I Left My Baby in the Car. Also, I Might Have an Aneurysm.


I looked into the backseat and heard silence coming from the car seat.

My colicky baby had been sleeping soundly for the past ten minutes – a welcome reprieve from the high pitch wails of when he is awake.

I glanced again into the backseat.

I look ahead at the ATM machine fifteen feet in front of me.

*Look at the backseat.*

*Look at the ATM.*

Then I did it – I darted out of my car, and ran to the bank while pushing the lock button on my keychain.

I immediately flashed to all the news clips I’ve ever seen about parents leaving their kids in the car for a minute or two.

I swiped my card.  I looked back at the car.

I entered my pin number.  I looked back at the car.

Why couldn’t I  just have brought the car seat with me?  Why couldn’t I have just dealt with the wailing?  Would it have been so bad to be “that mom” again – the one with the harried look and the babe whose wails echo throughout the bank kiosk?

I tried to push my crinkly check into the effing temper-mental slot, while my breathing started to quicken.

I pushed some buttons.  I looked back at the car.

What if someone tried to break into my car and steal it?  Would I be fast enough to run the fifteen feet and hurl myself into them?

I looked back at the car.

What if my baby was over heating in the two  minutes that I stood at the machine that WOULDN’T TAKE MY STUPID CHECK?  It was 64 degrees out, after all.

I whispered “fuck you” to the ATM… and it finally swallowed up my check.

I looked back at the car.

I grabbed my receipt.

I started to pleasantly jog (so people wouldn’t think I was nuts) back toward the car.

Then I dropped my bank card.

As I bent to pick it up, I thought…

What if I have an aneurysm that I didn’t know about? What if bending over at this moment causes it to burst, and I fall down dead on the sidewalk?  No one would know that my baby was in the car.  NO ONE WOULD KNOW!  He’s going to be hungry in about twenty minutes.  The ambulance probably wouldn’t even be here by then to scoop my body up.  Who would feed him?





Just as I was about to announce to the one person walking by that my baby was in the car, and should be taken care of if I die – I tripped on absolutely nothing and stumbled all the way into my own car door.

With both hands pressed against the window, I saw my sweet sleeping baby.  He looked so peaceful… and quiet… so beautifully quiet.  I stared at him for a second or two before I realized that the sun was streaming in right on his delicate face.  What if the left side of his face was completely burned?  I hopped in the car and high tailed it home before I could do anymore damage to my infant.


Going to the bank should not be this stressful, should it?

If you’re a parent, have you ever left your child in the car for a second or two?

The good news is, I probably don’t have an aneurysm…

Or it just hasn’t burst…


I’m going to stay away from the bank, just to be sure.





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Comments (41)

  • Sara 9 years ago Reply

    That’s hilarious! Though when I first saw your title I thought it might have been on accident. I think its totally OK to do it intentionally. Those bad parents usually do it dumbly and blindly- without regard.
    Sometimes you just gotta go with the situation instead of saying that this action will always be BAD to do no matter what 🙂

    On that note I did once lock my baby in the car once and it was the most AWFUL experience in my life. Locksmith took 1/2 to arrive with my baby crying inside and me crying outside. Probably the most traumatizing parenting experience i’ll ever have.

    Stephanie 7 years ago Reply

    I had a nightmare about the same exact scenario with my daughter locked in car, locksmith taking too long to arrive, & both babygirl & I crying; divided by a sheet of plexiglass (window)

    Woke up in sweats. Bought a MasterLock 207D Large Magnetic Keycase the next morning! Best $3.85 cents I EVER spent. Hide it underneath the body of my car by the wheel (non-visible)



  • Alyssa @NearNormalcy 9 years ago Reply

    Yes! For awhile we were on this like, budgeting kick, where we would get cash each month and divide it into envelopes and never use our debit cards in an attempt to control the cash hemorrhage….anyway that meant I had to go INSIDE the GAS STATION and pay for my gas with cash like some kind of homeless person.

    Two kids. Two carseats. Two buckles. Naps. Tantrums. Wandering toddlers. The guy with the cash register is…just…right…there…on the other side of the glass! Right by the window! See? I’m using the closest possible pump to the door so I can run, RUN in, pay for my gas without ever losing sight of the car, and run, RUN out.

    I never even THOUGHT about the aneurysm possibilities!!

    We’re using our debit cards for gas again. I can’t handle the guilt.

    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    OMG- we are doing the cash/envelope thing right now! Looks like I’ll be avoiding gas stations as well.

  • Rusti 9 years ago Reply

    I’ve done that exact same thing. although I’ve left the car running and unlocked… of course I was also the only one at the ATM, in a decent area… but still. I’ve done it. I’ve also asked the “what if someone steals my car” and “what if something happens to me” questions (which were slightly ridiculous based on my proximity to my vehicle and the complete lack of any other vehicles, but still – the aneurism thought hadn’t occurred to me at that time… anyway, just trying to say that you’re definitely not alone. 🙂

    Rusti 9 years ago Reply

    oh – and I’ve also had the “run in to pay for gas with cash” issue… and have ALSO accidentally locked my child in my vehicle (running, key fob doesn’t work if the car is running – word of wisdom for you there) AND in my house. luckily in the first case Hubs wasn’t far away and was able to come unlock the car in just a few minutes, and the second instance, I actually had to break the glass on our storm door and break into the house. not experiences I would like to repeat. EVER.

  • Alex@LateEnough 9 years ago Reply

    OMG you are so funny.

    I think if you can see the car with your kid in it, you can not be arrested. Only given the stink eye, which totally washes off.

    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    I must totally be using the wrong soap.

  • It’s like “fuck you” was the magic password…

    Everything is more stressful with kids. I wanted to take groceries inside today before we ran our next errand and I was a freak about them eating their snack b/c they could choke as I was cramming shit in the fridge…just not worth it.

    I’m glad you didn’t have an aneurysm though!

  • January 9 years ago Reply

    Yep. Done it. I also locked both my kids in the car once with my keys. We have a key pad entry but of-course I couldn’t remember the password. Good times. Anxiety runs way too high as a parent. For even the simplest of things. How we all cope daily is beyond me.

    I’m so happy you didn’t have an aneurysm though.

  • The Sweetest 9 years ago Reply

    Having an infant is stressful enough to cause an aneurism, that’s for sure. I leave my son in the car all the time. Let’s see you raise a kid, Ocifer.

  • Varda (SquashedMom) 9 years ago Reply

    Jenni, thanks for making me laugh today!

    We didn’t have a car when the boys were infants, and I’m pretty sure that leaving them in a NYC yellow cab is a BIG no-no, so I never did THAT.

    But now that they’re bigger and older (9!) I have occasionally left them (well, the non-autistic one) home alone for a few minutes while running a close-by errand in bad weather. The first time I must have called Ethan 5 times in the 10 minutes I was gone. (And we’re in a doorman building and the upstairs neighbor mom was home, knew I was out, and was keeping an eye / ear out for my son.) Whew!

    And in 2 years he’s supposed to be walking to/from middle school by himself through the streets of New York! (Trying not to hyperventilate now.)

    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    No,Varda, don’t hyperventilate… I’m doing it for you.

  • I’ve not done it. I’ve also not been to the bank in far too long. Or anywhere else for that matter. I have a vivid imagination so if I did leave the baby in the car, I wouldn’t last 3 seconds before I head back and grab him.

  • lady estrogen 9 years ago Reply

    Haha. I know that stress!
    With two sleeping babies, there was NO way I was unstrapping them and hauling them into the bank for 2min. Eff that!

  • Jen 9 years ago Reply

    I will admit that I have left my children in the car especially when they were sleeping. You are a normal awesome mother. 🙂

    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    Awesome for sure. I think the normal part may be debatable…

  • Gayletrini 9 years ago Reply

    This was hilarious.
    I so get this. I think I may have left the children in the car as babies can’t remember though when I leave them now 8 & 10 I do a small freak and I have to see the car.
    There is so much to worry about as a parent! sigh

  • Mama Kat 9 years ago Reply

    Duuuuude…I leave my kids in the car ALLLL the time. They’re just fiiine.

    The groceries won’t shop themselves you know!

    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    I suppose the movies won’t watch themselves in the theatre either.
    Hmmm… George Clooney is calling my name…

  • Terram 9 years ago Reply

    When they were babies both my kids so frequently slept in the car in the garage that I actually kept a baby monitor down there so I’d hear when they woke up. And no the car wasn’t running, and never when it was really hot or really cold in the garage. I’ve also left my daughter (now a toddler) asleep in the car a few times while I gathered her brother from the preschool playground. It just seems so dumb to wake her up while I walk 30 feet away, in a good neighborhood. I’ll even admit that I have left both kids (oldest one is 5) in the car while I dashed into the post office to check a PO box – but I could see the car from the lobby and I had the remote in my hand ready to push the alarm button if a stranger walked by 🙂 And I’ve talked to friends who all admitted they’ve done this before. That said, I heard of a friend-of-a-friend who was ticketed when she left her two kids in the car while she ran into the cleaners a few feet away. Could be an urban myth though…

  • erin margolin 9 years ago Reply

    um, i had the twins first and they were born in mid-december. in kansas. frigid temps. yes, i left them in the car for quick things like this. not a crime, IMHO. esp. when u consider the alternative: dragging 2 preemies out into single digit temps! no way!!!

    how r u feeling/doing?

  • Law Momma 9 years ago Reply

    OMG. I am crying laughing. Because I’ve totally been there. And yeah… going to the bank should not be so stressful. 🙂

  • Sarah M. 9 years ago Reply

    yesterday, I left my kids in the car so I could go inside and pay for gas. I used the pump that was literally next to the door. Thankfully, no aneurysms, but you KNOW next time I have to do something like put a cart away while they are in the car, I’m totally going to be thinking about that. LOL

  • nic @mybottlesup 9 years ago Reply

    i did this last winter and jackson was 2 and a half. i imagined him either freezing to death in the car and being like jack nicholson in ‘the shining’ or… driving away in my car and leaving me to freeze to death.


  • John 9 years ago Reply

    I remember, just after CJ was discharged from the hospital, driving with my wife – we had to get baby clothes before going to the hotel (CJ was adopted, and we were “prisoners” of Delaware until paperwork could work through, otherwise, we were kidnapping the kid). From the hospital to the clothing store, CJ cried. We parked, and he fell asleep. I actually contemplated leaving him in the car to shop.

    Obviously, I’m a different parent now – but, even now, I’ll leave the kids in the car, with the car running, if I need to run to throw something in a mailbox or to the ATM.

  • I have seriously had that same thought while putting away the grocery cart at the store- what if I die? Will they find my baby in the car? I think crazy is a part of being a mom!

  • Jessica 9 years ago Reply

    Okay, blogging addiction confession. I may have opened the garage, started the car, loaded mine in car seats then went in to check “one” thing at the computer and sort of got lost in bloggy/twitter land for a little too long. But they were in our garage and I was super close by so that was okay right? A Chrysler Town and Country is the only babysitter who can handle all my kids at once.

  • Erik 9 years ago Reply

    Haha been there done that. Trying to teach a toddler to unlock a door is not that easy.

  • Ann 9 years ago Reply

    1) Your bank sucks for not having a drive through.

    2) You must now watch this LTYM about a mom leaving her baby in the car. You will laugh and cry, but it will be a good cry not a tragic ending cry. A good ugly cry with some added chills for effect.


    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    What is the vid called? The link took me to all of them. I want the ugly good cry!

  • Keith 9 years ago Reply

    Brilliant. 🙂

  • Alexandria 9 years ago Reply

    Another hilarious post!

    I don’t remember ever leaving baby in car for just a second or two. BUT I have left my son in the car to pay for gas ONLY if I’m at the pump right next to the door. But the whole time is terribly nerve racking. Good parents just don’t pay for gas….

  • Cheryl @ Mommypants 9 years ago Reply

    As someone who has had two babies with colic, I would do ANYTHING for 10 minutes of silence. Unless you have been through it, you cannot understand it. So if I were you, I’d go to the ATM every. single. day.

    Just sayin’.

    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    Haha… If only I could go with a slice of cheese in hand…

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  • Ashley @ It's Fitting 9 years ago Reply

    It’s just SO much easier to leave them for a second while you race into the dry cleaners… I did stress about it for like a second, but thanks for the stress about the aneurism… hadn’t even thought about that possibility.

  • Alexandra/The Empress 9 years ago Reply

    Oh, you poor sweet thing:

    Not worth it , is it?

    Just take the kid along next time.

    Worth the reduction in mental stress.

    I miss you.

  • You speak the words that go through my brain. You are so real and funny and amazing. I understand why you would want to let your soundly sleeping baby sleep more. Also, that ATM is a fucking asshole.

    Jenni Chiu 9 years ago Reply

    And yes… total fucking asshole.

  • BigMamaCass 9 years ago Reply

    I never have but my brain apparently works like yours and goes through all of the horrible scenarios that could occur in the ten or twenty feet between me and the baby. Aneurysm, heart attack, vicious attack, meteor. Someday I might.

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