Leaving sleeping children in the car for under 3 minutes - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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sounds like the OP was fine with what the AP did. to each their own.
personally, i find a work around solution in situations like this. you can pay for gas at the pump with a credit card you pay off each month, or a debit card. you can get a bottle of water at mcdonalds drive thru, a bottle of milk, too. you can plan ahead with a small cooler in the car if it's going to be a long day.
heck, you can get ATM cash at drive thrus, too.
i'm not one to yell at other people for their choices. we can all do what we want to do, and we all pay consequences for our choices. for some, an unlucky few perhaps, the consequences can be severe, if unlikely or unthinkable. for others, the consequences can be a lifetime of paranoia, etc.
i'm probably in the latter group. i thought up a scenario and reason for not leaving kids alone in the car at 7-11: armed robberies at convenience stores happen so often it's cliche. if shots were fired and you were separated from your children, you have lost your opportunity to directly protect them.
there are risks we all have to take, and then there are unnecessary risks that are "options".
probably best to avoid the 7-11s altogether. their prices tend to be too high.

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#62 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mirthfulmum View Post
Wow! I had no idea that a 3 minute 7-11 run could be so controversial.

I love my children to the ends of the universe and back. There is not a single thing in this world I wouldn't do for them to keep them healthy and safe. I am a dedicated AP mama and wear the label with pride. And I have left my almost 3 yo and 5 yo in the locked car approx 10 feet away as I ran to the bank machine. Judge away, but it does not make me any less of a mother and it in no way measures on any scale of neglect.

Thank you dubfam and pigpokey for keeping it sane.

I have done this many times too - as long as I can see the car and see my ds (wave to him, etc), but I don't know if I would leave him in while I ran into a store, even a 7-11 for a minute of two, it would depend. I wouldn't leave him while he was awake because he would want to go, asleep it would depend on where the store was, if I could see the car at ALL TIMES. Thats the only thing about it, if you go for a juice/water at 7-11 you don't have your eyes on the children and car the whole time. I'm not comfortable going in to pay for gas, I am so thankful for paying at the pump!

When my older brother and I were kids it was normal for my mom to leave us in the car at 7-11, with the car running:. I put the car in reverse and we ended up in the middle of the road. I was about 2. Another time she left us in the driveway at my grandparents, again I put the car in drive this time, crashed into my grandpa's car. Not quite sure why she didn't learn the first time....She wonders why she has never taken care of ds anywhere but in my home, and not very often.
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#63 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:28 AM
 
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Maybe we should pass a law that you cannot transport kids in automobiles period, because there might be a traffic accident.
Yeah, the people who think kids should never, ever be left in cars even for a minute certainly ought to be in favor of that. Or at least, if they were thinking at all logically, along with never leaving their kids in the car, they would also avoid taking their kids on any car trip that was not absolutely necessary. After all, it's not worth risking their lives just to take them to a park. And of course they should avoid other crazy risks like living in a two-story house, or letting their kids ride bikes, or owning pets. (Google "killed by the family pet," if you think leaving a kid in the car for 3 minutes is more irresponsible than owning a pet. And no, I don't actually think owning a pet is irresponsible.)
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#64 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:29 AM
 
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I am actually surprised that anyone would consider leaving a sleeping child in a car to "run into the store". I often like to stop at convenience stores (aka WaWa ) to get coffee. I do it all of the time. Never have I left my dd in the car for even 3 minutes. Just not something I ever thought to do.

A short story... recently I stopped for coffee. I got a sleeping dd out of the car, went in and bought my coffee and back to the car I went. As I was strapping dd back in the woman sitting a car next to me actually commented how glad she was to see that I took her with me and didn't leave her in the car. I was very surprised at the suggestion and said I didn't know people did that. She said she sees it all of the time

It's always a bad idea to leave kids in the car. Even when they are asleep.

One question, if the au pair was watching the car so closely, didn't she see the woman loitering near the car? If she did, why wouldn't she have been alarmed by that? Clearly she wasn't really watching too closely or she saw possible danger (a stranger standing near the car) and still continued to purchase the drinks.
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#65 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
i thought up a scenario and reason for not leaving kids alone in the car at 7-11: armed robberies at convenience stores happen so often it's cliche. if shots were fired and you were separated from your children, you have lost your opportunity to directly protect them.
If shots were being fired inside the store, wouldn't it be much safer for the kids to be outside in the car?
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#66 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:35 AM
 
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I thought we were all Ap mamas here. Why would an Nfl ap mama wanted to leave her babe in the car? How old were the OP's dc's. I think I need a little Background Info. I thought we were talking babes and toddlers.

:CLC,Doula :Mama to 2
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#67 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:38 AM
 
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I already figured it out almost 3 and almost two. IMHO no never the PP can make her own decisions for her and teh au pair. I still would not have done it my clients would have fired me or any other nanny.

:CLC,Doula :Mama to 2
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#68 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:42 AM
 
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I thought we were all Ap mamas here. Why would an Nfl ap mama wanted to leave her babe in the car?
BC they were asleep and it was a 3 minute trip with the vehicle in plain sight.
Why would an AP parent wake their children for that?
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#69 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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If shots were being fired inside the store, wouldn't it be much safer for the kids to be outside in the car?
not necessarily, as they are alone and might not be aware enough of what's going on outside the car to know to duck, and, strapped in a carseat, physically unable to duck or move out of harms way at all. bullets go through glass windows. the point is that you would be physically separated from them and possibly unable to quickly get to them to protect them.

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#70 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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I am actually surprised that anyone would consider leaving a sleeping child in a car to "run into the store". I often like to stop at convenience stores (aka WaWa ) to get coffee. I do it all of the time. Never have I left my dd in the car for even 3 minutes. Just not something I ever thought to do.

A short story... recently I stopped for coffee. I got a sleeping dd out of the car, went in and bought my coffee and back to the car I went. As I was strapping dd back in the woman sitting a car next to me actually commented how glad she was to see that I took her with me and didn't leave her in the car. I was very surprised at the suggestion and said I didn't know people did that. She said she sees it all of the time

It's always a bad idea to leave kids in the car. Even when they are asleep.

One question, if the au pair was watching the car so closely, didn't she see the woman loitering near the car? If she did, why wouldn't she have been alarmed by that? Clearly she wasn't really watching too closely or she saw possible danger (a stranger standing near the car) and still continued to purchase the drinks.
It's a little trickier with more than one sleeping child.
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#71 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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While I am generally OK with parents leaving their sleeping, buckled-up kids in a locked car for a short time, I would have MAJOR concerns if a paid caregiver did this. I don't think your au pair should have been verbally attacked, however I do think she showed a serious lapse in judgement. Maybe if the stop was absolutely necessary I could see it, but stopping at the store for water and milk before going to the park would be completely unacceptable to me. There were so many better choices she could have made in this scenario that it would be difficult for me to trust this person in the future.
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#72 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:46 AM
 
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I was in a Plaid Pantry with my mom when I was 5 and a lady drove through the front of the store and came VERY close to running me over.

I just thought about that, or I would have mentioned it earlier.

I am sure that there are just as many freak things that could happen in the store (if not a lot more) as could happen in the car.
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#73 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:46 AM
 
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Sorry. I wasn't thinking that neglect of children was harmless, and personally I wouldn't want to stand there with a stopwatch to determine of the adult was coming back soon and the degree of neglect involved. I'd rather jump the gun and try to protect the kids - option A being calling the police and letting them know that two kids were left in a car, and option B being dialing the cops, seeing the adult, and laying into her for being so careless - especially with someone else's kids.

At least one of the OP's kids is at the age where s/he could unbuckle if awake, and wander into the parking lot to look for this missing adult.
Thank you for making my point you are a perfect example of the culture of fear.
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#74 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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Why would an Nfl ap mama wanted to leave her babe in the car?
I am an AP mama.

While I wouldn't leave my 2 month old in the car for a second, awake or asleep. I've left my 2 year old for a minute or 2. Always in situations I've judged as safe. I live in a large urban city in Canada, there really aren't many drive-thru anythings here, I had no idea there were drive-thru ATMs.

Chances of my children being hurt/kidnapped while I run into a convienence store for 2 minutes while they're in plain site, probably about 0.0001%. Chances of my children wailing and moaning and tantrumming 'cause I woke them from sleep to drag them into convienince store, 100%.

How is 1 scenario more AP than another?
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#75 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 01:01 AM
 
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It's a little trickier with more than one sleeping child.
True. I'm certain I wouldn't be stopping for a caffeine fix if I had two sleeping LOs in the car. I've got coffee at home, too

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At least one of the OP's kids is at the age where s/he could unbuckle if awake, and wander into the parking lot to look for this missing adult.
Thank you for making my point you are a perfect example of the culture of fear.
Actually, the scenerio LilyGrace describes is very real and not due to a culture of fear. I've seen several young kids- 4,5,6yo- wander into a convenience store looking for their moms or dads. It would not be unusual for that to happen. Would you allow your 4 or 5yo to get him/herself out of the car and go looking for you?

So it's now a culture of fear because we don't want our kids wandering around parking lots?
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#76 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 01:03 AM
 
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I guess I just cannot think what could happen to them?

They are strapped into their carseats and are asleep, so they aren't going anywhere. The car is locked, and in plain view of many people, so the likelihood of someone stealing the car (a 97 ford contour, so not valuable) or the kids (you ever try lifting a sleeping 4 year old out of a carseat quietly without anyone noticing?) is pretty darn low.

Sure, another car could hit the car, but that could happen at any time, au pair in the car or not, so not sure how her presence prevents it (in fact, being outside the car may help her get the kids out, vs if she were trapped in the car too).

I did hear once about a family where the kids got into some matches while mom was running an errand, but in my mind the problem there was leaving matches around small kids, and not leaving them in the car.

I don't meant to be snarky, but I am seriously puzzled by what unforeseen tragedy would be likely to occur in that time period that her presence would prevent?

Not to say that anyone should be comfortable with it if they aren't - but I am just trying to assess risk here, and the risk, honestly, to me seems very very low.

I haven't read all the pages (although I'm pretty sure I know where they were going). I agree 100% with this, though.

I had a woman approach me in the grocery store parking lot the other day as I was about to go literally *3 parking spaces* to return the shopping cart with DS2 strapped in his seat & the car keys in my pocket. She made some comment about "you wouldn't want anyone stealing your car. You know how THEY can be"........ um, who is "they"? the invisible car thieving gremlins who are going to materialize next to my car, hot wire it and drive off in the 30 seconds it's going to take me to push this cart 15 feet? : I mean, really? And if there were someone who was going to steal my car and child, what good am I really going to be able to do at 5'2" and 125 lbs? All I could do is scream for help, hit the panic button on the alarm and hope it scared them away.

That level of paranoia is baffling to me sometimes. Would I ever leave the kids in a running car? NO Would I leave the kids in the car if it was out of my line of sight? NO Would I leave the kids in a car for longer than a few minutes if I was in the midst of a custody battle with an ex who may have a key to my car? NO ........... that covers almost 100% of the child abductions.

The kids have a greater risk of being killed in a car accident on the way to the store! What's next, strangers yelling at me for driving with the kids?! It's statistically WAY more dangerous and could probably be avoided if I really cared, right? :
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#77 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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It's not something I personally would ever do. Cart corral, parking meter, ATM, mailbox, sure. A lot of things like that would take 10 times as long and be 100 times more dangerous if you took the child out. My own kitchen, with the door to my private driveway open, to grab something before stepping right back out, sure. But not off to some other part of my house to do other stuff. And certainly not into another building to do business there, however briefly.. The story about the grandma who saw but couldn't do anything is on point. People always get accused of believing in the bogeyman when this subject comes up, but if you want to talk about unrealistic, imagining that a line of sight is adequate protection against violence certainly qualifies.

Considering the recently publicized deaths and what a horrible way it is to die, I really don't get the judgment towards those who would intervene. There's no two ways: either society is going to be vigilant about this or not. A bystander doesn't know the full situation and can't read the mind of the absent adult. All they see is an unattended child. I'm sorry your au pair was upset but I think the woman was basically in the right.

Water, juice and milk are available at any fast food drive thru and I would be skittish about having a newcomer who hasn't grasped such basic info on the way things are set up in this country driving my kids around a major metropolitan area.
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#78 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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Well, we live in an extreme rural sprawl, and I must admit that I leave MY 2 sleeping LOs (age 2.5 and 3.5) in the car, and my cousin's baby (who is 1 yo) in the car sometimes when they are all asleep. I have even gone INSIDE the pet store once to pick up catfood. It wasn't hot outside, I locked the door. They were all strapped in and sound asleep. I timed it. I was literally in the pet store for 1.5 minutes. Should someone have called the police?

PPs have mentioned that the child care provider should have been more prepared, etc. Well, I am not perfect. Sometimes I forget to grab the water bottles out of the frigidaire. Sometimes I forget extra outfits and diapers. Sometimes I HAVE to buy catfood before I get home (cat is on a special diet and can not eat anything else or it leads to bloody stool all over my house (TMI?). Should I have waited in the car for an hour for them all to wake up on their own? Should I have awakened them all and dragged them all inside to pickup the bag and then dragged them all back outside and fastened them all in, all the while they would all be crying and tantruming from that point on throughout the rest of the day because they didn't finish their naps. I still think I made the right decision.

As far as with OP...I would have done what au pair did, but we live in a very small town and I always lock the car. I am fairly surprised that this thread is so heated. The kids were safe, regardless of all the what-if scenarious. Can't we just leave it at that? I mean, some people think that carrying a baby in a backpack is dangerous. Does that give them the right to call the police on us if they think our babies look sweaty or their little heads are bobbing up and down too much while we are walking? Should people be allowed to turn us in to the police if we allow our children to play in our own yards unattended?
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#79 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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No I would not leave my kids in the car alone, awake or asleep, to go into a convenience store. I have unbuckled them both and hauled them in with me to buy one banana and a bottle of water. Yes it was a pain, but I felt it was the right thing to do. If they had been asleep I probably would have just skipped it. Going into a convenience store and making a purchase is too far for my comfort.

When I shop, I park as close as I can to the cart corrals so I don't have to go more than a few feet away from the car and can see it and them the entire time. If I have to park a long way from one, then we all take the cart over there together. When I take our dogs to the groomer, I park right in front of the door and hand their leashes over or pay just stepping inside the door, so I can not only see the car but the kids themselves the entire time and could be at the van in about two seconds if needed because I'm only about six feet away from it. Two days ago I took my glasses to be repaired (because I stepped on them). Both boys were asleep; so I parked right in front of the door, and did my business standing in the doorway; they were happy to come take my glasses, adjust them, bring them over to try on, take them back, etc until they were fixed; they totally understood I didn't want to come into the store and be more than a few feet from my car and have my kids out of sight.

There are many errands I need to run during the week that would be so much easier to accomplish if I didn't feel the need to take them in with me at every single stop. I wish I didn't feel it was necessary but I do. For me it's reallly not about what other people would think or what a police officer might do...I am just not comfortable having them out of my sight and unsupervised at this age, unless we are at home, and even then I am keeping an ear on them the entire time. Maybe when they are older I will feel differently, but for now, it feels right to keep them close and safe, even when it is more difficult for me.

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#80 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 01:33 AM
 
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No I would not leave my kids in the car alone, awake or asleep, to go into a convenience store. I have unbuckled them both and hauled them in with me to buy one banana and a bottle of water. Yes it was a pain, but I felt it was the right thing to do. If they had been asleep I probably would have just skipped it. Going into a convenience store and making a purchase is too far for my comfort.

When I shop, I park as close as I can to the cart corrals so I don't have to go more than a few feet away from the car and can see it and them the entire time. If I have to park a long way from one, then we all take the cart over there together. When I take our dogs to the groomer, I park right in front of the door and hand their leashes over or pay just stepping inside the door, so I can not only see the car but the kids themselves the entire time and could be at the van in about two seconds if needed because I'm only about six feet away from it. Two days ago I took my glasses to be repaired (because I stepped on them). Both boys were asleep; so I parked right in front of the door, and did my business standing in the doorway; they were happy to come take my glasses, adjust them, bring them over to try on, take them back, etc until they were fixed; they totally understood I didn't want to come into the store and be more than a few feet from my car and have my kids out of sight.

There are many errands I need to run during the week that would be so much easier to accomplish if I didn't feel the need to take them in with me at every single stop. I wish I didn't feel it was necessary but I do. For me it's reallly not about what other people would think or what a police officer might do...I am just not comfortable having them out of my sight and unsupervised at this age, unless we are at home, and even then I am keeping an ear on them the entire time. Maybe when they are older I will feel differently, but for now, it feels right to keep them close and safe, even when it is more difficult for me.
Thank you, finally someone who is like minded. I don't care what other people think as well. I could never and will never leave my precious ds in the car alone...Never.....Ever...

:CLC,Doula :Mama to 2
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#81 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 01:57 AM
 
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I have three children and I would NEVER leave them in a car while I run in anywhere for any amount of time. It's unacceptable and dangerous. I have gotten gas before and not been able to pay at the pump. I take all of my children into the gas station with me to pay, no matter if they are sleeping or whatever. I call the police immediately when I see a child in a car unattended and I've told a sitter or mom off before for leaving children in the car. It's irresponsible. I don't understand the mentality behind it and I think that you should tell your sitter to not take shortcuts with your children. If I can bring all three of my wild children into the gas station to pay, so can anyone else. It's inconvenient, yes, but so what.

I agree that she should have been told how unacceptabe it is to leave children in the car, even if you can see them from the window.
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#82 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 01:59 AM
 
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In absolute agreement.

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waitin' for my baby

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#83 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 02:13 AM
 
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wow!
This fear and paranoia thing is pretty over the top. That scares me more than anything! It takes the place of rationality in a lot of cases I think.
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#84 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 02:31 AM
 
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I am sorry your au pair was yelled at. If the woman was concerned about your children, she certainly could have picked a gentler way to express it.

I have left my two awake 2-year olds in the car when I run into the dry cleaners to drop off my husband's shirts, or pick them up. I feel it's safer than bringing them with me. For one, I have at least one of my hands occupied with the shirts and therefore cannot hold two hands. My kids are runners and are far more likely to break away from me and dash into the parking lot, where cars move fairly quickly, than the car is to get broken in to/hit by a car/burst into flames. I sit in the car and wait until no one is at the counter so the errand will take probably less than 2 minutes, but I've never timed it. I don't do it if it's hot outside, I lock the car and I am about 10 steps away from them the whole time. We live in a very safe area. (My from line says San Francisco, but we've since moved to the 'burbs.)

I agree with PPs who are talking about moderation and using good judgment. I try not to let fear rule my life and think through the potential consequences of my actions and decide whether I can live with them.

SAHM to F & P, : fraternal twins born 3/05, : I, born 12/07 & at 5 weeks in July 2009
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#85 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 02:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Delta View Post
LOL. So much wrong with this statement.
I disagree. There's so much wrong here, but assuming that parents who pride themselves on doing what's best for our children would leave their children in a car for what?....a coke? that's crazy. So much wrong with ThAT. What's so important that you just can't get it later when the children are asleep. I've had to cancel my plans many times because it was not feasible to bring them into the store with me. What's so important in a convenience store? Coke? Fried burritos?(ok, I love fried burritos, but still!)

Lisa

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#86 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 02:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lisa49 View Post
What's so important in a convenience store? Coke? Fried burritos?(ok, I love fried burritos, but still!)

Lisa
beer, smokes, lottery tickets, and a quick shag if the cashier strikes my fancy.
kidding. Usually it's gas. The thing is, I don't see how it's a gamble any more than leaving the house is a gamble. I still love my kids. I promise.
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#87 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 02:53 AM
 
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I've totally shagged in a convenience store once....but that's for another thread I suppose.

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#88 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 03:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamajama View Post
beer, smokes, lottery tickets, and a quick shag if the cashier strikes my fancy.
kidding. Usually it's gas. The thing is, I don't see how it's a gamble any more than leaving the house is a gamble. I still love my kids. I promise.
Ok, back to being serious....I promise. It's not about loving your children. It's about the pompousness of thinking that bad things only happen to other people. Once you've had something really bad happen to YOU, you don't get that luxury anymore. Yeah, leaving the house is dangerous and staying home is dangerous. But with that mentality, why even try? Why even bother to lock your doors at night? I've had people tell me "if someone really wants your kids, there's nothing you can do to stop them" to which I respond "well, maybe, but that doesn't mean that I have to make it easy for them." So, I could get into a wreck on the way to the store. That's an accident, but to me, leaving your children in a car is no accident. You just can't think that bad things won't happen to you. You don't have to live in fear, but don't live in denial either.
Lisa

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#89 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 03:04 AM
 
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#90 of 407 Old 09-21-2007, 03:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lisa49 View Post
Ok, back to being serious....I promise. It's not about loving your children. It's about the pompousness of thinking that bad things only happen to other people. Once you've had something really bad happen to YOU, you don't get that luxury anymore. Yeah, leaving the house is dangerous and staying home is dangerous. But with that mentality, why even try? Why even bother to lock your doors at night? I've had people tell me "if someone really wants your kids, there's nothing you can do to stop them" to which I respond "well, maybe, but that doesn't mean that I have to make it easy for them." So, I could get into a wreck on the way to the store. That's an accident, but to me, leaving your children in a car is no accident. You just can't think that bad things won't happen to you. You don't have to live in fear, but don't live in denial either.
Lisa
I've experienced bad things. I understand they happen to me and mine and to others and to everyone at one point or another in life. I refuse to lve in fear. I give you the point about locking the doors. touchè. But I know that when I go into the store and my kids are in the locked car a few feet away from me within my view they are essentially as safe as houses. In fact, in my city there has never once been a car-jacking. Not once. But there have been plenty of armed robberies inside stores. So if I were to make mathamatical equations in my head based on the odds of Bad Scary Awful Things happening to myself or my kids (which is a method by which I vehemently refuse to live my life) every time I need to make a decision throughout my day, I would still be better off leaving the kids in the car and, in fact, should be scolded for taking them into the store with me!
This is all rather circular
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