were in the ER, checking in, and the nurse asked who our son lived with. Mom. Dad. Baby Sis… CRAAP! WE FORGOT THE BABY!

    We were in the next town over, around 20 miles away. We learned 2 things that day: put a lock on the basement door and a stitcky note on the steering wheel to remind us that we need to remember the baby.

    The only reason I didn’t flip out too much, is my grandparents forgot me in Canada. Another country. It happens.ReplyCancel

    • Jo - You can’t say something like “my grandparents forgot me in Canada” and now elaborate?!!??ReplyCancel

      • thejennigirl - Me, 3 cousins, 2 grandparents. Restroom stop on our way back into the states. When everyone was loaded in the camper, my gma asked, is everyone in? And my cousin, who was mad at me, said yes. They were several miles back in the US when my cousin started to feel guilty and fessed up. It happens. 😛ReplyCancel

        • Kristin - The Goat - These are the things that make up family stories and make crowds laugh. (When the end result is good of course)

          Too funny!

  • Venassa - I agree completely with this. But if that was me? I probably would’ve had a nervous breakdown on the spot. I get freaked out for that baby girl just thinking about it.ReplyCancel

  • Erin - Word.ReplyCancel

  • Meghan - I’ve done the exact same thing. My oldest was a few weeks old; it was our first “outing”, and I went grocery shopping. I left him in the car seat, but unbuckled him (because they look SO uncomfortable!), and covered him up with a blanket. I shopped, payed, snapped his seat into the base, and drove home… when I got home, I realized he was still unbuckled. To make matters worse, I was suffering from PPD/PPOCD, and I called my bff to try and make myself feel better- she pretty much told me I was a horrible mother, and that she would never do that.

    It can happen to ANYONE. Even the best…. And that article, “Fatal Distraction” is incredible moving and powerful. I remember reading it years ago, and it really is something every new parent should read. Don’t think it won’t happen to you, think of ways to prevent it happening.ReplyCancel

    • Bree - The article “Fatal Distraction” is very insightful. That article is what turned it around for me. I used to think only monsters could forget their baby is the air, or anywhere. I actually feel embarassed to remember. This article made me realize that the Swiss cheese thing they talk about is real. I thought about how times I thought I put the crib gate up because I envisioned myself doing it on my way up to the nursery. I have actually forgotten about the car seat buckle as well because of a blanket. We aren’t perfect, nobody is. These accidents are terrible, but I don’t think anyone should be ripped apart for it. Clearly, they are tearing themselves up about it enough. They don’t need strangers to judge them. I think that article is a must read for ALL parents. I can’t even get through it without crying multiple times.

      I don’t think it was very nice of your friend to judge you like that either. Support is what you need in times like that.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - I do not judge either. There are so many things we forget as parents. If we are lucky our forgetfulness and mistakes do not turn out fatal.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - When my daughter was 12 months old I was driving home from the mall and checked the rearview mirror. I saw her cute little smile looking back at me…from her rear-facing carseat. I had neglected to buckle her in her seat and she was so proud that she could move around so freely. I felt like the WORST MOTHER EVER and spent the next week playing out various horrible scenarios in my mind.

    That poor father. No judgement here either.ReplyCancel

  • melinda - My parents left me in Walmart when i was 8. My dad (who had my sister) thought I was with my Mom, Dad thought i was with her… everybody got to the car without me. Shit happens when you’re a parent.ReplyCancel

  • Lin - Agreed! I’m thankful that my momentary lapses of memory, judgment or ‘perfect parenting’ haven’t been news-worthy.

    I’m glad that the baby was okay. I can’t imagine how the dad must have felt when he realized she wasn’t in the car. Terrifying!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly M - I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t pause for a moment in the car and think, “Wait, did I get the baby in her seat!?” I fear that I have left her in the school parking lot while picking up her brother. Luckily, I never have, but that doesn’t mean I would never make a mistake like that. I am also very glad their baby is home safe.ReplyCancel

  • Strawbrykiwi (Niki) - Great take on the story– everyone has made mistakes and parents forgetting kids sure isn’t something new! Loved the quote too- it’s true and a little unnerving.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - I’ve driven to work and some days drive right past my son’s daycare. Until I see him in the backseat or hear him, I totally forget that it is my day to drop him off. Thank god he is older now and more vocal… if he were an infant and sleeping I can completely understand how it happens to parents. No judgement here, either.ReplyCancel

  • jenny - My whole family forgot me in Wisconsin Dells when I was 4. I’m talking Mom, Dad, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We had stopped in a shop, I wandered to look at something (it was probably shiny lol) and they all left. When I realized it I began to bawl- no one remembers how long it was or how far away they were when they realized it. Mom just took off running back they way they had come. Mom was so upset she ended up in the hospital.

    But hey, I learned never to wander away again!ReplyCancel

  • Tristi - I totally agree with you. When my daughter was 4 weeks old, I drove her to my husband’s work to pick him up for our first trip back to our hometown. When we got there I went to check on her and saw that she had spent the 30 minute ride unbuckled. In the chaos of trying to get a newborn and all her stuff packed up for a weekend trip for the first time, I completely forgot to strap her in. I still get nightmares thinking about what could have happened. I was so ashamed I’ve never told anyone until now. I agree that if there’s no history if abuse or neglect, the dad definitely deserves the benefit of the doubt.ReplyCancel

  • Shell - We all forget something sometimes. Such a real view on this.

    I haven’t forgotten any of mine (yet) but I think it’s b/c when my second was born, he was such an easy baby that my family used to joke that he would be left in the car or somewhere b/c he wouldn’t make a peep and he’d be forgotten. So, I was extra paranoid about not forgetting him.ReplyCancel

  • Bonnie - I couldn’t agree with you more! My husband works full time and goes to school 4 nights a week. So, those 4 nights I on my own with the baby after working a full day in the office. I’d forget my own head if it weren’t attached sometimes! But our worst parenting fail actually happened when we were together. We were heading out for a road trip. My husband was installing the new mirror I’d bought so we could see her in our carseat and I brought the baby out and set her in her carseat. I went back in to load the last of the stuff and figured I’d buckle her in before we headed out. About a half an hour out of town we stopped for breakfast and to my HORROR I realized I had forgotten to buckle her in! We won’t even talk about the night I took my eye off her for one second and found her munching on dog poop! Like you said, I’m so thankful my parenting misshaps haven’t ended up on the evening news! My heart goes out to these otherwise wonderful parents.ReplyCancel

  • Chrystal - One day this summer, I went to the bathroom and came out to find my toddler not where I left him. After looking around, I found him in our (not fenced in) backyard. I had left the sliding glass door open by mistake. MISTAKE. It’s so easy to make them when you’re human.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - I have 6 kids.. I have had so many “mommy mistake” moments that I quit counting. I think in the long run it makes us better parents.. Humbles us. Everyone makes mistakes, his just happened to make the news. I feel bad for himReplyCancel

  • Jo - You know what makes me happy? 24 comments and not one of them condemning that father. Unless of course there were nasty troll ones that were deleted. We all make mistakes. ALL OF US. I left my second daughter in the kitchen in her infant car seat and drove four blocks away before I realized that she wasn’t in the car. Too busy trying to fit all of the stuff that goes with a teeny baby in my little hatchback.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Nolan - Amen.ReplyCancel

  • Leah - My parents once left my older sister at a truck stop/diner. My dad was called out to repair a company vehicle and she decided to play under the table while we all waited for him to finish. I was a baby then so my parents put me back into the car and drove away. All the while my sister was under the table. They are still great parentsReplyCancel

  • Jamie - Although I have yet to leave my daughter anywhere (thank God)…these stories always make me think of the time we left a FRIEND at McDonalds on college spring break. If there is ever a more stress-free time in your life–its then. So, if you can forget an adult size human in the best of circumstances than I can totally see leaving a teeny baby when your hands over full with many other things.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife - I can never understand while people crucify the parents who make honest to God mistakes like this. Like they’ve never made a mistake.

    One time, I buckled my daughter into the car seat but never pulled the straps tight and of course didn’t realize it until I went to get her out of the car. I felt like the shittiest parent ever.ReplyCancel

  • Erin - My dad left me places at least 5 times! I feel so bad for this father. I have gotten all the way to work before I realized I completely spaced and forgot to take my daughter to daycare. It can happen. Thankfully this was a good outcome. Definitely no judgement here,ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - My mother-in-law who is the perfect mother, no kidding, left her youngest at church. they didn’t realize it until they were at the restaurant for lunch. Another church member picked her up and took her home. Being a parent is CRAZY, things happen. I completely agree with your post. You just have to get on your knees each and every night and pray for help from above and when the mistakes happen pray that the outcome is not a bad one and that you learn from each mistake that is made. I am sure this dad is beating himself up right now.ReplyCancel

  • Katherine - What a good post. Seriously, In my pregnant fog, I forgot to buckle my daughter in her carseat and she had to remind me. I felt like a jackass. Obviously, it was terrible enough and you’re right; maybe he was giving his wife a break, or whatever. We are ALL full of mistakes waiting to happen and Im so happy his situation turned out on the better side although Im sure his guilt is eating him alive. And thats enough to drive someone insane! Not to mention all the hurtful things people are saying. 🙁ReplyCancel

  • Krista - AGREED. Thank you for posting the link to that “Fatal Distraction” article, by the way. I just read it (and sobbed during part of it!). I think every parent should read it. Heartbreaking.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - AMEN. Great post.ReplyCancel

  • Krista from The Playdate Crashers - I, too, have been the mom who forgot to buckle her infant in his carseat. It has actually happened twice, but one time it wasn’t me who put him in his carseat. The first time, I was enjoying a rare lunch with my best friend. My son was with us and was sitting in his carseat with a blanket over him. He had been out of his carseat in the restaurant and I forgot I hadn’t buckled him back up.

    Both times this has happened, I felt physically sick, almost to the point of vomiting. I can’t imagine how much worse I would have felt if the news had been there to report on my “crime of parenting.”

    Thanks for this post, Jill. You’ve got it completely right.ReplyCancel

  • Alexandria - This is not out of the realm of possibility for anyone. Recently my husband had one of his employees clean out our car & they forgot to buckle the car seat back in. Obvs I didn’t know this strapped my 3 yro in the car & headed off. 30 minutes into the ride the car seat flew off the seat & hit face down to the floor. It was the scariest moment of my life & had to stay pulled over on the shoulder for a good 30 minutes to calm myself down & my son. It was an accident, one that knows causes me to check that the car seat is always buckled in.ReplyCancel

  • Jenni Allan - Every parent makes mistakes, I am glad that this one turned out ok for the baby and I’m truly sorry that the dad has gotten such a bad rap. Because all the people pointing fingers have never messed up once in their lives. . .

    Thanks for the post Jill, you’ve got it right!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Shruti - Well said.

    We are all so quick to judge and point that finger. Maybe this man, like you said, is just a loving husband and father, who 99.99% of the time is super duper careful. He made a mistake. It happens to the best of us.
    Does he really need the entire country admonishing him and wagging their fingers? Nope.
    Will this couple always always always do a head count going forward? You betcha!

    I hope something like this never happens to me, but I’m human, and I will make some questionable decisions/actions. I hope I dont end up on tv.ReplyCancel

  • Gail - We all make mistakes, whether we admit it or not.
    And stories like these remind us to be extra careful with our own kids.
    I totally had moments where I panicked while driving about the whereabouts of my daughter only to realize 5 seconds later that I just dropped her off at the daycare.
    I’ve also had moments where she turned a coffee table on herself or smashed her face on a corner of a door because me or my husband looked away for a second. And a second is all it takes for something to happen. We’re so quick to judge others, but the truth is – things happen and it really is not our job to judge people, especially ones we don’t know.
    Thanks for writing about it Jill!ReplyCancel

  • Nikki - I really hope the dad see’s this post you’ve written and the supportive comments, as opposed to the comments left on the article. When I read a lot of the comments people wrote on the article you linked to, I was more disgusted in some of the comments than the actual “offense”. My brother has four kids and I have seen the chaos and confusion that comes with four. I too have left my child unstrapped in her car seat unintentionally. I can completely understand where something like this can happen. I still can’t get over some of the stuff other people said…and more and more I am so sick of how judgmental people are of others and situations that they know NOTHING about. Bravo to you for this post, and praying that this father can forgive himself for being, as you appropriately said, HUMAN!ReplyCancel

  • Destiny Lewis - I’ve had some not so famous moments. The worst being when we lived in CO. Springs. I have bi-polar, and to say I wasn’t functioning well at that moment would be an understatement. My husband and I were at odds,and I was sleeping in our basement entertainment room. The girl’s rooms were all upstairs, along with our master bedroom. My then youngest daughter who was 2 at the time woke up one morning to find me, Daddy had already left for work. There was a baby gate at the top of the stairs, and she couldn’t come down. SO what did she do??? She found the bathroom stool, pulledi up to the front door and WALKED OUT of our house and started down the street. IN SNOW wearing only a diaper. Lucky for me, our ever faithful 165 pound dog followed her and stayed right by her side, and a neighbor caught her a few houses down. They came to the house and got me. I think this is the worst moment of MY LIFE. It could have turned out horrifically. She coul have fallen into one of the many open gutters on the street, could have frozen to death, you name it. I have never forgiven myself for that day, and needless to say, I didn’t sleep in the basement again. I have 3 daughters, 3 years apart. They are now 4,5, and 7, and I thank God every day he wathces over them. You do never know the circumsances that led to this kind of thing, and it sure is easy to judge, but you never know when one day, something you never even considered a possibility could happen to you. I am very thankful this baby was fine, and that his momma wasn’t arrested for shooting her hubby! LOL There are times I look at a particular situation similiar to this and think “figures” but this would not be one of them. God Bless that famiy.ReplyCancel

  • Robyn - My dad is the most forgetful man on the planet. I’m honestly surprised I survived! He once forgot to drop me off at my mom’s while he was on his way home. I was even in the front seat with him.

    My good friend recently told me she found her daughter gnawing on a paring knife.

    I can’t count how many times we’ve told our kids to get in the car and headed down the road when they yelled, “I’m not buckled!”

    We once were almost in an accident, but after slamming on the brakes, managed to avoid hitting a man on a motorcycle who pulled out in front of us. We got home to find (like most of these comments) our baby wasn’t buckled into the carseat.

    My most horrifying moment was when I was leaving to go grocery shopping and left my kids at home with a friend. She thought my son was standing at the sliding glass door watching me leave, but when he didn’t answer, she went to check on him. I was pulling out in my SUV and saw her standing on the porch. I thought she wanted to tell me something, so I stopped. She thought I had stopped because I had seen that my son was coming after me and was behind the SUV. I never saw him and seeing her was the only reason I stopped. I was sick at my stomach for a week thinking that it could have easily gone a different way.

    If we step back and look at the story as a whole, I don’t know how many men would actually take all four of their children anywhere by themselves. I find it hard to believe that any man willing to do that would be abusive or neglectful. Bless his heart. I wish we could send him our well wishes and our encouraging words.ReplyCancel

  • Robyn - Also, how often do we hear of missing children whose parents are suspected of harming them? How can people put this sort of MISTAKE on the same level as that?!ReplyCancel

  • Donna - KUDOS!!!! I’m sure the guilt alone is more than enough punishment for this father. As you said, it was a mistake, not that it is OK but a mistake nonetheless. With 4 children, 1 of whom is a baby I’m sure sleep deprivation is a factor. I must admit that I left my son on the lap of Santa one year…. He was a colicky baby, so nobody slept, I was at the mall with my extended family and my 3 children, trying to figure out how to do some shopping without little eyes finding certain purchases, We waited FOREVER in line only to have 3 screaming crying children in the picture with Santa. By the time, I picked the picture, paid, made sure everyone was calm and loaded up our things, we were about 6 stores down, before we heard Mrs. Claus yelling for us chasing us down that we “forgot a special gift behind” There was my beautiful baby gooing and pulling at Santas beard….Sleep deprivation and hectic lives will make us forget our most precious gifts sometimes 😉ReplyCancel

  • Mae - I had, I can’t even tell you, how many dreams in my second two trimesters in which I left my baby all sorts of places. The hospital. In her car seat next to the car. On top of the car. On top of the stove. In the garage. In the driveway behind the car. All sorts of incredibly terrifying places. I’ve yet to ACTUALLY leave her behind anywhere. But I absolutely understand how it happens. And… Another “un-buckled infant” story here!

    When Piper was 5 months old we flew up to Illinois for a family wedding. We met a friend for breakfast before the wedding and still got to the church really really early. We decided to chill in the parking lot for a while and sat there after the 30 minute drive from the breakfast place until she woke up to eat. I climbed into the back seat of the rental car to nurse her and realized we’d unbuckled her car seat straps in the restaurant, when she was a wake and active and meeting one of my closest friends for the first time, and when we put the seat back in the car we had never buckled her back in.

    She was fine. I nursed her. She went to sleep. We went to the wedding. And I prayed so incredibly hard for forgiveness and grace in that church I thought the walls would fall down.

    She was and is our only child. ONLY.

    He had 4. And things happen. They do. There but for the grace of God/luck of the draw/roll of the dice/pick your freaking poison go the rest of us, in my honest opinion. It makes me sick to see the vitriol he’s been subjected to given the lack of any other abusive evidence. They sound like a normal family with a normal family life. I wish them all the best.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Ah. This reminds me of the time that my husband fell asleep with our 9 month old. He got out of baby jail. He climbed UP the steps of our super old rickety staircase and crawled (very proudly) into the workout room while I was on the treadmill.

    I screamed and cried and wanted to kill my husband because all the thoughts kept running through my head. Our son had clearly gotten in the kitchen (as indicated by a torn up phonebook and dog food littered everywhere) close to the door that leads to the cellar where he would have tumbled down steps and who knows what could have happened. He could have fallen down the steps he so proudly hauled himself up.

    My husband still beats himself up about it (1.5 years later, almost). But it was a call to action for us that day, to baby gate the entire house and break out all safety measures.

    And my husband? Was exhausted that day from being up all night with a teething baby.

    I always feel terror when I read the stories of parents who accidentally left their child in the car. I can’t judge, because I don’t know that I can say it could never happen. I pray it doesn’t, and I try to be vigilant, but mistakes happen.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - oh man, i needed to read this post. I totally have had moments like this. Parent brain is as bad as pregnant brain I am finding out.ReplyCancel

  • Jocelyn @ ScooterMarie - Jill, you are awesome, and I love this post. How many of us instantly thought “oh my god, who would do that??” when we read that headline? I know I did, and I didn’t even take the time to read the article! Shame. I can only hope that my worst parenting nightmares don’t ever come true, accidentally leaving a child somewhere included, but if, god forbid, they do, I also hope that maybe, just maybe, there would be someone out there to not immediately judge me and deem me a horrible mother. Just like you have here.ReplyCancel

  • TheFeministBreeder - Honestly, I feel terrible for the guy. If I were the wife, my mean ass would probably NEVER EVER let him live that down. Every conversation would contain the phrase, “Oh, like that time you LEFT YOUR BABY IN A PARKING LOT!” God, I hope he has a more forgiving wife than I am.ReplyCancel

    • Jo - Hahahahaha! I can totally see you doing it too Gina. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @UnderstandingPrematurity - I think all these comments need to be published in a book to be given to all new parents. We all make mistakes. We’re all terrified we’re going to make mistakes. If we gave each other, and ourselves, a little more understanding and a little less judgment, maybe we wouldn’t be so stressed out. And maybe, we’d make a few less mistakes.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - You. It’s always you.

    Last night I was pissed at my parents and put the baby in the car without double checking that she was strapped into the car seat. When I got home my heart dropped into my stomach and I felt sick. I just looked at my husband and said, “she wasn’t f-ing buckled in.” and cried on and off the rest of the night. Still feeling guilty after our 4am nursing session, I searched the Internet for consolation (which may be more reckless than my parenting mistake) and your blog – the one on the top of my favorites list – came up. It was like being able to tell my mom (I’m never telling my mom. She was the one who took the baby out and there was already enough tension surrounding the situation. I’m never telling her.) and I feel a little less guilty and a little more normal.

    Thanks. <3ReplyCancel

  • Joy H - I just yesterday found myself in the middle of my worst mistake ever with my 3 1/2 month old…So as the story is..my husband had the day off work so Ieft my second youngest (4yrs old) at home with him while I went to get my 7 and 9yr olds from school…took the baby with me as I breastfeed only…and do not have a good pump to use in case of instance when I am away so she is always with me. So picked the kids up from school all fine and well…seatbelts done up etc…so I had to stop at the grocery store uptown( we live in a small town of only maybe 2000people at most)..So were getting out to go into the store and I was bickering with my son to get his coat on…which he didn’t end up wearing it…we were only in the store like 10 minutes tops…did shopping real quick checked out. walking back out to the van unlocked with my remote..open the one slider door only to discover.my babygirl cooing away in her carseat..I Ieft my little babygirl in the freaking van and the realization hit me like a mack truck….I immediately started crying loud sobs tears streaming down my face chest heaving type of crying..I couldn’t believe I had been so stupid and didn’t even notice til I came back out…I felt and still feel beyond horrible…and it made me physically sick to my stomach…I sat outside the store crying for like 15 minutes at least so hard I couldn’t even drive the 5 minute drive home…I was so horrified,disgusted,disappointed and upset with myself…I finally got home and began crying uncontrollably again…physically sick tomy stomach explained to my husband what had happened…..made him go out to unload groceries….I still cannot believe I did something likethat..and up until a few hours ago I was still offand on crying 5 hours later….never did such an idiotic thing with my other 3 children…My little girl is fine and well….wasn’t hot out here in Michigan…and it was a mild day of 50 degree weather…she was snuggled in her carseat with a blankie…no one noticed it other than myself and two old children(whom I am shocked didn’t think of her being left since they goright past her carseat in the middle row to get out….My husband cannot understand why I was crying so hard and so upset since everything was perfectly fine we all made it home safely….But I cannot help beating myself up for it still…what was I thinking? how could I leave my littlebaby in the car and not notice it…I just Thank God everything turned out ok….I can’t help but punish myself with all the what ifs that could have happened….what if it was super hot or super cold out…what if she had managed to get the blanket untucked and up by her face and suffocated..and I returned to find her lifeless in her carseat….what if someone else or a cop had noticed it….all of these keep replaying of the what ifs..the only right I did is locking the doors….I will not ever be able to let myself free of such a stupid stupid mindless mistake…I just am thankful none of my what ifs came to pass because I honestly do not know how I would live with myself……ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I’m with you. I have three kids of my own and while I haven’t actually left one somewhere yet, I will say I haven’t been perfect in the memory department. I’ve also heard plenty of stories like this from the older generations. My mom was one of 8 and I seem to recall a story about one of her brothers being left behind in a restaurant for hours on a road trip before everyone realized he was missing and went back for him. Back then I guess everyone was a little more calm about these things and he was just hanging out with the staff drinking a milkshake when they got back for him. I think this is more common than people realize.ReplyCancel

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