My 1L year, there was a case study in Criminal Law about a woman whose toddler was mauled by a vicious pit bull. The pit bull lived next door and was guarding his owner’s marijuana fields. She had left her son on the porch for a second, and he got away from her.
The kids in the class were livid about the mother. As a parent, I have been in situations where I left my child on the porch for a minute because I forgot my keys or my wallet. The kids had more sympathy for the drug dealer then the mom. I muttered, “just you wait” under my breath, and forgot about it.
I was reminded of this case this weekend because we had BIG DRAMA over here involving police, the neighbors and 911.
My kids and I were having a bad day. I had taken them to the mall so that my son could play at the indoor playground. They were tag teaming me with their melt downs. Finally, I had enough, and literally dragged my screaming kid out of the mall and into the car. The boy fell asleep on the way back, the girl continued to scream.
When we got home, I woke the boy up and put him on the porch (evil porches!). I grab the baby, and then told my son to head inside. But he refused. And here is where I make my big parenting mistake. I was so tired of fighting him, I said, “Fine.” I marched up the stairs with the baby. I put her down, and then I went down to get him.
When I got back downstairs, he had taken off. He was gone. GONE!
I was all by myself and we live in a congested area. I ran around screaming for him. When he didn’t come, I ran upstairs and grabbed the baby and the phone. I called 911, and the operator yelled, “You have to calm down.” I screeched, “You aren’t taking this seriously!”
My neighbor is a woman from Texas who doesn’t talk to us, but she came out to help. We were up and down the streets screaming our heads off. For the first time that day, the baby was all smiles and giggles, apparently enjoying the commotion.
The police finally arrived. A passing motorist had found him a few streets over. They went to pick him up, so he got to ride in the police car. When they finally brought him back to me, the police checked him out. I am sure they were looking for signs of abuse. The whole thing was mortifying, and perhaps the worse fifteen minutes of my life.
I think he was pretty scared too. He went upstairs and hid underneath the coffee table. He totally did not want to talk about it. For the first time in his life, I considered spanking him. He was so upset, I decided against it.
Luckily we don’t live next door to a drug dealer with a killer pit bull.
PS – One last thing. I was so frazzled by the time the police arrived, I gave them a wrong name for me, and the wrong birthdate for him. After I had calmed down and realized it, I thought about calling them up and telling them. But then I decided, it was best to just let it go.