Monday, November 27, 2006

Baby brain

So another one of the reasons I've been absent for awhile from this blog is that I've found a new community online. Not a replacement for this blog, mind you, but a baby website. There's a forum filled with other mothers expecting their wee one sometime next May. It's been really nice to sit and gab with all these ladies who are going through the exact same experiences that I am, at the same time as I am. It also means I won't be unloading my pregnancy woes onto you readers, who are undoubtedly here for some police related reason. Squirt is doing wonderfully. I'm feeling nice and fat these days, although the best is yet to come. We heard the heartbeat again last week, and we get the big ultrasound later in December. Yes, we'll try to peek to see if it's a boy or girl. But I won't be updating on Squirt much here, because I'm doing it nonstop at the baby bulletin boards.

One of the topics recently discussed on the forum was started by a woman who, over the long weekend, was witness to two separate incidents of children being left in the car unattended. One incident was an infant strapped in a seat; the other incident was a 2 and 4 year old. If I recall correctly, it seemed to her that both times the mother had ducked into a store for what could only be a quick reason, like a convenience store or something. The poster was pretty upset about it and wanted to know what other people's responses would have been. Now, none of these other women know my husband is a cop. I bring this up because up until now, it wasn't relative to the conversations. After all, hubby's occupation doesn't really affect round ligament pain, or how big our bellies are measuring this week. Well, I suppose if your husband was a chef it might...

Anyway, a few women replied that they would call the cops if they witnessed this occur. Several women had replied that circumstances were everything, they pointed out it *isn't* sweltering summer weather, they've done it before, they'll never do it, etc etc. But naturally I had to respond to those women who wanted to call the cops. I need to repeat here that we were all assuming these were short incidents, where a mother had gone in to pay for gas or get one item in a small convenience store. I simply replied that there's nothing illegal about it, and that a cop was likely not going to show up unless the child was in danger, i.e. hot summer weather, a long time since any attending adult was seen, or the car was not easily accessible by a parent. J said unless a child was left in the car for an hour or more, all he would do is talk to the parent about the risks. I can say I don't agree with leaving an infant in the car unattended. What if someone stole your car, or crashed into it, or who knows? I'm too paranoid, since I hear horror stories all the time. I don't know as there's anything wrong with leaving a sleeping three year old in the car, turned off and locked, while you run in the house to grab an extra sweater. But there were women who said they didn't care if it was only a minute, they'd call the cops immediately. I replied again that unless they were sitting in front of a police station, nobody would even be able to show up before the mother left! Naturally the response from one woman was that she'd report their license plate.
You have got to love the high expectations that cops are given sometimes. My favorite is when J used to get calls at his old job by parents who couldn't even be bothered to parent their children, and expected the police to make the kid go to school, or do his homework, or clean her room. I believe my last response on the forum was "They aren't going to do anything with a license plate number. I'm sorry if you don't agree with the law, but it's not illegal to leave your child in the car for a few minutes unattended. There are always laws people don't agree with." and left it at that.


Brent said...

There is nothing wrong with leaving a child in a car while you run in to pay the cashier. I think most sensible people realize this. We do get a lot of calls, however, on kids left in the car for too long a time. Like you said, especially when it's hot outside.

kateykakes said...

I've never called the police on anyone doing that, but I was never comfortable seeing a child left alone, if even for a few minutes. There are too things that could go wrong.

I never left my children unattended at a young age. I know some parents don't want to bother waking a sleeping baby, etc., but I always worried about the "what if's" and figured I'd rather have them safe than be sorry.

FroneAmy said...

Someone on the bulletin board did update with a list of states that do have laws on the books about leaving children unattended. Ohio is not one of them. I don't know that I'd be able to leave my child unattended in the car, but it's easier to say that now than in 5 months.