Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I don't even have words for what just happened but I'm going to try to find them so I can blog about it. Forgive me if I don't make sense because I am just so stunned that my brain isn't working right. :) Logan goes to a Mom's Day Out program on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Connor and I picked Logan up today and got back into the car and as I was getting ready to back out (and looking both ways to see that no one was coming from either direction or walking behind me) a pink winter coat in the minivan parked on our passenger side grabbed my attention. There was a little girl in that pink coat. She was strapped in her car seat. The windows were up. She was ALONE. She was evidently over a year old because she was forward facing...I guess she looked close to Logan's age. My jaw dropped. Alone? In the car? Ok, it's February so maybe heat wasn't the issue but it is currently 59 degrees in Longmont and it's warm. And the windows were up. And she was alone! The car wasn't running, so I guess carjacking wasn't a big issue but....still. I couldn't remember if the van had been there when we pulled up. My mind was racing with worry and Connor was trying to figure out why I'd backed up two inches and then put the car back in park. Was I supposed to do something? The woman who was parked on my side of the car came out with her two kids and I asked her if she'd noticed the mom going in when she went in but she hadn't. She said it was "sweet" of me to worry but that the mom would probably be back in a second. I waited for what seemed like an eternity but was probably only two or three minutes and the mom came out, with two more kids in tow, and got in the van. I couldn't stop myself. I felt my feet moving toward her van with no plan of what I would say but then words came out. "Um, sorry to bother you and I know it's none of my business but I was really worried about your daughter being left alone in the car." She barely looked at me and continued getting the older kids in the car "Oh, why?" WHY? "Well, I wasn't sure if your car was here when we got here and she was alone and I know it's not that hot out today but the windows were all up and..." I didn't get a chance to finish that run-on sentence because she interrupted with "I was only inside for maybe five minutes and it's not against the law in Colorado to leave your child in the car. I looked it up online. It's not a big deal." I didn't know what to say to that so I walked away in disbelief. JUST BECAUSE IT'S NOT AGAINST THE LAW DOES NOT MEAN IT'S A GOOD IDEA. And is it really not against the law?? When we got home I called Child Protective Services to find out. All they could tell me (after being transferred to four people, apparently I'm the only one who cares about this sort of thing) was that it's not against the law but that you can get a ticket for it. What? Someone help me out here! Do you know what the law is? I looked online and found this Fox News story which says it's a law in 12 states but I can't find anything that says Colorado is or isn't one of those states. It just seems wrong that it's against the law in some places to "puff" (leave your car running unattended like to warm it up in the morning) but it's not against the law to leave your child in that car unattended. So...the potential for a car to be stolen is more important to us than the safety of a child? Again, this van wasn't running but it still totally freaked me out.

Maybe it's just me...poor Logan is dragged out of the car every time we pick up Connor no matter what the weather conditions or how short the time I think I'll be gone or even if he's sleeping. And there's no keeping Connor in the car - he wants to go with us wherever we go :) Am I just being overprotective here? Do you leave your kids in the car alone and go into a building where you can't see them for a period of time? Part of me feels embarrassed that I created this small scene with another mom who likely has a child in Logan's class so I'll have to see her again at some point but the other part of me thinks she should be the embarrassed one, right? Ugh...

1 comment:

  1. This is a really tough call. When Kevin was little we NEVER left him in the car unattended but now that he is 7 I don't feel so bad leaving him for a couple of minutes with a book while I run in to Blockbuster and return a movie or something.

    Of course I wouldn't leave a 2 year old. Of course I would leave a 12 year old. Where is the line?