Okay ... I realize it's been almost a month since I've written anything.
Well ... that's not exactly true. I've written a few things that just haven't made it to the posting stage. I'm working on it ... I'm working on it.
Still ... I feel the need to get this written and get it out there because that's what I do when I'm really and truly angry.
It has been one of those wonderful, pre-holiday weekend Fridays where it's quiet enough in the office that I was actually allowed to get all of my work done early. Early enough that I was able to get a few extra tid-bitty things completed that just always make me nutty to come into on Monday. Then, I left the office early. That, in itself, was a definite cause to celebrate but on the way home, I stopped at my favorite fruit stand and was, once again, gifted by the owner (we've been doing this now for a good 7 or 8 years ) with a small, sweet, seedless watermelon. Yum!!!
After I paid for my other things, I went by the laundromat (yep, the washer still hasn't been replaced but I've still got my Supernatural Convention tickets ... woot!!!) to wash up a few loads and the front washers that are next to the chairs are open. Yay!! I throw in the clothes and then take a seat and read for 25 minutes, relaxing while they get clean. Loading them back in the car to take home to dry, I decide that I want to pick up some last minute things at the grocery store.
I run across the street ... okay, that's not entirely correct ... I drove Baby across the street and we found a parking spot right up close to the door. Yay, again! I go in and quickly get the few things I wanted and walk right up to the register and check out without waiting. Yay, yet again!!
So ... why ... you ask am I now cranky???
Here's what happened next:
I took may bags out to my car in my basket. I could have carried them, but ... well, I didn't. So, I pull the basket up next to Baby and open her up to put the bags in the back seat. While I'm doing this, I'm humming and enjoying the afternoon/evening breeze and I watch a car pull in right in front of mine. No biggie. I see a lady in the front seat look at me with kinda a strange look, but I just went on with my business of unloading and then throwing my purse into the front seat.
The lady gets out of the car, giving me yet another interesting look and heads into the store.
And I realize that she has left the car running.
I glance in the front window as I walk by to put my car in the lot's cart catcher and notice that no one seems to be in the vehicle. Not in the front or the back.
But the car is running.
And I realize that there is a baby carrier in the middle of the back seat ... facing backwards.
I walk on towards the cart catcher with my mind racing ... surely no one is that stupid as to intentionally leave a child that would be small enough to be in a carrier backwards alone in a car in a parking lot? Right??? Right???
As I walked back, I intentionally looked in the back window. I didn't care. I prayed that there would be someone's face pop up at me asking me to mind my own business.
Instead, I see a little pink foot wiggle inside a car seat. From the size of that foot I would guess the infant to be perhaps 4 to6 months.
I couldn't believe it!! I looked to the store and back to the car. The doors were obviously locked and the car was running, therefore it was "cool".
Doesn't matter!! That is an infant! A gift. Something precious and small and should be cared for and looked after, not left alone in a car that is locked and running.
I went to Baby and got in and simply sat there ... and watched.
While I watched over this little one, my mind thought of all the things that could happen ... aspiration on a bit of spit up, a car loosing control in the parking lot and ramming into this metal box holding this baby, the car overheating, something going wrong and the exhaust running into the car instead of out. By the end of five minutes, my imagination had the car blowing up from overheating and I was trying to figure out if the toilet brush I had purchased could be used as a slim jim to open that car.
Five minutes. I got out my notepad and pen and wrote a note.
Ten minutes. I got out of my car and put the not on the windshield.
Thirteen minutes and the woman returned.
She stopped and looked at me when she saw my Baby and I were still sitting there.
I looked back. I didn't care.
She opened the door and started to get in when she noticed the note. She looked at me again, and I watched as she got out of her car and reached for it. She glanced at it and then looked back at me and I met her eye one last time with a sad look on my face, shook my head, and put Baby in reverse and left.
"Shame on you. You've been given a gift to watch over and protect. You have failed in this moment. It may sound strong, but I don't care. I understand that it's not easy to get a small one in and out of a car. I understand that you think that just a couple of minutes will be fine. But it's not. Please, please, please ... don't ever do it again. The next person to notice you left the little one unprotected might not watch over it ... they might decide to take it."
Children are gifts. Their well being should never be taken for granted.