— I am really sick of “Good Samaritans” who are actually smug, judgmental crazy cases who imagine terrible things happening to children ANY time the parents are not looking straight at them every single second of every single day.
Those folks are WRONG but think they are RIGHT, and sometimes even get the authorities on their side. (Sometimes they even get commenters on their side. Horrrors!) – L
Dear Free-Range Kids: I consider myself a happy medium between Free-Range and helicopter. Due to having a son with autism and a son with life-threatening food allergies I cannot always be as Free-Range as I want to be. That being said I still had a run in with a “concerned citizen” a few months ago. I just thought I should write Lenore about this.
My 6-year-old twin boys and I were finishing up a trip to Walmart on a Sunday morning after church. My routine is I unlock the car doors and the boys get in the car themselves and buckle up and wait for me to finish loading the groceries into the trunk and then I go return the cart. It is very rude and dangerous to leave a cart sitting out so I always return it to the nearest cart corral when I am done. This was about one lane over but definitely not more than two lanes over if I remember correctly. I could still see my car.
The boys had shut the car doors after they got in and it was a hot day but again they were 6, so old enough to get out of the car if they needed to and I was literally gone maybe 1 minute while I returned the cart a lane over. When I walked back to the car a lady was standing in the parking space facing our car and looking at my car. She remarked as I started to get into the car, “Oh I am glad to see you.” I just looked at her and she goes on to say, “I thought someone left those kids in the car.” I replied “Someone had to return the cart.” Then proceeded to get into my car and leave.
The thing was, she was still standing there staring at us as I pulled away. I wondered if that was because she had gone as far as to call the police or the store that quickly to report it. I would be the type to be concerned if I saw a young baby or toddler in a car on a hot day but not 6-year-olds, and not when the mother was just walking a lane over to return a cart and in sight of the car. If she had even looked around she would have seen a woman returning a cart and could think, “Oh that must be the mother returning the cart.” Then waiting to make sure before she left. I also would not think to make a comment about it to the mother. I got the sense the woman was expecting me to thank her or something but I was a little irked by the assumption I was neglecting my children. I certainly did not think she needed to be thanked. — April S
Lenore here: Nor do I. I think she was standing there because she was waiting for a halo.