HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

Hi Guys, yes I know it’s not quite January, but hey, The Tall Guy is currently driving me out of my mind with all the hammering going on in the attic, One Tree Hill no longer comes on TV on Thursdays (yes I love, OTH, and so what?), so I’m left with re-runs of Will and Grace, thus I’m suitably bored, so I thought I’d return to my blog.

Over the holiday period, my Ball and Chain, and I, noticed the ridiculous amount of parents who seemed quite happy to let their little kids wander away from them whilst shopping.

As we were busy doing the last of our Christmas food shopping last Friday, there were at least twelve public announcements over the PA system, from parents who had lost their kids amongs the throng of shoppers.

Now I know that it’s difficult to always know where your little ankle biters are, especially during weekend shopping sprees, but for the love of all things Oprah, couldn’t you try a little harder to keep an eye on them?

It would takes mere minutes for a wily predator to grab your kid and run. That’s the reality of the world we live in today. You can no longer give the excuse that they are too hard to control when outside the house. This is about keeping your kids safe, so you do whatever you have to.

The one incident that nearly drove me to gnaw on my own arm, was witnessing a child in a pram, left outside a newsagent, whilst the mother went to buy something in the shop. What kind of frickin lunatic does a thing like that? Leave the pram outside by all means (even at the risk of it being thieved) but for Lucifer’s sake, take the godammned child in with you!

Kids are hard to keep track of, but that’s just how they are, so you just have to deal with it. Their well-being should be of the highest priority, at ALL times.

As a parent (which I’m not, but I sure want to be) wouldn’t you hate for your child to become a statistic, just because you took your eyes off them whilst you were deciding whether to have melon balls or soup as a starter during dinner?

I would. I suspect the parents who let their mind wander away from their children whilst out, would too.

A moment’s inattention. That’s all it takes. Just ask Jamie’s mother.


  • Angela James
    December 29
    10:19 pm

    I totally agree with you, Karen. Some of the things people do absolutely boggle my mind. That story of the woman with the pram? She should be shot. I saw something like this in Wal-mart with an infant–itty, bitty brand new baby– left in a carseat in a shopping cart while the mother walked up the aisle and studied products. I could have had that baby and been out the door before she ever knew. I know because I timed how long she had her back turned. And watched to make sure no one did just that 🙁

    Actually, this has been a topic on my parenting board recently. One of the mothers lost her toddler (all are the same age as Brianna, give or take a month) twice because of how fast he is. Literally within seconds of glancing away.

    So the discussion on the board was how to prevent this from happening. In my world, Brianna stays in the stroller unless Josh is with us and then he is attached to her hip, chasing after her.

    Some people suggested a “harness” system which we have actually considered and other moms said they have as well, but the sadly ironic thing is that yes, people want you to keep your child safe, but if you use something like that they feel free to give you scornful looks and rude remarks. It’s an odd catch-22, dont you think?


  • Desiree Erotique
    December 30
    12:43 am

    Some people are amazingly stupid.

    I think Angie’s suggestion has merit. My family lived for some time in Mississippi when I was a little girl, and it was custom to see Moms leading their children by harenesses, or rope clutches (little loops the kids could hold onto like purse straps) if they had more than two. These were generally homemade devices, and caused no harm. We’d had one little boy who ran off from his mother who was shopping, just a wee thing, and eventually his remains were found in a cotton binder. Now, between the two -a harness or a casket- I’d much prefer to see mine in the former.


  • Rae
    December 30
    7:06 am

    I agree with all of you. I hate to see little ones teetering behind parents in the mall. I watch them to see how long it takes for the parent to turn back around to see if their cute bunny is still back there.

    My oldest is 13 and I still have a hard time letting him go off by himself. I’m usually met with rolled eyes when I state why I don’t wish for him to go to electronics on his own. But it’s a scary world out there. I hate him walking at night by himself or even going to the bus stop when it isn’t light outside.

    I had the sick feeling of thinking I’d lost my youngest at a county fair once. It was a miscommunication between me and the man. I didn’t realize the wee one had went to the bathroom with him and he found me bawling and screaming out his name. I was hysterical. At first, I couldn’t feel my body, I was that scared.

    With all the predators out there, I think if you see someone ignoring their child in a store, you should be able to walk up to them and smack them upside the head with your purse or something.

    Wow, what a rant. ‘-)


  • Sam
    December 30
    8:53 am

    I had twins, and believe me, they never toddled off in the same direction. I had the toddler reins and used them when I went shopping or out in public. The nasty remarks I got were very depressing. I didn’t let that stop me – but it did make me wish people would keep their opinioons (however well-meaning) to themselves. It’s hard enough being a mother without someone snapping at you when your child is on a leash that he looks like a dog, or telling me to ‘please shut him up’ when he cries in a supermarket because I’ve fastened his seatbelt in the cart and he can’t get out to wreck havoc in the aisles. (this was in England, BTW.)


  • azteclady
    December 30
    5:20 pm

    Where I live you get fined for not keeping your dogs in a leash at all times – yet I see kids as young as 5 running around for hours with no adult supervision.
    Since February 2005 I have not been able to forget Carly Brucia, the girl abducted just a couple of blocks from her home in Sarasota, FL. In the months since, there have been other abductions of young teenage girls in the state, most of them ending with the finding of their bodies. How can these parents justify letting their kids roam around unsupervised at any time?

    I too have a 13yo girl, and we periodically have rows over what she not-so-fondly calls my “paranoia.” In the end I am the parent, and whether she likes it or not, will do my damnedest to keep her safe for as long as I can.

    But, my so-called-paranoia has already paid off:
    A dozen of years ago, on his first visit to Epcot Center at age 4, my son managed to get lost while under the supervision of his father (I won’t get started on that). He didn’t speak English except for the one phrase I, being the paranoid mother I am, had drilled into his brain for almost 4 months (“I don’t speak English. I am lost”), along with the following instructions: “Go to a store and look for someone with a name tag, and tell that person.”
    I was mocked by friends and strangers over this, and told that it was unnecessary as well as ‘traumatic’ for the 4yo to be taught what to do and say if he found himself lost.
    I didn’t laugh then, but we found the kid within 15 minutes – not a mean feat considering this happened during the fireworks, right before the park gets closed, and in a crowded December evening.

    Sorry for the long comment and rant – it is my worst nightmare indeed.


  • Dakota Cassidy
    December 31
    7:05 pm

    Jesus effin’! Ya know what? Parents ain’t what they used to be. I tell ya, I never,not once ever, didn’t have my kid attached at my hip when they were small. I didn’t give a rats ass if they didn’t want to be. I didn’t give a flying f%&k if they cried. Neither of them ever were allowed out of the carriage.

    Hell, when I had them in the carriage seats and I turned to look at the shelves in the aisles I had a hand on them.

    Parents these days are worried their kids will make a scene if you don’t let them do as they please. They fret others will frown on them for spankings and public chastising, but I’d sure as hell rather give ’em hell publicly than find them dead and molested.



  • Sarah McCarty
    January 1
    12:46 pm

    I used a toddler leash and not one of those easy for a kid to dispose of writs ones but the kind that was a harness that zipped up the back. I only got one negative comment from one woman whose child was experienceing his freedom, and since she couldnt’ find him after she got done expressing herself (I knew where he was because I saw him duck and hide) I didint’ have to say a word. (You have to do more than shoot a dirty look to get my attention) *G*

    Strangely enough, it was when my son was sixteen, an age I thought he was safe where he had a brush with abduction, but because I had ALWAYS drilled into my kids heads to trust their instincts and screw how it looks he was safe. The police told me this is a very common age for boys to be targeted. *shudder* I had no idea.

    Anyway, Angie, leash your kid and let the world think what they want. At least when you go to bed at night, you know your daughter will be there waiting for her good night kiss. And personally, no amount of wannabe PC public comment can make a dent in that.


  • Karen Scott
    January 1
    2:02 pm

    Angie Said:
    “but if you use something like that they feel free to give you scornful looks and rude remarks. It’s an odd catch-22, dont you think?”

    Angie, I say Fuck ’em. I abhor cardigan wearing, tree hugging vegetarians more than anything, and if any of them tried telling me that restraining my child was tantamount to cruelty, I’d tell them to go sit on it and rotate.

    Des, my point exactly, rather restrain them than they end up as some pervert’s plaything.

    Rae, when I saw the woman who left her child outside the newsagent, I was about to give her a piece of my mind, but unfortunately The Tall Guy restrained me. I sure would have liked to slap her up and down the street for her sheer stupidity and carelessness!

    Sam, if somebody had told me that my child looked like a dog because he was on a leash, I’d have to tell ’em that the dog in question belonged to the bitch who was about to tear their head off. Pacifist that I am.

    Aztec Lady, better than to be paranoid and safe, than to be stupid and dead. I’m sure there are many mothers who ended up wishing they’d been as paranoid.

    Dakota, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve also seen parents who insist on walking miles ahead or miles behind their little ones. I just don’t get it.

    Sarah, what an awful experience. It’s a shame, but you have to treat every stranger, as if they were potential Jack-The-Rippers. Definitely better to be safe than sorry.


  • Maven
    January 3
    9:57 pm

    How horrible! I never let my kids out of my sight in stores, and they don’t go outside unsupervised – and I live in a town of under 2000.
    Still, last month my 2yr old silently slipped out behind me as I put out the trash after lunch, and was across the street playing on the school playground equipment before I even realized he wasn’t in the house! It was terrifying! His daddy had to carry him back because I wasn’t sure if I was going to spank him or throw up. ‘Speedy’ was just upset that he couldn’t play with the big kids (it was recess and the lot was full of 8-10 yr olds)
    The teachers had just watched him run past to the equipment around the backside of the school-out of sight of my porch. Only one older nun saw me searching the yard frantically and bothered to ask me if I’d lost a child. It makes me sick to my stomach just remembering the fear.
    I say DO call these parents on the carpet. Remind them how precious their children are. I pray that if one of mine gets away, that another parent will repremand me. Better embarrased than grieving.


  • Dawn
    January 4
    12:26 pm

    Happy New Year, Karen!

    I tried to post from home yesterday, but couldn’t.

    Jade was harnessed when she was younger. Not only for keep her with me, but when she didn’t want to come with me, I could drag her along. LOL.

    She’s 10 now and only in the last year, have I started to feel very marginally comfortable about letting her go to the loo by herself while I’m in Sainsbury’s. The loos are just outside the shop, but in the same complex. I always have my heart in my mouth though until she comes back. I think I’m going to have to re-think this because it ties me up in knots.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment