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

missing person


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momsc... momscoffeetime parents did this with me.  I was almost a teenager, but still.  My parents had driven to an event separately and at the end of the night, they each thought I was in the car with the other.  When they got home they realized their mistake. 

I can see how this may have occurred, and if they had different destinations that they wouldn't realize the error.  It's a stupid, stupid, stupid mistake, and I'm sure their guilt is punishment enough. 

Tracie Carter Hans

Yeah, Id like to know who the last idiot relative was to leave the building without her!

Tracey Plummer

Wow. If someone in my family picks my daughter up from school, I'm on the phone with them to make sure everything went okay. If a family member takes my daughter to an event, or even just home from an event, they know they will be getting a phone call from me to make sure everything went the end of the day the responsibility lies with the parent to make sure your kids are safe and sound. 

Do I think this kid should be in foster care? No way, but these parents obviously need some kind of class or something....this is ridiculous!!!

nonmember avatar Crystal

Okay, seriously people, it's called communication. I would never just assume that my child was with someone else. I would check in with the other

Eques... EquestrianMom

I can totally see this happening. I'm divorced, I have split custody. Twice at birthday parties, my son has come home with me (when he was supposed to leave with his dad) because his dad thought grandma was taking him, or auntie had him and was dropping him off later, etc. TWICE! The only reason my son hasn't been a story on the news like this child is that I know his dad will leave him and assume someone else has got him. I just make sure that someone else is me! LOL! If I also assumed his dad had him, and therefor he was fine, and auntie/gramma had left already, my son too would be on the news.

 Yeah, I understand this, and yeah, I think if they were (and I'm sure they were!) investigated, the child should be returned to the care of her parents. Betcha this never, ever happens to this family again! 

nonmember avatar Crystal

Sorry. I would check in with the other adults before I just left without my child.

Laura... LauraTopaz

There is NO excuse for this happening, or for the parents to be let off so easily. Try to think of this little girl, sitting there for hours all alone wondering where her family was. Seriously, this is acceptable behavior? I am so scared for children everywhere if this is the case.

jaxmadre jaxmadre

Good thing that were watching the news, I guess? HTF does that happen?
I honestly don't think I could forget my little guy anywhere. I'm ALWAYS watching over him when we're in a public place.

Kari Kelly

Well all I know is, if my little girl were leaving with another family member I would be saying goodbye to her, giving her a kiss and seeing her off...not just leaving. So this doesn't seem right to me. Just my opinion.

lhern... lhernandez7208

Wow. I was at chuck e cheeses thisbpast sunday and a littleb boy was lost...the parents hasn't claimed him in the 30 mounties e were there, for a minute I thought this was from the same location.

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