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18 Mo. Old Found Abandoned in Cart Outside Store, Mom's Excuse Leaves Internet Furious

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Words matter, and there’s more to them than just their dictionary definitions. Connotations, which are those subtle shades of meaning that never make it into Merriam Webster, greatly impact people.

Shades of meaning even cling to legal definitions. Just look at the emotions that the word “abandonment” prompted in the case of 27-year-old mother Taylor Perdue.

According to WBZ, the Acton, Maine, resident was at a neighborhood Target with three other adults. She also had her 18-month-old toddler with her.

The Enterprise reported that the four adults got into their vehicle when they’d finished their shopping. There was just one problem.

The toddler didn’t make it into the car with them. Instead, a bystander found the baby in the shopping cart and got in touch with police.

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First responders immediately took possession of the child, who appeared unharmed. About an hour after security footage marked the group leaving, a phone call came to the store.

It was one of the four adults. He said the group had forgotten the child, was an hour away and would be right back.

Do you think this mother should be blamed for this incident?

Public opinion wasn’t kind to Perdue. “How do you not notice?” Target shopper Nellie Boling asked.

Dan Lavalle added, “That is a little crazy, you know. I don’t know if they were on the phone or whatever, if they got a little distracted, but your kids are the most important thing.”

Social media reacted even more strongly. CafeMom reported that Ann Beecher said, “The baby should have been the FIRST on put in the car.”

“Please don’t have kids if you’re supposedly going to forget about them,” Carolyn Dungan said.

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Perdue shared her own side of the story when she arrived back at the Target. She had assumed that one of her friends had put the baby in her car.

Her car seat was rear facing, as is appropriate for a child of that age, so she couldn’t see that the child wasn’t in her car. Instead, she thought the little one had fallen asleep.

Only when she’d driven 35 miles from the store and stopped did she realize she didn’t have her baby. It’s a little more understandable when it’s put that way, but police still charged Perdue with abandonment and endangerment of a child.

“Whether it was an accident or not, she still endangered the child,” Deputy Police Chief Keith Boone said.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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