I left my kids alone in the car while I went into the pizza shop.
I know! I’m a real renegade.
I was waiting in line for my pizza, when a man entered.
“Is that your car out there?” he asked, and pointed towards my car in the parking lot.
I looked out to the parking lot. Yes, it was my car, and I told the man that. I was worried. Was my 8-year-old son trying to hotwire it, or was it shaking with the kids fighting in the backseat? Was the radio blaring? I could see the car from the window, but it was far enough away that I couldn’t spot the kids inside of it. “So those are your kids?” he asked.
His tone was not kind. I wasn’t too surprised though. A few weeks ago I accidentally dropped my daughter off at the wrong soccer field and left her to her own devices to figure it out when I realized my mistake. On that occasion I was “advised” to call for help to locate my “missing” daughter. I figured a 13 year old could handle that and more, and walked away from the “adviser,” securing my place as the world’s worst soccer mom.
The man went on. “Wow. You’re ballsy. And braver than I am, to leave your kids out there alone.”
I honestly couldn’t think of anything to say. I’m parked in a suburban Ontario shopping mall parking lot. It’s not a war zone, or the back alley behind a jail for pedophiles. What exactly was going to happen?
He said nothing else to me while we waited for our food, but stared at my kids in their perilous situation the whole time. I guess he figured his eyes would keep them safe when I was clearly uninterested in doing so.
When I got home, I checked online to find the stranger abdication rates for our area .I began to understand why the man was so concerned.
It turns out that there have been zero child abductions in our town of nearly 75,000 people in the last 5 years (and likely before; I have lived here almost 40 years and recall no others).
When you look at these statistics, you must conclude that the man is right! Of course we must live in fear! It is our duty to shame those who dare leave their children unattended for 10 minutes in a pizza shop parking lot! We must never leave our children’s sight! Especially considering there have been no stranger abductions here in the past.
Clearly the only message we should take from these numbers is that abductions will be starting soon, because we are due!
As for my pizza, I took it — and my kids — and left them at the park.
Just add kids and leave at park.