Post # 1
Please, please be easy on me. I feel terrible. I am embarrassed.
Today I ran into the jewelry store to pick up a necklace that was in from getting fixed. I ran inside, the worker boxed up someones purchase then I handed over my slip. When I turned around to check on my car a woman was taking a picture of my license plate. I left my baby and 11 year old in the car. Admittedly it was hot today. All 4 windows were rolled all the way down, the car was not running as I didn’t want it to get knocked into gear or someone to hop in and steal the car and kids. I was out of the car for maybe 5 minutes tops. The woman asked the 11 year old if they were in the car for long. The 11 year old said no. When I saw the woman taking a picture I panicked. I knew exactly what she was doing. I ran out to my car and drove away quickly. I had a genuine panick attack. I feel so guilty.
I understand the woman’s concern and I would be worried too if I saw kids in a car. For all she knew I could have left them for 45 minutes while I was shopping (I didn’t do that).
Am I awful for leaving them in the car? (Probably.)
Will the woman report me?
Will/can the authorities take an action?
From the time she talked to the 11 year old and took the picture I was at the car within 40 seconds. I’m worried about child services or the police knocking on my door. I would never ever ever leave the baby alone. I made a split second decision to leave them because the 11 year old was there.
I genuinely feel terrible and know I made a mistake so no need to tell me I shouldn’t have done it. I will never do that again.
Post # 2
I leave my 2 yr old and 6 m old if I forget something in the house…not as much now cause it’s just to hot. But when it’s not hot I do …
Not at a store tho just cause u don’t know what could happen and I dpdon know about ppl reporting..doesn’t sound that bad with an 11 yr old but bad stuff could happen especially with the windows down and ur 11 can’t do crap to protect the other. I understand completely with two little ones trust me. ( There actually 22 m and 6 m )
Maybe next time call ahead and see if they could run it out to u since u do have 2 children.
Don’t feel bad everyone makes mistakes…and anyone who doesn’t have kids should not reply …just my 2cents 🙂
Post # 3
Well you ran the risk of your child overheating in a hot car, by leaving the windows down you left them vulnerable to people who would wish to harm them. Both are scary thoughts.
Don’t feel bad.
Post # 4
I never leave my baby in the car but my friends do. I take him out of the car for everything which is, admittedly, a pain in the ass. My friends that do it only do so if it’s right at the door and they can go back to their car to wait.
I think I’m probably on the over the top side and could probably leave him right out front to order a coffee and go back to wait with the car.
I think the fact you have an 11 year makes it different I think. I would have thought 5 minutes with them both there would be fine.
And you aren’t a terrible person, at all.
Post # 5
Sorry OP. I’m on a baby forum and someone did indeed have CPS called on them for leaving their preschool aged child in the car (within eye sight!) while she got a coffee. Hopefully nothing will come of it, but I wouldn’t do it again with the baby. Even with the windows rolled down a car can get very hot very quickly.
Post # 6
Idk…my mom left me and my brother in the car when she ran into a store real quick all the time when I was growing up.
I’m not a parent so I can’t say with certainty what I would do but I don’t think you are awful. Clearly, you could see the car from where you were and your children were fine.
I do think the woman overstepped by talking to your child and taking pictures. There are children in actually abusive homes. Neither CPS or the police should have their time wasted by someone like this woman getting overly invovled in an innocent situation. It’s a waste of time and resources and frankly idiotic to think this would be something worth reporting.
Post # 7
An 11 year old is old enough to watch a baby for a few minutes. Would you let the same 11 year old watch the baby at home, in the yard, or at a store? Cars are not magic- I don’t see a difference between this and leaving them in a car with the windows down.
As far as what the authorities can do, unless any of us are attorneys in your jurisdiction we can’t really answer that. But I’m trying to picture the cops’s interest in “There was someone parked here and they left, no one was hurt, and the kid said they were ok.”
Post # 8
You’re bound to hear from some people who havè never made an error in judgement in their lives. You learned, and you won’t do it again. Don’t waste time beating yourself up. You could have been the guy who drove off with the baby ON the car, not in it,
Post # 9
- Wedding: December 1969 - City, State
How hard is it to bring them in with you?
I leave my dog in the car during winter months if I need to stop at a grocery store or run in somewhere quickly, and only bc he’s not allowed in with me. During spring/summer months when temps get hot – not a chance in hell. I don’t understand parents leaving their children in hot cars. Sorry OP, your 11yr old can walk and you can take the extra few seconds to remove your baby from his/her car seat and bring them in with you.
Post # 10
honestly, your dog is not a child. It’s not the same thing. I don’t agree with leaving kids in the car either, but to me the comparison between dog and child is apples to oranges.
Post # 11
You did nothing wrong. An 11 year old is perfectly capable of keeping an eye on a baby while you are in the store for a few minutes. I would have done the same thing.
Edited to add – I have two kids.
Post # 12
A three year old in my area died just yesterday from being left in a hot car. Different situation as it was longer, no other child and no windows down. However, it is illegal no matter how long or what the particulars are. I’m glad you learned from this. Don’t do it again, ever. If she reports you the police might come speak with you, just own up to it and take it as a lesson learned. Take a deep breath and try to move on.
Editing to add that the comments about how this is a fine thing to do are mind blowing. And the comments about the woman overstepping her boundaries are absurd. It’s illegal, because kids die in this situation every day. Every parent thinks they will be “just a minute”, but lose track of time. The woman was absolutely in the right, and you should be grateful she cared enough about your kids to do something about the situation. Anyone who leaves their small kids in the car on a regular basis should know what a danger they are putting their kids in.
OP; you made a mistake, just own it and move on!
Post # 13
Op, honestly, I wouldn’t have left my kids in the car even for that short amount of time. Mainly because I believe it’s illegal, also because unfortunately this is a cruel world and no matter how low the chances are anything bad could have happened to them in a matter of seconds. As the mother of two, I totally understand that sometimes it IS next to impossible to cart them through all of these adult errands, and I also understand that the actual risk of anything happening to them in 5 minutes is very low… but I wouldn’t risk it. Don’t beat yourself up though and don’t stress. I’m sure all will be fine.
Post # 14
Yes I leave my five year old son in the car if I feel he will be safe and I can see the car from wherever I am. I would feel totally ok doing what you did if there was an 11 year old in the car watching the baby. I believe CPS needs considerably more ammo to apprehend a child. I also think it’s ridiculous that someone would waste already strained government resources to report something completely innocent.
I also live in a very small town where every one knows everyone and we have virtually zero crime. That’s not an exaggeration either. I have friends who let their 5 year olds walk home alone from kindergarten. (5 – 10 minute walk). My view might change if you did it somewhere where vehicle hijackings are common, but I would imagine you are smarter than that.
Post # 15
It is definitely not illegal in my province to have an 11 year old watch a baby for a short period of time.