24 April 2009


How willing are you to confront a stranger who is blatantly breaking the law and endangering a child?

In the parking lot today after the kids came out of school, after they had piled in the van and I was getting back in my seat, I noticed the PT Cruiser parked next to me with two young children in the back seat. Using only the adult seat belts, I might add. And this was the worst part. One of those kids ( a girl who looked about 8) was holding a baby on her lap! The baby was probably 9 months old.

I think the woman driving was the grandmother. She got in and started the car and I realized there was no car seat for the baby and the older kid was going to hold her like that as they drove! YIKES! I was dumbstruck. And then aghast! What do I do? This baby could be killed if they were to get hit by someone.

I felt I had to do something, but what? I said to this woman, "Ma'am, you know that baby needs to be in a car seat!" She replied tersely, "Yes, we know that."

It was about to be my turn to head out of the parking lot and I had to get back in the van, so that's where it ended. But as I sat there, I was seriously tempted to try and find a police officer somehow and report this woman.

So... what would YOU have done?

When do we confront danger/stupid behavior/law-breaking carelessness and when do we mind our own business? There was a child involved today... and I have to wonder, did I do enough?


carmelitemom said...

UUGHH! I see that on the road alot in Philly...unfortunately. What can you do? Would it be worth it to jot down the license plate number (since you were in the lot with her) and report her to the police? Would they laugh at you for bothering them with it? That's a tough one unfortunately.

GrandmaK said...

Got to tell you that just mentioning the obvious is more than most would have done. The only other option was to offer to get her a car seat before she moved the car...You at least gave it a try! Cathy

Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

I haven't been to your blog in a while, though I always read your headline on my side bar! :) I love your new design...simple, elegant, easy to navigate. Nice!!!

OK...on to "what would I do." I would have probably done the same thing as you. I don't think I would have called the police. I would if I saw a small child alone in a car parking lot with the windows up. But probably not for the car seat thing.

When we went to Guatemala, I was shocked to see they didn't require car seats. All the moms ride with the babies on their laps. I did it while I was there too(I didn't have a choice).

I guess it made me realize that although our laws are very strict and good (thank God!), there are people surviving all over the world--including us as children--who did not have to be strapped in to a car seat.

I totally strap my kids in (always, always without exception), but after the Guatemala experience, I'm not nearly as alarmed when I see someone doing what you saw.

Just my two cents.

Love you!

Our Family said...

Jennifer, I think you've done enough at that point, and I'm sure you've prayed for them too. We really don't know the other side of what's going on with the "grandmother", something might've happened that she got a call to pick up these children. She probably didn't want to do it but she had too. She couldn't leave them all at home. Maybe they even live around the corner... we just don't know. The fact that she looks like a grandma, I'm sure she has a little bit more experience, although in the old days (my mother-in-law used to tell me) they never use car seat like now, but I'm sure she had to do what she had to do under the circumstances
I hope this make any sense at all.
Pax, Michael

Dirtdartwife said...

You did more than most so please don't beat yourself up about this. Have mercy on her because as someone else already mentioned, there is the back story to it that no one knows. (Not saying that's a be all end all excuse). If it's really bothering you, you can also report it to the school authorities. They might be able to offer some advice. Unfortunately, it happens alot in this country. :( Pray for the family.


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