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Leaving your Sleeping child… 

Milk, bread, and frozen pizzas for movie night.  That’s all I need.  The backseat has gone strangely quiet.  I readjust my rear view mirror.  Oh, no! Jack, Hey Jack!!  No sleepy time – Jack, please stay awake…. Jack?  Jacko?  Crap, she is out cold.

Now I am faced with one of life’s true dilemmas.  I think every parent, if they were to be truly honest, has been faced with at some point in their parenting career.  Can I make it?   Could I possibly leave my beloved peacefully sleeping child in a car – a locked car of course (I’m not a barbarian) – while I run in and grab what I need?   I have NEVER done it, but I think about it a lot!

I think about when my 3 year old has been up all night sick, and is finally sleeping at 8:10 am when I need to make our 3 minute walk to school with her older brother…

I think about it when I do need to hit the grocery store for 2 items…

Have you ever done it?  I have not yet, but to be truthful, I have visited the instant teller, mailed letters, and picked up Dominos with a strapped in sleeping child – but that sleeping child was always in sight.  That is where I draw the line.  I must be able to see her.   Where do you draw the line?

If I ever did decide to tempt fate and chance a grocery store visit, you better believe I’m on fire and a menace in the aisles, like I’m running in a cheesy 80s game show shopping spree – how much can I grab in 45 seconds??? You’d better believe when I get to check out line, I’m giving you the hairy eyeball to let me go in front of you and your giant overflowing cart full of crap.

But my grounding sobering fear is always this shocking scene… I would return to my vehicle and it would be surrounded by people – angry people shaking their heads and pointing.  Pointing to my now starry-eyed awake abandoned crying child in a locked vehicle.    Distant police sirens get closer as the angry mob looks around for the parent of that child.   I would join the witch hunt/crusade, stirring up the angry people who have now grabbed pitchforks and garden utensils.    I would start yelling “Where is this jerk?” “Who does this?” “This is 2012, not 1971” – then I would yell, “There HE IS!!!” and point to the sorry sucker coming out of the pharmacy – then while the crowd has bum-rushing the innocent, I’d jump in my car, and get the hell out of there!”

THAT scenario is what usually keeps me from chancing the Mad Dash with a sleeping child.  I am the proud shepherd protecting my flock.

Before I was a parent, I could never understand the laziness of the drive-thru – from fast food to bank machines and even booze.  Now do I ever get it!   It’s so painfully simple to me now.   The drive thru was invented for parents;  parents with sleeping children in their cars.  Probably invented by a dad that couldn’t take the mental torment anymore of  “Can I make it”???

What about you?  Time to confess…  Set yourself free, there is not judgment here on the Vibe…

Have you ever been tempted?  Have you ever done it?  WHERE?????????

Until next time!



  • Susan B Dec 6, 2012 Reply

    My mother always left my sister and I sitting in the car outside of Safeway in Nelson, BC. She hated bringing us into any stores because we “had to touch everything!”. What my poor mother found when she returned to her vehicle may have been worse than taking us inside. My sister and I were not good together, so being stuck together inside a parked vehicle usually led to a war. We were aged… hmmm long time ago, 8 and 10, so not toddlers. Nobody would have been interested in kidnapping two evil girls yelling and wrestling in the back seat of a car. Leaving a wee babe inside a vehicle isn’t a good idea. This is a mom commenting – great blog by the way.

    • Jeff Dec 20, 2012 Reply

      Hey Susan,

      Thanks so much for your kind words and funny story — yes, leaving kids in the car seems to be a fun/serious topic for many parents! Thanks for your insights… I look forward to hearing from you again! Thanks for reading and being a part!

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