Parents Realize They Forgot 3-Year-Old at Chuck E. Cheese -- When They See Her on the News! (VIDEO)

Rant 125

HarmonyAlexander Pope should be spinning in his grave today. He's the guy who said, "To err is human, to forgive divine." But I'm pretty sure he didn't mean police should be forgiving the parents who didn't realize they'd "accidentally" left their 3-year-old at a Maryland Chuck E. Cheese until they saw her face on the 11 o'clock news.

But that's exactly what happened this week in Bel Air, Maryland. Police were called to the kiddie restaurant around 8 p.m. on Sunday to help a lost little girl named Harmony who approached a restaurant manager to say she was a little thirsty. But they didn't get a call from Harmony's mom and dad until after 11 ... after her picture was plastered on every TV screen in town. And they still gave her back!

That is some mighty powerful forgiveness right there! Maybe too powerful?

The parents, who share custody but seem to be split up, apparently told the coppers that they'd been at a "large party" at the Chuck E. Cheese, and they each thought their daughter had gone off with another member of the family. Then lo and behold her sweet little face topped off with a pink ribbon ends up on the news. The parents called, and Child Protective Services handed Harmony right over to her mom. They're even saying they won't file charges.

Gee whiz, I mean, they were watching TV that night. Totally awesome job there folks.

Wait, what???

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling sort of lost here. I know accidents happen and people get forgetful. I mean, just the other day I walked in the bathroom to take out my contacts and realized I'd taken the solution into the living room. So you know, I had to just walk right back in there and get that bottle.

Except little girls are not bottles of contact solution. And when you forget little girls, horrible, awful, terrible things can happen. Harmony was just 3 years old. When my kid was 3, you had better believe I either had my eyes on her in public places or made sure someone else did. Made sure. As in, I didn't assume she was with my mom or my brother or my husband or my bestie. I physically walked her over to another responsible adult, looked them square in the eye, and said, "So, you have her, right?" and got an affirmative (vocally!) before I relinquished my control.

I'm not saying either of Harmony's parents meant to leave her at the Chuck E. Cheese. I'll even go with the word that CPS use: this could have been "inadvertent." But "inadvertent" doesn't mean "excusable." And that's what everyone seems to have done in Bel Air this week ... excused the crap out of some spectacularly crappy parenting. Check out more on this crazy story:


What do you think should be done with these parents? Parenting classes? Community service?


Image via Harford County Sheriff’s Office

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femal... femaleMIKE

Give her back to the parents after an investigation.  Maybe we don't have the whole story here. 

Do you really think this kid would be better off in foster care?

femal... femaleMIKE

Stories have a way of changing with each person that tells it.  Ever play the telephone game?


brand... brandspanknnew

... I know people who have actually done this, LITERALLY thinking that the child left with another family member because they had mentioned something of the sorts earlier in the evening. Whole story here on Stir? I think not.

PonyC... PonyChaser

yep, honestly, this could very well have been a one-off. I come from a huge family, and at big gatherings, kids are always going off with aunts, uncles and cousins. I could see this happening.

Gotta go with Mike on this one - you would prefer, perhaps, the "safety and security" of a random foster home?

lolak... lolakiana

if this kid was kidnapped n killed, the parents i am sure will be charged for negligence...i  know of parents  who wenrt to jail coz THEY FORGOT  THEIR KID IN SIDE THEIR CAR N D KID DIED  coz of it was too hot that  time.....the parents of this girl should be given a warning citation , parenting class n maybe take d girl for few months from their care, to learn their lesson...we will never know if they re ally meant to leave d girl there...nowadays bad parents thought of many ways to get rid of their kids.......hope this is not d case...think of this----before  we leave a place normal person will check on everything, everyone (children, pers, grocery bags etc...)  and proceed when everything were accounted for....i will pray for this girl......hope d authorities will follow up so we will not see her again  in d NEWS AT 11 OR 6.........


Lizzie Gowers

WTF is all I can say. This defies logic and reason.

bluec... bluecowgirl

well if you read the article it says that there was a group of 4 adults and 10 kids and that the kid was with family members (doesn't say if those family members were the parents or not) but its very likely that it was a group of relatives that had her - and the whole time both parents thought that she was safe with her relatives? In which case the parents are not to blame but whoever the parents trusted her with in the first place certainitly is!

baby1... baby1love

This is so ridiculous it's almost laughable!!

nonmember avatar Stephanie

I think the article is a little harsh. People do make mistakes and I am sure we do not have the whole story here. This could have happened in my large family - Aunt Susie said she was going to take her but then her son was acting up and she left in a fuss with him and didnt take her - mom and dad are split up so maybe one thought the other had her . . . sh*t happens. I am thinking we need to give these parents a little break here. It's sad to say that all these terrible parents give those parents that make innocent mistakes a bad name. I am glad that she is home with her family.

mamae... mamaelle88

I was just at that chunkie cheese a few weekends ago, and let me say its not hard to get lost in a crowd, but again if I had someone else say that they were gonna take my kid home, like my mom or something, I would believe them, but the other family memeber maybe forgot... I had forgot my daughter at nursery school once, and why because my mother told me the night before that she was going to get her, but she had forgot. Should I have my child tooken away? NO. Mistakes happen! 

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