Don’t leave your baby in the car

Today I nearly brought a stranger to tears. She had done something I couldn’t imagine doing to Kylah and the setting made it even worse.

I have been working remotely for the last several weeks and that occasionally brings me to a global coffee chain for free wifi and free drip coffee refills and this morning was no exception. I anticipate seeing a higher-than-average number of high-maintenance people and suburban stereotypes, but I wasn’t ready for this.

As I approached, I noticed that there was a new (surprise #1) SUV (surprise #2) illegally and poorly parked in a handicap spot (surprise #3). But it was surprise #4 that had me in disbelief.

The toddler strapped into the car seat in the back seat with the windows up. By herself. As I peered into the windows hoping there was another adult or older sibling in there I was dumbfounded. I mean, I’ve left Kylah in her seat in my truck while I run back into the house for a moment. But this lady had left her toddler in the car while she went in to fetch her drink. I stood there and turned to open the door to tell the manager what I had seen. I held the door for a woman on her way out and sure enough she got into this SUV.

A stern look and a loud, incredulous “unbelievable” as I shook my head and watched her get into her car. What was she thinking? How could she do that to her child? No sooner had I sat down and logged on, the woman walked in, carrying her toddler this time.

She tried to explain her hurried action. Her sick child. Her messed up order at the drive through. But I didn’t want to hear it. I wouldn’t do what she did. I couldn’t leave my daughter alone in the car like that. Under those circumstances. “I was only in here for 30 seconds” she pleaded.

That’s all it takes…

I don’t support this person’s action at all. I can’t. But am I a hypocrite because I’ve run into the house while Kylah is in her seat? Why was this so much worse to me?