My children are all past the infant stage, well into walking, talking, and sometimes talking back. I remember well, however, when they were babies — that helpless period when they could do little for themselves except eat, coo and cry.
Sometimes when they’d fall asleep in the car, they wouldn’t make any noise whatsoever.
Now, neither my wife nor I ever inadvertently left our baby in the backseat. But I can see how it might happen. And you know what? It’s one of the worst things a parent can imagine.
NBC News chronicled how Kristie Reeves-Cavaliero’s daughter Sophia Rayne was left in the back of a family car. The 1-year-old slept through her morning feeding, and both of her parents didn’t wake up on time for work.
In the ensuing hubbub, the baby’s father, Brett Cavaliero, got Sophia into her car seat. But rather than drop her off at daycare, he forgot and went straight to work — and left her in the vehicle.
By the time he realized what he’d done, it was too late. His infant daughter was dying from heat exposure, and first responders were unable to resuscitate her.
Of course, not every moment of forgetfulness ends so horribly. But that ghastly outcome is always a parent’s fear.
Lindsey Trepany of Tampa, Florida, knows how that realization feels.
After seeing stories like Sophia’s dozens of times and wondering how anyone could forget their child, she almost did the exact same thing this September.
She had plenty of reasons to be distracted, such as planning for a wedding and trying to scrape up enough cash to pay for a new roof on her house.
“I couldn’t even find a turkey sandwich that I had just made. I was crying, so stressed out,” she explained to WFLA.
Her mind a whirl of competing needs and distractions, she got her young son into the back of her car and began driving. It wasn’t until she had pulled into her place of business, put her car in park, and gotten out that she heard a small, confused voice.
“Mommy?” a voice said from the backseat.
“I just froze and said, ‘Oh my gosh. I totally forgot to take you to school,'” Trepany recounted.
Trepany has now begun putting her briefcase back next to her son in the car.
That’s a good lifehack and perhaps more parents should do something similar. The downsides of forgetting are catastrophic.
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