The Difference Between Thinking And Doing

Sometimes life sucks, and you get caught in the act of a small, but possibly harmful rule-break. I really feel for the woman I just passed on the highway. There she sat, caught in the act, looking depressed and shamed, basking in the glow of the flashing lights of a police car.

The kiddos and I headed to Costco, and, it being almost 5:00, and Lindsay not having taken her nap once again, sure enough, when we pulled into our parking spot, she was sound asleep. She woke up grumpy, and I actually considered leaving her in the car to nap (it always seems like it’d be easier than either waking them up, or having to deal with a grumpy, crying, screaming kid), but that little voice that always kicks in told me better. I’m too paranoid (by nature) to actually do that. I start going through all of the “what ifs”. What if someone kidnapped them and I came back to an empty car? What if a car careened out of control while I was in the store and smashed into mine? What if Lindsay woke up, figured out how to open the door of the car, and ran into the parking lot looking for me, leaving Emery screaming in his seat with the door wide open? What if, what if, what if? So, in we went to face the shopping crowds, the screaming kids, the long ass checkout lines. It of course took longer than planned, which it always does, and as we headed back to our car to lug the groceries and kiddos in, I noticed that there were two kids sitting in the car next to mine. By themselves. They must have been about the same age as Emery and Lindsay, and I didn’t notice if they were crying, or just sitting peacefully. My guess is their mom did exactly what I had considered, but thought better of. She had pulled up and one or both of the kids were asleep, so she figured she could just run in really quickly and grab the couple things she needed, kid-free.

I then looked to the other side of my car and noticed two ladies just sitting there, one on the phone, and the other loitering around right outside the passenger door. The one already out of the car came over to me as I loaded the groceries and asked, in a very accusing tone, as though I had something to do with the atrocity being committed one space over, “Was that red car there when you pulled in?” I answered her honestly, that no, it hadn’t been. I had been in the store for about 45 minutes, so who knows if the kids had been there that long, or if it had only been 5 minutes. Either way, these two gals were obviously very concerned with such child abuse.

Right as I was getting back into my seat, the mom came running out of the store, hurriedly hopped in to her car, and pulled on out. I was about to pull out as well, when the gals who had been sitting in their car on the other side of me screamed out of their parking spot, following the gal, still talking on the phone, to who I now surmised was the police department, to report this violent criminal of a woman.

Once I finally made my way out of the zoo the Costco parking lot becomes when everyone gets off work, I saw the flashing lights, and knew without even looking that that poor mom had been pulled over. And there sat the car with the other two gals, behind the police car, looking smug and triumphant, having just saved the world. I wrestled between feeling bad for the mom, (as I’ve been in her position, wanting to just run into the store while the kids are napping) and telling myself not to feel bad, as she should have known better. But I felt bad nonetheless. I mean, yes, she shouldn’t have left the kids alone in the car, but the fact that she got a ticket or whatever for that, when she’s actually probably a very loving and caring mother (and this was probably the first time she’s ever left them alone in the car!), while child abusers and molesters and neglectors run free and rampant….it just really irks me. It certainly did reaffirm the fact that I will never leave the kids in the car, even for 2 minutes to run into a store. After all, some self righteous old bitties might be waiting to take me down!

I don’t know, what do you think internet? Did she deserve it?

4 Responses to “The Difference Between Thinking And Doing”


  1. 1 Memere

    Does she deserve a ticket? She deserves some sort of reprimand. You thought it through and made the wise choice, she did not.

    There is no justice in that REAL child abusers may not get caught. My hope is that she had a scary wake-up call and will never even consider leaving the kids in the car again. Not because she might get caught but for the safety of the children.

    On another note….how are you???? Missing the family……

  2. 2 Carole

    Hmm. That’s so tough. Well, I can definitely see wanting to leave them in the car for just a second while you run into the store (but of course, at busy Costco, who is ever only in the store for just a second?). But I think, if they were roughly the same age as Lindsay and Emery, that they were probably too young to sit in the car by themselves. I’ll bet though that by the time I was five or so that my mom would leave me in the car by myself once in a blue moon, while she ran into the store or wherever for five minutes or less.

    The location says a lot, too. Though there’s crazies everywhere, in a busy city like Beaverton, I wouldn’t leave my kids in the car, no matter what the age. If I was going to Main Street Market in Warrenton, though, and my child was of a reasonable age, I might consider leaving them in the locked car for a moment.

    Bottom line, I think you made the right choice and that the other woman deserved a stern reprimand. Hell, I get upset when I see a DOG alone in the car without a window cracked.

  3. 3 Richard

    You DO NOT leave kids alone in a car. Why would anyone even think about it? If I was a cop and saw it , you would get a ticket no matter what your excuse was.

  4. 4 Dorothy van Winkle

    i concur with my big brother. you never leave children in a car without an adult. period.

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