In a real-life Home Alone story, a mom in Jackson, Michigan, recently left her 2-year-old son home by himself while she went to pick up some friends in Grand Rapids.
According to MapQuest, the towns are about 106 miles apart, and the estimated drive time is one hour, 45 minutes each way, give or take for things like traffic, construction, or stops along the way. That means the minimum she was going to be gone was about FOUR HOURS!
Fortunately, he "only" ended up alone for about an hour and a half as his father stopped by and found him. The father called police, and now the boy is with relatives.
A 2-year-old, home alone? I wouldn't leave my toddler alone in any room in my house for more than about two minutes. I won't even leave her in the house while I go get the mail a few feet from our front door.
There's another recent case in Virginia in which a woman, Tiffany Alexander, left her 1-year-old and 3-year-old home alone DAILY while she went to work. Her form of childcare was to let the toddlers care for themselves.
According to police, the day she was arrested went something like this: "Alexander left around 4:45 a.m. Tuesday to go to work. She returned around 9:00 a.m. to feed the kids what they believe was popcorn, then returned to work until 5:00 p.m."
She was caught because her children were found crying outside ... in the rain.
I read stories like this and the many others out there in which parents make such incredibly awful parenting choices and place their children in harm's way, and I can't imagine how anyone could do so.
Were they raised in such a manner? Are they mentally ill or abusing drugs? Do they just not care, or feel like they have no other choice?
And the most disturbing question: For each shocking, disturbing headline, how many other children out there are being abused and neglected who never make the news?
What's the longest you would ever leave/have ever left your toddler alone?
Image via lovelypetal/Flickr