Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Awfulness

A few months ago, I put up a post bemoaning the existance of a woman whom I saw driving a top-down convertible while talking on her cell phone. The thing that bothered me was the fact that she had an occupied car seat in the back of the car. The idea of the harsh, outside elements buffeting a little baby as she carelessly sped along seemed to warrant a ticket more than a cell phone conversation would.

And then there was yesterday.

Once again, I was driving home from our preschool pick up when I stopped at a light. Within moments, a minivan pulled up beside me and revealed a young mother with what appeared to be an infant carrier, correctly facing back, in the front passenger seat.

What the?

As I squinted my eyes to get a better look, hoping that a baby was actually absent from the seat, the mother slowly lowered her window.

She glanced at me.

Looked up at the light.

And lit a cigarette.

Her baby slept contentedly in the carrier.

As the light turned green, she flew off leaving me, dumbstruck, only to stare at the "Logan Soccer" stickers all over the rear window of her car.

Awful.

I will say this. I rarely make comments (unless you count the comments in my head....of which there are many), but some situations warrant it, whether they'll produce results or not. Now, I do not know if this woman is a mother with a child at O's school (my shock never afforded me the time to examine the backseat....where the carrier should have been), but you can be sure I'll be on the lookout for her and her stickers. And you can also be sure I'll seriously consider saying something.

I've actually only ever done that once. I was in the parking lot of our grocery store and, as I left the store, I noticed that the minivan next to my car had a baby inside. The baby was awake, looking around, and seemingly content. I had no idea how long she'd been in there, but she was definitely alone.

I waited by the car for ten minutes, making sure the baby was okay and disbelieving that anyone would actually leave their child unattended. As each minute passed, my anger grew. Finally, a police car happened to do a drive through of the parking lot and I hailed him down.

He told me that he'd "take it from here" and got out to wait for the idiot shopper. Not being able to just leave, I pulled my car out of its spot, and parked on the other side of the lot.

Moments later, the apparent knucklehead emerged, meandering to her car with what seemed to be little concern for her baby. Upon seeing the cop, she rushed over to the car. I don't know what was said, or even why she rushed (fear of being caught or fear that something had happened to the child), but I will never forget how unconcerned she seemed until she spotted the cop.

Though I never knew the outcome, I did feel good about alerting the cop.

This recent scenario, however, is a little different. Let's pretend I do run into her again. Let's pretend I scout out her and her stickers in the parking lot.

Do I say something? Should I just keep my mouth shut on this one?

Comments will be appreciated on this one for sure.

3 comments:

Amy M. said...

Are you SURE it wasn't Donna?

Abbie, Paul, Drew and Charlotte's Web said...

Back in the day I had Abbie in the front seat of our car in the infant seat, rear facing in Okinawa. There were no laws prohibiting it and there were no airbags, it was quite convenient when she was an infant and needed a passy or to see me.

I also remember riding as a child, on the arm rest in the front seat from Long Island to Bergenfield, NJ, while my mom held my baby sister, or had her in a "car bed" that was buckled to the back seat...I don't think the baby was secured.

I also remember seeing women breastfeeding their kids while driving!! Yikes!

Oh, and as kids we piled into the car to fit everyone...kids in the hatchback (back-back), kids on top of other kid's laps, we survived...probably by the skin of our teeth!

People smoke...I quit as many others did, before we had kids...others have a hard time...it sucks, but it's reality.

Glad you saved that baby from a neglectful parent!

Amanda said...

I think that people are too crazy today. I would maybe seriously consider saying something about the carseat. That could definetly injure the baby. But I think I would keep my anger of the smoking to myself. Make sure she is not lit up when you talk to her people like that tend to flick things.
I'm sure she littered that cigarette too. Probably threw it right into a field of grazing cattle. I always wanted to get out of my car and say "Hey you dropped something".