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I hesitate to even mention this in case I get flamed, but then I truly deserve to get flamed, so have at it.

Mia wanted to go to the playground this morning (hey, it's only 93, why not?), so I got her and Owen all sunscreened up and packed water and hats and the Ergo for when Owen invariably decided to boycott the stroller and we were all set to go when I realized I had neglected to snag anything for Owen to chew on. Not advisable. So, I assessed the situation: both kids in the garage, Owen strapped securely into the stroller, Mia standing nearby. I decided I could leave them where they were and run into the house to grab a toy.

So I did that. I asked Mia to watch Owen (just to make her feel important, I do realize a three year old is not a reliable babysitter), ran through the kitchen and into the family room to grab some toys, then scooted up to the playroom for some plastic rings to attach the toys to the stroller. I had Mia talking to me all the while, so I felt pretty sure that all was how I left it.

When I returned to the garage, Mia proudly announced that she had helped Mommy by lifting the levers. The levers that are the brakes on the stroller, which were the only thing preventing a gentle shove from sending the stroller and my second born barreling down our very steep driveway and straight into the street.

I would elaborate further on what a fucking idiot I am, but I'm still waiting for my heart to start beating again.

Comments (34)

You can't foresee everything (especially "helpful" toddlers). If it makes you feel any better, I would have done the same thing. Deep breaths.

So now you know to put the garage door down first. Lesson learned and no one got hurt.

This is a "parenting moment". We get smarter, they get easier to handle. :)

Don't beat yourself up, we all make mistakes. I once had Michael in the stroller, ran inside to grab the dog to take him for a walk, and the stroller started rolling down the sidewalk. And a neighbor caught it. I was convinced they would call CPS, who I work for. Nice.

I will not steal your thunder by sharing with you the many, many ways I can relate. Nicely done, dude. I'm so proud. :)

at least you thought to set the brakes, I don't think I have even used mine!

Isn't it funny (okay, not really) how they decide to do the one thing you'd never in your wildest dreams imagine they'd do?

You do not deserve to get flamed, especially for something where no one actually got hurt. I use these moments as "well- you'll think about it more next time, won't you!" chances. We ALL do something like this at some point, so don't let anybody get all "moral superiority" on you. Take it easy on your sweet self.

Wow. Not flaming you - the heart attack you must have had was enough!

I would have done the same thing. My daughter would have done the same thing. I would have had the same heart attack.

He didn't go down the driveway though. There's that.

When mine were small and would both fall asleep in the car and we didn't have a garage, I would bring one small sleeping child into the house, while leaving one small sleeping child in the cold car in the big bad world until I could drop the first into bed. You do what you have to do and 99% of the time, it turns out ok. Again, he didn't roll.

Rock on, Momma. Everyone is ok!

I have gotten accustomed now that I have two children to parking the car, taking the keys, and running to a mailbox or what have you as long as it's less than five yards away, I can see the car the whole time and I don't have to do anything complicated which would distract me.

Today, I had to grab some FedEx shipping supplies in the entryway of a store. It fit all of my requirements but I somehow found myself in the back of the store hunting down supplies and WAY TOO FAR from my kids. Idiot move. Everyone is fine but I will NEVER be doing that again. They're coming with me every time I leave the car.

I feel pretty safe in saying that everyone has idiot moments and we just have to be grateful that the cosmos is forgiving.

If anyone flames you, they're not parents and therefore their opinion on the matter do not count.

We parents have ALL done something stupid like this that makes us question our sanity.

I did the exact same thing when I was three--my mother was talking to my grandmother. My brother has a nifty chin scar to lord over my head for all eternity now :) :) Live and learn! Don't beat yourself up about it!

phew! you have busy guardian angels like I do, huh?!

alls well that ends well.

Stiff drink and different forward planning for next time :)

I think every parent has had moments like this. My 5 yr old went missing on the way home from school the other day, all because I let them run ahead on a path down the side of an oval. She then decided to run home but I had ten minutes of screaming her name (as were my 7 and 2 yr olds) before we ran up our street and there she was. I promptly sat down on the road and retched and cried for five minutes. I honestly thought someone had taken her.

We feel much much worse just knowing the 'what if's than anyone else could ever make us feel.

No will beat yourself up way more than any anonymous commenter ever could. Everyone is fine, so give yourself a break. It just shows how you are raising a sweet helpful Mia!
Now go get some chocolate.

I would have done the same thing.

*comes to*

Sorry, I just passed out there for a second.

Would it make you feel better to know that I accidentally locked my 2-year-old in the sun room this morning, and it's over 100 degrees here? I hope so, because I'M still feeling like crap over it.

i am seriously moved by all of the kind-hearted, sweet, supportive comments from other mothers. wow. you have planted a rich garden of friends here who seem to equally share in your triumphs and tribulations. absorb your bounty! you're richly blessed (in so many ways).

Well.. I locked my 2 year old in the house the other day! Went outside to grab a package from our UPS guy. I was hoping to avoid him ringing the doorbell and waking her up from her nap because she was sick, but I automatically locked the door behind me. Doh! I spent 45 minutes trying to break into my own home, but all's well that ends well I guess. =/

You're in good company, dear.

I'm impressesed with the use of sunscreen and that you used the brakes on the stroller. Not things that happen much here.

Yup, what everyone else said. Check another thing off of your parenting milestone list!

I have done something like this to each one of my 6 kids. I agree with everyone else, it's one of those moments you learn from. You can't predict every single instance where a child *might do something. They are itty bitty but always 10 steps ahead of us. Have a stiff drink, on me, and you'll be fine. :-)

I feel your pain. My husband and I once had, let's just say a misunderstanding with the car seat and one of the many buckles was not buckled. Nothing happened, everyone was fine, and it never happened again. But, we felt like the worst parents ever!

You are in no way an idiot. No one would have anticipated that Mia would "lift the levers." I have been a childcare professional for seventeen years, and I have never had a kid do that. You will not be able to anticipate everything, and if you took the time to try to avoid every possible safety issue, you would never leave your house. You are an excellent mom--don't doubt that for a second!

My SIL left my two year old niece in the car (strapped in her car seat), to run back in the house on a winter day (my SIL left the car running so it would be warm for my niece) to get the baby bag for daycare. My niece managed to get out of the car seat and climb up in the front seat and accidentally put the car in drive. The car lurched and rammed into the brick wall on the side of the garage. A lot of damage was done to the house and the car, but my neice was in stitches thinking she had done something funny. She was not hurt in the least. Wow, what young kids are capable of doing. Luckily everything is okay at your house, except you now have some more gray hair.

We've all been there. We've all had heart attacks, nightmares, and paranoias too. Don't be so hard on yourself. They're both ok and so are you.



It's like I always say: "Well, there goes Mother of the Year THIS year."

I have driven my car with my toddler completely unbuckled. I got distracted and forgot to hook her in. By the time we got home, she was half hanging out of her seat.

We all make parenting mistakes - you have to learn from something, right?

ps. I have been distracted about 4 other times while getting the kids in the car and left her unbuckled. I didn't learn the first time and obviously not the second or third. I will say, though, I have been doing REALLY good since teaching my girls that they are NOT safe if unbuckled and they scream if I start to drive without hooking them in their seats.

Oh, my friend! We've all been there. We all do this, and somehow we are lucky and blessed and it turns out okay.

Here are a couple of mine, both involving my now 10 year old daughter:
At 3 months, I left her in her bouncy seat in the kitchen to go to the bathroom. The child managed to unbuckle both sides of the strap and was leaning waaaay forward for a toy.
At 7 months, she was able to climb an "unclimbable" baby gate. I caught her with her head and most of her torso over the top of the gate, in the same kitchen, in a house built on a concrete slab.
I wasn't very surprised when she started walking at 10 months.

Note to self.

No seriously, I probably would not have thought twice about doing the exact same thing. Scary thought.

Oh no. I did the unbuckled car seat thing also when he was about 16 months. (Man it made me feel better to read the ones above.) That's nothing compared to my mom though. Of course it was the 50s and there were no such thing as car seats and she and my Aunt were driving a full carload of cousins somewhere. My brother - who was 4 - noticed the car door wasn't shut right so he tried to tell mom but she wasn't paying any attention. So he tried to pull it further shut and it opened and he fell out the moving vehicle and rolled down a hill. He was fine though. Just a concussion.

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