PYHO ... - Baby Steps in High Heels

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

PYHO ...

I know, I know … I promised you all part two of my vacation recap this week. But, after a weekend plagued by food poisoning or a stomach bug or whatever it was, I haven’t had an opportunity to get to that just yet. It’s coming, I promise!

For today, I simply have a very important, albeit unsolicited, public service announcement.

This week, a young mother in the town where I live, forgot to drop her baby off at day care. After nine hours in the car, on a day that reached almost 90 degrees, the infant died.

I read about this last night, while sitting in a hotel room many, many miles from my own child. I cannot tell you how, as a mother, this literally buckled me. It took nearly everything I had not to get in my car at 10 pm and make the 3 hour drive back home. If for nothing else, just to hear the sound of my own baby breathing in her sleep.

I’d love to offer an insightful perspective of a working/traveling mom who hears this kind of news while away from her own child. It happens to me quite a lot, actually … a school shooting, a plane crash. It all makes me want to flee right back to the comforts of my family.

But I simply cannot wrap my brain (or my heart) around this topic without literally losing it. Perhaps because it does hit too close to home. We’d all like to think that this could never happen to us. That we’d never let it happen. But, it is my opinion that that assumption in and of itself is quite possibly one of the first steps that can lead to tragedies like this.

My heart breaks for this family. For that poor baby. For anyone who has ever lost a child.

Another mom in my community shared some very helpful tips, that I thought I’d also post here.

1. Put a teddy bear in the car seat. Then when putting the child in the car seat, remove said teddy bear and put him in the front seat with you.

2. Put your briefcase, purse, cell phone, lunch or whatever in the back seat. Obviously something that you remember to take into work (or wherever) with you.

3. Ask your daycare to call you if your child doesn't show up within a short window of his or her normal arrival time.

One thing that I personally always do is immediately open the door to the back of my car when I park. This is most feasible when I pull into the garage at my house, but it works other places too.

If you have other suggestions, please share.

But, I am asking that all judgmental, hurtful, and mean spirited comments be omitted. This family, although anonymous to most of you, will already endure immeasurable pain and grief. There is no need to further tear them down with destructive comments.

Thanks. And, please, hug your babies a little more closely today. I have to wait until tomorrow before I see Baby again … I’m counting the seconds.


  1. I cannot even begin to imagine how someone begins to heal from this kind of loss.... That family will be in my prayers, even anonymously...

  2. Oh this just breaks my heart. I feel like it's an honest mistake but one that creates such feelings of guilt in the poor mom. I can only imagine what is going through the family's hearts right now. I feel terribly guilty if I even leave the baby alone to run to the bathroom! Unfortunately I don't have any other suggestions above the wonderful ones you posted but my sympathies and thoughts are with moms everywhere.

  3. Stopping by from PYHO. Great needed advice. I think we all share in this fear of forgetting our kids somewhere. When we are overtired anything is possible. No judging here, just sadness.

  4. I cannot ever say anything mean, as I nearly did this myself. Had I not had to to turn around and get in the backseat for something, I'd have left my son in the car. I would swear on my dying breath I had taken him to his sitter that day!!! I nearly had a heart attack when I saw him there and could not wrap my brain around how he could still be in the car when I would swear I had been to drop him off!!!

    It can happen to anyone, we all think we would never forget but you never know how many sleep deprived, stressful days and nights will add up to something like this.

    My heart is with the mom, how tragic a situation.

  5. I could not imagine. My heart goes out to that family.

  6. Oh, this is so heartbreaking!

    And you are so right- so many people think it could never happen to them...and that is why it continues to happen.

    I like the tip of putting something you need in the backseat.

  7. It always breaks my heart to hear about a child left in a car - for both the child and the family who has to bear the loss, the guilt, and the judgment from the community. I'm not sure I could withstand that kind of pressure.

    I talk to my daughter in the car. Always have, even when she was too young to respond. And until recently, I had one of those little mirrors that allowed me to see her in her car seat. I never forgot her..but my mom did once when she was an infant. Thank goodness she remembered pretty quickly and it was such a mild day!

  8. Oh, my heart is aching! Just the thought of something like this makes me want to throw up. I love that you said "But, it is my opinion that that assumption in and of itself is quite possibly one of the first steps that can lead to tragedies like this." It's so hard to admit, but it could happen to anyone. Sometimes our brains are just not hooked up to right spots on a bad day. How sad.

  9. OMGosh! I can't imagine what that mom feels like right now! (I know I am a few days late on this one...) That would be so aweful!!!! I don't go to work, but I have had dreams (mainly when I was prego with Marlee and the first few crazy weeks) that I would set her down outside the car, and forget to put her in, when of course I was putting everything else into the car and just forgot to put her in. I do put her in the truck, then put my purse under her feet. That does help a lot because to go into the store, you have to get out your purse (it also helps that Marlee now talks, so I don't think I could forget her now), otherwise I don't have any good tips.

    If this baby was young, I can totally see it are frazzled, going back to work, overtired, crazy with all the things you have to get done...I just feel so bad for them! I will pray that they can move on together (specifically if she is married) and that people are kind to her, and not completely horrible to her!!!