Cars, kids and that controversial question

“So I left Li’l Fatty alone in the car today,” I said casually to Learner Dad.
I’d been on the school run. Li’l Fatty had a cold and it was blowing a gale and pouring with rain.
I knew he was more in danger of suffocating from snot if I got him out of the car than suffocating from anything else if I left him in it.
So I found a spare space in the staff car park and left him in the car.
I walked about 50 metres away to a point where I could see both the car and Master Seven’s classroom and waited.
Standing there, I was trying to be the best mum I could be. But I felt like the worst.
I wasn’t worried somebody was going to abduct Li’l Fatty, or that he was going to stop breathing.
I was only worried that somebody was going to notice.
“Isn’t that illegal?” Learner Dad said later, when I told him.
I pounced. “No it’s not! It was raining! And windy! You could have offered to pick him up! Sorry for trying to protect our son!”
I obviously still felt bad about it because it was quite the protest.
But I swear the rules on leaving kids in the car have tightened considerably since I had Master Seven.
I’m not talking about leaving your baby in the car while you go shopping for a pair of new boots.
I’m talking about dashing into the corner store for a carton of milk.
While pregnant with Li’l Fatty, a father friend said to Learner Dad: “You wait mate, you can’t go in to pay for petrol without taking them with you. Isn’t that right Ali?”
“Er, yes,” I said, thinking ‘Are you serious?’
But then, can it ever hurt to choose ‘safe’ over ‘sorry’?
Recently, I pulled up outside Video City.
I knew which DVD I wanted and where to find it.
I didn’t relish the chance of having to wake Li’l Fatty and drag both he and Master Seven inside.
I sat there and weighed up my options.
I knew nobody would drive off with them (you have to leave your keys in the car for that).
I knew they wouldn’t drive off themselves (Master Seven pushes boundaries but not that hard. And again, keys).
I knew they wouldn’t suffocate (it wasn’t hot and I wasn’t going to be long).
And I seriously doubted they’d be kidnapped.
Doubted.
The Maddie McCann warning to every parent flashed through my head.
So I set off for home to see what was on Ausstar.

A few interesting news articles on the issue:

http://www.news.com.au/national-old/mother-of-three-pleads-guilty-to-leaving-kids-unattended-in-car-while-she-visited-supermarket-for-10-minutes/story-e6frfkvr-1226355891527

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-06/mother-charged-over-baby-left-in-car/3316966

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7 thoughts on “Cars, kids and that controversial question

  1. What a nanny state this country is becoming when reasonably people are intimidated to the point of being unable to make rational decisions based on circumstances and responsibility. The politically correct will rule unless the silent majority stand up and say ENOUGH of the BS.

    • Hear hear Gary. It’s true though. It doesn’t take long for the do-gooders to begin circling cars. Sometimes it’s a great thing – I saw a golden retriever left in a car at Mures for almsot an hour on a hot day and was pleased when a couple phoned police. But yes, we are talking about reasonable people making reasonable decisions.

  2. Hmm, I best check uk law as I regularly leave the kids in the car to pay for petrol or pay at a parking meter…it is a tough one and I do find myself in the same quandary as you sometimes. Everyone finds their own risk level – and hoping it’s not the Maddie McCann chance in a million…

    • Exactly Mrs H, chance in a million. Sigh, the world’s going mad! A friend on facebook said they leave their babies in prams parked outside shops in Denmark! Maybe that’s a bit crazy in the other direction though 🙂

  3. Yep. I hear ya!
    Yesterday a woman left her 3 kids, one a baby, in the supermarket carpark while she did her shopping, as in a full, big shop… It was about 23 degrees yesterday… The supermarket got involved… Not good…

    I leave Charlie in the car to pay for petrol, always took Erika in, but 2 minutes is NOT neglectful…

    There are always little kids in cars at Erikas school… I wouldnt do it, only because Erikas class is too far from the car park, but if I could see the car from her classroom I would do the same…

    And you know what, who give a rats what people might think!!!! No matter what, they will always find something to judge you on! lol

    • I had to do the same thing next day Gumboots and one of Leo’s classmate’s mums asked “you on your own today?” so I swallowed my anxiety and said “no, bub is in the car.” I still cared what she thought but she didn’t seem to give a rats herself 🙂

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