Go ahead, poke the bear…
Written By: Jenn
I was out doing some pre-Father’s Day errands with my little one today, and pulled into the packed TD Bank parking lot, which is shared with the LCBO (Liquor Store). As I was gathering up my deposit books and reaching for the button to open the van’s side door for Wee One, a waving hand in the next car caught my eye. It was a little hand, and to my shock, it belonged to a little boy who was all alone in the car. I told Wee One to sit tight, and I got out of the van, cell phone in hand, for a closer look. Yup, it was a cute blonde boy about 3 years old, strapped into a car seat, and all by himself.
I have the local PD programmed into my cell phone, which always seemed like a good idea to me. It wasn’t a 911 kind of call, but it was definitely a bad situation that needed to be acted upon. In 10 seconds I was on the line with a dispatcher, and explaining what I’d found. As I was giving the plate # and description of the car, the father, a well dressed man who looked to be of middle eastern descent, came out of the liquor store. He saw me standing behind the car, gave me a suspicious look, but then decided I was no threat (hah) and headed for his door.
Trying very hard to keep my cool – which is really tough for me, given that I’m Irish, a mother bear, and passionate about protecting children, even those who aren’t mine – I laid into the negligent father (let’s call him “Buffoon” from now on, shall we?) with “Buddy, you cannot leave a child alone in a car!” and “You left your child alone in a car while you went into a liquor store?!” and “You’ve just endangered your son’s life!” and then when he came up with his very witty retort of “You mind your own business!” I told him I was on the phone with the police, and they were on the way. He kept repeating that I should mind my own business, at one point trying to look aggressive and heading for me, until he noticed I wasn’t backing up and didn’t look afraid of him, and then he turned around and went back to his driver’s side door, said he’d only been in there for 3 minutes, and that he was going to call his lawyer too. You do that, Buffoon. Did I mention how packed the parking lot was? Ever been in a liquor store on Father’s Day weekend, where it took you only 3 minutes to get in and out? Me either.
I could see him wrestling with himself, trying to figure out if he should take off or stay and wait, and pretending to talk to someone on his cell, which I would have found pretty comical if I hadn’t been so steamed. He got in and out of his car a couple times, and made a big show of taking pictures of MY van with his cell (if I suddenly disappear or get blown up, someone call and remind the cops of this, will you? Thanks.) and even pointed at Wee One and said “My son looks to be in better shape than your child!” Really? You can see my daughter through the dark tinted windows of my van, can you, Buffoon? He must have gone to college to come up with those one-liners. I just laughed at him and told him to go ahead and run his mouth off if it made him feel better.
A squad car was there in 4 minutes flat – can I just say how amazed I was? And how proud of our PD that made me?!
Buffoon headed for the officer as he stepped out, and started yelling that he’d only been gone for 3 minutes, but he was cut off in mid-sentence and told to go and stand by his car, and that he’d get his turn in a minute. heehee
I repeated what I’d told the dispatcher, adding the part that it’d be nigh-on impossible to get in and out of that liquor store in 3 minutes, and the cute young officer (what is it about men in uniform, anyway? Yowza!) rolled his eyes and said “It’s too bad there aren’t any good parenting laws. I could never leave my own daughter all by herself.” I’m happier there are laws that state you can’t abandon your child for any length of time. It’s called child abuse, folks, and you could get a hefty fine, or even jail time.
The officer thanked me, and as there was no reason for me to hang around, especially with Wee One there, I headed off to do my banking. When I came out Buffoon was gone, and I was pleased to see that the officer had hung around to make sure my vehicle wasn’t touched on his way out.
I don’t know what the final outcome of this was. I hope he got a solid fine. I hope it’s the last I see of him. I hope he doesn’t take it out on that cute little boy. Most of all, I hope his wife kicks his butt up around his ears for endangering her baby.
You know what the sad thing is? This isn’t the first time I’ve been in this situation – over the years I’ve reported 3 other people, all women, for leaving their babies alone in their vehicle while they shopped, and told off a few others. In one case about 7 years ago, it was a woman who left her 2 year old boy and 5 year old girl alone in their car, neither of them was in a car seat, the windows were wide open and it was a sweltering August morning. She did a grocery cart full of shopping, and came out to find a squad car waiting on her, too.
There are people on this planet who do not deserve the precious babies they are blessed with.
What would you have done?