Parents in California have been arrested after they left their 4-month-old baby to die OVERNIGHT in a hot car. It's the kind of story that just surpasses any other baby left in a hot car story I have ever heard. How does someone leave a child this young overnight and not realize it until 1:30 p.m. the next day?
Parents Israel Soto, 30, and Jessica Quezada, 23, were both arrested, and their three other children -- ages 3, 2, and 1 -- were taken by the county. Look, having four children under 3 has to be unimaginably stressful and hard, especially when a person is only 23 years old. I am sure they were getting very little sleep and probably had children coming at them nearly constantly. But that is no excuse.
In many of these cases like this, I have some empathy for the parents. It isn't that hard to imagine how one might forget a child is in the back of the car when a person is stressed or off their routine or hasn't been sleeping at all. But this one? My God. How do you forget a 4-month-old in the car OVERNIGHT?
A few years ago, there was a very powerful piece in The Washington Post about otherwise very good parents who accidentally forgot their children in the back of cars. Anyone with a heart would have it go out to these parents whose guilt and shame and disbelief were almost unbearable to read about. But this? Is not the same thing.
I've had two 4-month-olds and I am soon to have a third. They are nearly constantly in need, especially at night. They are still (most likely) not sleeping through the night, and even if they are, they would go to bed needing to be fed and wake up early needing the same thing. How do you not notice that is happening? It sounds like there is some suspicion drugs were involved and that might explain some things.
But as parents, don't you wonder where your baby is? In the morning, don't you rush to the crib to see why they didn't wake you up? The baby was discovered at 1:30 p.m. the next day, which means he was out there, dying, for God knows how long. It's sickening. Now the other three kids have been taken from their parents. Let's hope these parents either get the help they so clearly need or allow their children to be adopted by parents who can love and care for them in the right way.
This is just wrong beyond belief.
Do you understand how this could possibly have happened?
Image via Parker Knight/Flickr