That is the only word that I can think of to describe how I felt when I read this today.

New Warrant Issued for Man Accused of Leaving Child in the Car

Pure.  Unapologetic.  Rage.

The father left his 22-month old son in a hot car for seven hours, resulting in the horrible painful death of the poor little boy. The father allegedly discovered this on the way home from work, blamed it on “sudden change in routine”, and was garnering the sympathy of people all over who think this could happen to anyone.

Suddenly, new information came to light.  The father and son ate breakfast together at a Chik-fil-A near the father’s office.  The father put the son in the car, drove the short way to work, and promptly “forgot” him.

First of all, the son was almost 2 years old.  He wasn’t a tiny infant who was quietly sleeping.  No, this little boy just ate breakfast with his daddy and, like most kids his age, was probably babbling and chirping away back there.  Ever heard an almost 2 year old just be silent, especially right after doing something fun and getting in the car?  There is a razor-slim chance that this boy was so quiet that the father forgot all about him mere minutes after he JUST ATE WITH HIM AND BUCKLED HIM BACK IN THE CAR!  And even if the son was suddenly quiet, you DO NOT forget about your children!

The second bit of damning evidence has now come to light.  This father allegedly went out to his car at lunchtime, opened the driver’s door, did something unidentifiable, shut the car door and went back to work.  And somehow failed to notice his little boy broiling to death in the car seat which was right in the middle of the back seat.  Seriously?  Are we supposed to believe that this was an accident?

Thank God the police have discovered this evidence!  Thank God they are charging him with murder!  Finally, one of these cases is coming to light that can shatter the complacency of the general public that constantly excuses parents for “forgetting” their children.

I have always feared that the understanding and lack of consequences extended to parents who do this would lead to abuse of the situation.  Hey look, an almost foolproof method of infanticide, guaranteed to not only give me nationwide sympathy, but also next to no legal consequences!  All I have to do is claim that I broke my normal routine, my poor stressed parent-brain overrode my ability to remember I had a child in my possession, and I can get rid of that annoying little kid without any fear of reprisal.

Up on my soapbox for a moment:  I don’t care how tired you are, or how embroiled you are in routine.  You DO NOT forget your children!  I know how life is.  I know that working parents with small children are stressed out and juggling an inexplicable number of things.  I am one of those stressed-out parents many times myself.  But my child is always ALWAYS at the forefront of my mind.  When I’m in the car with her, her presence and her safety are always top priority.  I would never forget her; I am her mother and I have trained my mind to put her first above everything else.  Above work, above bills, above extended family or friend issues.  You DO NOT forget your children!

Coming down a step:  I won’t go so far as to say that legitimate forgetting never happens.  I do not feel that most of the parents who’ve lost a child this way did it on purpose.  They made the stupid mistake of momentarily forgetting they were a parent and their baby paid the price.  But turning this into a nationwide “We must rise up and find some special trick to make sure this doesn’t happen” campaign is not the answer.  Articles now say things like “put the diaper bag in the front seat” or “put your shoe in the back seat” and then you can remember.  Wait — what?  So…a stressed out parent will remember to put some random object in a random place, but they can’t remember that their most precious possession in the world is in the backseat of their car?

Off my soapbox:  I honestly don’t know what the answer is.  Throwing every parent who does this in jail may end up deterring the ones who think this is an easy way to murder, but it probably won’t stop the real accidents.  So what will?  What will make parents start remembering where their child is at all times?  People know where their wallet/purse is, or where their cell phone is, at all times.  Why can’t they remember where their child is?  Why?

Mommy? Daddy?  Please don't forget me.

Mommy? Daddy? Please don’t forget me.

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