Funny this post came up...law in our state is the car (or baby?) needs to be in view. Of course the law is vague...anyway, after months of taking my older child to preschool, running in and out to drop her off (4 max minutes total each time - usually only 2 minutes, that is how close the car is to the door, and she is already lined up with her coat on every day as their routine) and waking my 1 year old up and then not having her nap the rest of the day, I decided to leave her in the car while she was sleeping, I take her in the preschool if she is awake, although a total PITA because once she is out of the carseat she pitches a fit if she has to get back in. If this was in a strip mall, or shopping center or any place public, a library, etc, I would not have done it, but the distance from the open door (and even closed it has large windows) is shorter than my driveway. I leave the windows down partially so I could hear her cry, I can see her the whole time. By the way the preschool is on a side road, in a small church/cemetary lot with a horse farm next to it, there are no houses even close by and the only people in the parking lot are those dropping the kids off at school and the church ladies who work there during the day. I don't ever even leave her in the car in my driveway (which is pretty long...but still I don't do it)
Anyway...one of the other mothers is a police officer. She cornered me, while I was holding onto my 4 year old and told me that all the mothers had been telling her about my toddler being in the car and that if she saw me do it again she would arrest me and put me in jail. No nice wording, no "hey I wasn't sure if you aware of the law" or "I am concerned" . I tried to explain to her that my daughter was in view and she said "well you know it's wrong and you continue to do it, so I will arrest you" On a side note, she has no jurisdiction in this county, which I guess doesn't matter to her. Not only did she freak out my daughter who says every time I make a mistake "are you going to go to jail mommy?" but she also made me feel horrible as a mother, her tone was how could you, you know it's wrong. Plus apparently other mothers agreed and were talking to her about it (hmm, if it was so dangerous why didn't one of those mothers come to me first instead of talking about me behind my back and doing nothing? or at least offer to walk my child in the preschool or offer to keep an eye on the toddler and not sit around and gossip about how horrible I am)
So long story short...nope now I never leave my child in the car. In fact, I now have a babysitter come 3 days a week to watch my toddler just so I don't have to deal with this woman or anyone thinking I am neglecting my child or putting her in a dangerous situation. I am more likely to have my car jacked in the city (which I go often) while I am in it then break into my locked car in the middle of nowhere. But anyway I don't do it anymore, I can't risk someone thinking I am neglecting my child. Now even when my nearly 5 year old doesn't want to wear a coat, I make her wear it because I am afraid someone is going to call CPS on me for neglect.