Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What would you have done?

Read this story and see how ridiculous it is that this mom is on trial for child endangerment.

I know I've done things like this with my kids and would be totally shocked if I were arrested for it. I frequently leave Eli in the buckled in his carseat, locked van in the preschool parking lot while I go inside to drop off/pick up Jacob and the two boys I babysit. In my opinion, he's much safer inside the locked van than he would be if I took him inside and let him run around unattended (while trying to get coats, hats and backpacks hung up for 3 children) while the door to the preschool stands open where he could just run out.

I can also think of one time when I left both of them locked in the van while I ran in to the gas station to pay for my gas (because I was in desperate need of gas and the place didn't have pay-at-the-pump...). But seriously, I was only 10-15 yards away and could see them the entire time.

Let me just say that I am VERY leary about leaving my kids unattended, even in the locked vehicle, but sometimes there are circumstances where I think it's ok for several reasons.... I would NEVER do it in a "shady" place, or if I were going to be gone more than just a few minutes, or leave the van unlocked, or on a hot day, etc. But, in reality, it snows a ton here, can be extremely cold, there can be icy walking conditions in parking lots, I always lock the doors and leave them buckled in their seats, am never far away and watch the van like-a-hawk. So, I think if someone were going to break into my van which does NOT have automatic locks, so this would require breaking in the front door and manually unlocking the back sliding door - then opening the sliding door, unbuckle my toddler from the 5 point thing and get him out while he's crying because of the stranger - I'm pretty sure I would be alerted to something fishy going on and this process would take more than just a few seconds to accomplish....

I am aware there are laws against leaving small children unattended in vehicles. But I am also aware that these laws were created for stupid parents who leave their kids in hot cars on summer days where the temp. inside the car can reach over 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes and kill the child. And parents that run in the grocery store to get "a few items" while their kid is screaming in the car. Or parents who's kids are old enough to get out of their seatbelts and seats and unlock the car door and get out of the car and be taken by someone, lost or worse, get run over or something. These laws were created to protect children from their dumb parents, not to incarcerate good parents who make an educated decision regarding leaving the child in the car.

Please say a prayer for this mom and what she's facing. I know that you can't really tell what kind of parent she is from just this article, but to me it seems she made the right choice for the right reasons. I probably would have done the same thing.

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