In what has to be one of the worst parenting fails any of us have seen in a long time, a New Zealand mom left her newborn locked in the car while she went shopping at the supermarket. (Wait, there's more.)
She also left a note pinned to the kid along with her phone number, you know -- just in case someone passed by and thought the baby might need her.
(You seriously can't make this stuff up.)
Oh yeah, did I mention that the note was written from the baby's point of view? It said, "My mum's in doing the shopping, call her if I need anything."
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A couple noticed the child and told the New Zealand Herald, "We waited there for a little bit, wondering if the mum was just going to be two seconds and come back. And my wife said, 'I'm not going in without someone being here with the baby.'"
Long story short, a few more witnesses turned up, and the mom was eventually called to return to the car and her sleeping newborn. Then someone posted a photo of the baby on Facebook and now it's understandably all over the place.
And when I first saw it, I had the same reaction most moms probably will: "What the hell was she thinking? Who leaves their newborn baby alone in the car to go shopping?"
But then I thought about it a little bit more and tried to put myself in her shoes -- and that's when I started feeling a certain degree of compassion for her. Yes, leaving the baby in the car was a majorly dumb move, but come on -- how many of us made a really stupid decision or two when we were exhausted, overwhelmed new mothers?
I know my judgement was clouded on more than one occasion for sure in the first few weeks after I had my son. And while I never would've gone so far as to leave him in the car to go shopping, I can sort of understand why this mom chose to do so. I mean, she did leave a note, after all, so she must care about her baby's well being to some extent, right?
If I had to guess, one of two scenarios probably went down. Either the baby was fast asleep when she pulled into the supermarket parking lot and she was fearful of waking her, or she needed to run in and grab a few items, and she figured it would be easier without the baby and that she'd only be gone for a matter of minutes.
(Don't lie -- you've had the same thought before on occasion too. Granted, most of us would never actually leave the baby in the car, but if you say the thought never briefly crossed your mind, I don't believe you.)
Ok, ok, so I'm definitely not excusing what this mom did -- I'm only saying we should cut her a little slack, given the fact that she's a newbie. I'm sure that after a few weeks of that baby sleeping through the night, she won't hesitate to bring her into the store next time.
Have you ever left your baby in the car, even for a minute or two?
Image via drewgstephens/Flickr