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This morning I had one of those moments that can lead to disaster. Fatal disaster. It’s the stuff that horror stories are made from.
My husband took my son to Vacation Bible School at our church and I was taking the baby to daycare.
A Different Routine.
While driving down the street, I saw one of the neighborhood moms trying to get her two toddlers into the car. Her little boy ran into the middle of the street. Immediately, she chased him down, arm outstretched, to grab him. He kept running. He was in the middle of the road by the time she caught him and brought him back to the sidewalk.
I saw it unfold and stopped my car. I could see the panic on this mother’s face. After they were safe on the side, she waved to me and I slowly drove by.
At the end of the street I was making the decision to turn left or right. I’m alone, I thought for a nano-second, I can turn right and go directly to work. As I start to turn the wheel of the car to the right I realize that the baby is with me. My sweet, non-talking, quiet bundle of joy is in the car with me. Normally my son is asking me a million and one questions by this time in the car ride. The silence made me think I was alone with just my thoughts.
I turned left and drove to school.
Then it hit me, I could have been one of those moms who by being distracted (seeing the child run in the street) and doing something out of the routine (not taking both kids to school), I could have left my baby in the car all day long. Now, like every Mom, I don’t think I would actually have done this, but a nano-second turns into a second, then a minute, then 10 minutes and so on. It can happen to any of us. Let us not fool ourselves.
Take a Look at the StoriesÂ
The other day I was reading the Moms at Work blog and they posted a link to a great, but scary, article about parents who have left kids in cars. Check it out. There is a list of all the media stories where kids have died in cars. It happens more often than you think. They offer tips on how to prevent this from happening. One of which I did today: As I realized that I thought, if even for a nano-second, that I was alone, I threw my purse that contained my work badge and my Blackberry in the back seat. It’s sad to think that we need to put something less important than our child in the backseat to remind us that we are indeed not alone in the car.Â While I don’t think we should rely on tips like these as the sole way to prevent leaving a child in the backseat, I am not against them if they help save even one child.
Live In the MomentÂ
I think the best option is to slow down and be in the moment: Always be present. Don’t let life get too hectic. If your morning routine is getting in the way and leading to distractions then you need a new routine.