Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Would Your Kids Have Called the Cops?

There were three kids in the car, happily engrossed in a Scooby DVD. For once they weren’t fighting so when I pulled up in front of the bread shop and there was an empty space right out the front, I decided to leave them all in car while I ducked in to buy a loaf of bread.

It wasn’t hot. It wasn’t a dodgy neighbourhood. The bakery was practically deserted and I was served immediately. I could see them for every second I was in the shop. It was a judgement call – I left the kids alone in the car. 

But less than a minute later when I climbed back in, the Bombshell lazily commented to me: ‘You really shouldn’t leave kids alone in the car.’

My heart raced and I became instantly paranoid.

‘Did someone tell you that?’ I asked, looking around for the Today Tonight camera crew.

Instead the Bombshell pointed to a big yellow tag sticking out the side of the Baby’s carseat. ‘No, it says right here. It’s got a big cross and everything.’

Bloody schools, teaching kids to read.

I relaxed a bit and told her ‘you’re right, but if I was concerned about your safety I never would have left you alone, if it was hot, say, or we were in a not-nice neighbourhood where someone might take the car.’

It was the Bombshell’s turn to look around in paranoia.

‘I would hit anyone who wanted to take the car,’ she said bravely.

The Mop spoke up: ‘someone could have stolen us?’ she asked.

‘… or the car,’ her big sister told her helpfully.

‘A policeman would arrest you and lock you up for 99 years,’ the Mop told me, shaking her head sadly.

I sighed. ‘Well, please don’t tell any policemen that I left you alone for less than a minute.’

‘We won’t,’ said the Bombshell. ‘We don’t know any policemen.’

‘So,’ I asked. ‘You would have dobbed on me if you knew a policeman even if it meant I would get locked up for 99 years?’

There was a pause in the back seat as they put their heads together and reached a consensus.

‘No,’ decided the Mop. ‘We won’t dob because we love you.’

Yet for some reason, I’m still not convinced…


  1. I was listening to a radio show once, where a young man called in to say he had spotted a woman go into a shop and leave her 3 small children in the car. The host asked him how long the woman was gone and he said it was exactly 1 minute and 23 seconds (something like that) as he had been so shocked he sat down on the curb and timed her absence.
    Well, you should have heard the other callers - with nearly 100% of the women supporting the mother who went into the shop and a large % of the men (and of course, the original caller) saying the woman was negligent, car could have been stolen, perverts could have attacked and other horrors! My guess is those men never had to take their baby children out with them when they were just popping out for milk ... so they know the theory, but have never suffered the actual "doing"!!

  2. If your kids didn't report you, a passer-by might have. I recently read this mother's story—with horror, I might add—as I have done the same thing, many times, particularly if they were asleep, or it was raining, and when I knew I was only running in and straight back out again. Anyway, here's a link to the story I mentioned. I'm hoping it would only happen in America ..

  3. Bless them they are beautiful and very proactive x


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