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TTG and I decided to go down to our local park yesterday to walk off dinner. We often do this, because it’s quite beautiful and peaceful there, especially during the twilight hours.

Anyway, we were messing around with his football, when out of nowhere, this toddler ran up to us and started trying to kick the ball.

I looked around to see who the kid belonged too, and I spied a guy slowly ambling down towards us. I figured he was the child’s father, so of course I played kick-about with him, waiting for his dad to come and retrieve him.

Imagine my horror when the guy walked right past us.

I looked at TTG and he shrugged his shoulders as if to say, WTF?.

The child was barely two years old if that.

Anyway, I told TTG to go and locate his parents whilst I kept him occupied.

About five minutes later, TTG re-appears with a teenage boy. Apparently he had taken his eyes off his brother for a moment, and the little boy had seen us with the ball, and so, decided to follow us.

The boy was only about fourteen, so I asked him where his mother was.

Apparently she was waiting on the other side of the field. WTF?

Not only does the stupid bitch let her baby wander off on his own, she then sends her young teen to come and retrieve him.

I couldn’t help myself. I had to say something.

I asked her what she would have done if we’d been paedophiles, and suggested that in future, she keep a better eye on her child. (Or words to that effect.)

TTG stopped me from going off on a big ‘ole rant at her. Dammit.

I realise that children run off if you take your eyes off them for even a second, but surely, knowing that there are evil predators out there who prey on young children, you’d take just a bit more care?

I wouldn’t mind, but it was almost 8pm, the child should have been in flaming bed in the first place. Grrrrr.

I’m still so angry I could spit.


  • Avenging Authors
    August 31
    3:04 pm

    I’m a parent and I would never leave my kids alone. At the park, if they are playing at the swings/slide, I’m right there with them barely 5 or 6 inches away. My family calls me paranoid. I just call myself careful.


  • Laura
    August 31
    3:35 pm

    I work in a large grocery store. Customers seem to think it’s safe to let their young kids run around the store alone. I’ve also seen parents turn their back on an infant or young baby and wander over to look at something for a minute or two.

    These aren’t bad people, they just feel safer than they should in a familiar environment. Someone could grab a child and be out the door into a car in less than 2 minutes. Even if the kid screamed bloody murder, no one would pay much attention. We’ve all seen screaming children being carried out of grocery stores.


  • shiloh walker
    August 31
    3:48 pm

    It’s a terrifying thing for a mom to think about.

    You wouldn’t believe just how close you have to watch them until it happens, and how quick they can slip away. I was at the mall a few years ago right after my son was born. The oldest, my daughter, around 2 1/2 was right in front of the stroller, three feet away. That’s it.

    I pointed across the corridor to something in a window and my husband looked. Just a few seconds and we looked back. Our daughter wasn’t there.

    Turns out she dodged into the store at our left. Most heartstopping few minutes of my life. A lady in the store had seen her pop inside and took her to the security while we were next door looking for her.

    It’s almost impossible to watch a young child close enough.

    Laura, ;o) we’ve taught our kids that if a stranger grabs them, they are to yell FIRE. Everybody stops when they here that word and then start screaming stranger. Definitely a lot safer than just screaming.

    About the bed time thing, though… welllll…. Karen, the baby goes to bed around 10pm. We could put her down at 8, and she’d probably go to sleep, but then she’d be back up at midnight. Ready to go for a good six hours. It has happened many, many times. So I let her stay up a little later and by the time she does go down, she is usally tired enough to sleep until five, or even six. 😛 When I’m lucky.


  • Dee Tenorio
    August 31
    4:05 pm

    Shiloh, I’m with you on baby sleep. I COULD get them to sleep earlier, but then they wake up at 4 am. They drop off at around 10 and I have a good shot at getting to 6am before they’re up for a few hours. As it is, they still wake up for two or three feedings each per night.

    But I’m still with Karen on the yelling at the mother. Even in your own story, you were looking for your kid with some sense of urgency. Noticed after a few seconds. In a park setting, you’d have found her quickly. I know how fast they can get away, but really, would your daughter have been able to get to the other side a PARK before you noticed? I’m thinking not.

    Kidnapping and violence is a way of life out here and the fact that so many people let toddlers and kids loose in stores and parks strikes me as stupid in the extreme. If they can’t wipe their own butts, why are they expected to know a good person from a bad one? I’d have been looking for my son myself, not sending a not so interested teenager to find him.

    With any luck, it put a much needed lesson in that woman’s head. The scary thing is, she probably went home thinking Karen was a hysterical cow. (No offense, K, but I’ve seen how the ig’nant work.)



  • Diane V
    August 31
    4:10 pm

    I work at a 2-level department store and you’d be surprised at the number of parents who dump 3-8 year olds off in our tiny toy department on the 2nd floor and then go shop in the womens or mens department on the 1st floor or leave them in the store while they go shop the mall across the street.

    Our record is a parent who went to shop in the shopping mall across the street and left their 3 year old unattended in our store for 2-1/2 hours (we don’t know how long she was actually there by herself, but we had her in our security department’s custody for the 2-1/2 hours.) Unfortunately, because our store manager did not want bad publicity she wouldn’t let security call the police. And the mother gave us attitude when she finally showed up to pick up her 3 year old.

    All I can say is “WTF are these parents thinking?” as when I have checked the registered sex offender list for my area there are over 500 creeps registered — it scares me to think of just how many creeps are not registered.


  • Jaci Burton
    August 31
    6:30 pm


    That mother is damn lucky it was you her little one ran up to instead of some perv.

    I swear there are parents I want to strangle because of their utter stupidity and inability to care for their children. Some people should not be allowed to breed.


  • Eve Vaughn
    August 31
    7:56 pm

    That story makes me cringe. That kind of reminds me of this video here, and makes me wonder, why the hell wasn’t this child’s parents watching her?



  • shiloh walker
    August 31
    10:26 pm

    (No offense, K, but I’ve seen how the ig’nant work.)

    Sadly, this is a fact.

    No matter how gently you try to point something out, and no matter how good your intentions, some people just don’t want to hear it.



  • KateS
    August 31
    10:56 pm

    It’s a scary world out there, and it is hard to keep watch 24/7. But across a field? Pfft.

    On a side note, I spent half an hour thinking about why in the world you would kick a football around, trying to picture it in my head. And then – Oh. KAREN. FOOTBALL. Oh, you funny Brits (and, well, pretty much all of Europe) and your lingo. 😉


  • Kat O+
    September 1
    4:00 am

    It’s hard negotiating my protective parenting instincts with my toddler’s need to explore. Having said that, if my child wandered off that far, I’d be running after him, particularly if I saw him talking to people I don’t know. My personal rule is that if he’s far enough for someone to grab him without me being able to do anything about it, then he’s too far away.


  • Desiree Erotique
    September 1
    4:05 pm

    I just can’t understand the mentality of some so-called parents. My youngest are no longer babies but I still have to know where they are all the time. In this day and age we just can’t be too careful.


  • shiloh walker
    September 3
    3:14 am

    oh, karen, i saw something today that would have had you ripping your hair out.

    We took the kids camping. Well, actually we attempted to take all the kids camping…but the baby bratlet wasn’t going for it.

    I was prepared, though… we took two cars and here I am, back home after leaving the campground at 10:30 as the baby was working her way up to nuclear explosion.

    Anyway, as we were leaving the playground, a lady walks her kids to the path that led to the playground. Sent them on and turned around to go visit the toilet.

    TWO KIDS. Two beautiful little kids and the oldest was YOUNGER than my six year old. Sent them happily on their way.

    Never occured to her that it wasn’t safe to do otherwise.

    There was actually one kid there that even had a parent with them. Yes, the camping ground isn’t open to the general public, but considering there are a good five hundred people camping there on Labor Day weekend, for crying out loud…



  • Karen Scott
    September 3
    7:37 am

    It’s people like that woman who make it easy for predators. I’d have waited for the bitch and said something.


  • shiloh walker
    September 3
    2:22 pm

    If I hadn’t had my kids, I would have.

    But considering my temper, it would have ended ugly and I can’t exactly tell my kids to avoid fights if I don’t. Being responsible often sucks.


  • Dawn
    September 4
    9:09 am

    Unfortunately, K, it’s not at all unbelievable! Like Dee said, the mother probably thought that you were some nutter who should mind her own effing business.

    My daughter is about to turn 12 and I’m freaking about her walking to her new secondary school by herself. When we go out shopping, I’m constantly checking where she is and woe betide her if she shoots off ahead of me and I can’t find her (like she did yesterday when we were school uniform shopping). She got an earful from me. “But I thought you were behind me.” “Well check!”

    Good on you for saying something to the mother. I’d have been shit scared to, just in case she turned violent or something!


  • Anonymous
    September 10
    6:48 pm

    IMO mom should have been panicked and very thankful. What if cute toddler had followed the football (or a dog, etc) into the street?

    Toddlers can be quick tho, when my youngest was this age a good samaratin fished him up from the bottom of the pool. Dad & I were literally a few few away but had turned for just a moment to watch a sibling. We were in the water right beside, so he attempted to jump onto a float/kick board, missed, and sank. He was fine, wasn’t even scared…all us adults freaked soomewhat because we knew how bad it could have been.

    Yesterday while I was running errands, hubby let our 17 yr. old go to a movie with friends. Got cranky when I realized he hadn’t asked who, where, & when. Even as teens, I ALWAYS know exactly where the children are…cell phones are a mom’s best friend. -dl


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