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Forgetting the child

Posted Aug 21 2012 5:14am
We've all heard about it. Stories of parents accidentally leaving their child in a hot car, only to return to find terrifying results. I am especially appalled when I hear that responsible parent was arrested, punished, put in jail, etc. for an even that was obviously accidental.

While obviously there are instances in which a parent were to do something like this on purpose (going to shop or participating in a job interview, etc. while their child was in the vehicle) the vast majority of these incidents are accidents. That means not on purpose. Let's further punish a parent grieving beyound what I am able to imagine by putting them in jail. That makes sense.

So how, many of you ask, does a parent forget their child?

Well, I'm here to admit that while I've never actually forgotten a child in the car, I've come close a few times.

One time, in particular, sticks out in my mind.

Abigail was a new baby. I wasn't used to having a new baby. I was used to having loud and chatty toddlers. But I left my two loud and chatty toddlers at home with JB, strapped Abigail into her carseat, and picked up my friend Angelica to go to coffee. As we pulled into Starbucks, and I opened my door to get out, I realized that Abigail was with me. Because she was so quiet, for the entire drive, I had actually forgotten that she was in the vehicle. I was used to loud toddlers. Not a sleeping newborn.

I admitted to Angelica that I had totally forgotten Abigail was with me, and we both admitted that the incident illustrated how forgetting occurs. Parents are overloaded. We are doing too much. JB and I have often misplaced a child at home or at a park because we thought the other person was watching him. We call this  having a bad "hand-off" and we are constantly reminding each other to "hand-off" completely. I am watching a boy until JB acknowledges and agrees he is watching the boy.

So, since you can post anonymously, any stories of forgetfullness, or almost forgetfullness? Of just trying to do too much as a mom?
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