Children are important!!

I just got off the phone with my girlfriend. She was livid.

She had gone to the Chassidic section of town to pick up some danishes at Cheskie’s, an awesome bakery that piles on the pounds before you even enter the store. There was a bunch of women inside yammering away in Yiddish as if they had no cares in the world. She bought what she needed and left.

As she left the store she noticed a baby carriage parked outside with a 4 month old baby sleeping peacefully in it. She checked her watch. She got into her car, made a quick phone call or two, and yes, the baby was still there unattended while its mother was nowhere in sight. 10 minutes go by until the mother (we presume she was the mother) comes out of Cheskie’s and pushes the stroller away from the store. My friend didn’t want to leave until she saw the baby was safe, but she also didn’t want to go in to the store and confront the mother.

You leave a baby alone in a stroller outside a store for ten minutes??!! I would never do it not even for a minute, a second! When my kids were little I wouldn’t even leave them in the car while I ran in to pick up a carton of milk. How can someone just leave their baby there and trust no one will kidnap him / her, or do something equally dastardly? How can she not care about the baby’s safety?

Cheskie’s does not have room for strollers inside, that’s for sure, but she could have parked the stroller and left it outside, and carried the baby inside with her. She left the baby outside, in the cold, and didn’t come out to even check on it once. What kind of mentality is this? “God will watch my child while I am in the store gossiping with the other ladies” – well, trust in God is all well and good, but it’s your job, woman, to look after the child that HE blessed you with. How can you have such a cavalier attitude to this poor sweet innocent babe?? If something had happened to your child you would have been distraught.

My friend is a sweetheart. She doesn’t like to make waves and was worried only about the baby. Me, I am sure I would have waited till the mother came out and given her a huge chunk of my mind. Not that it would have got me anywhere. Maybe it would have made me feel better. What if the police would have been called? Is that child neglect or child endangerment?

Would YOU ever leave your infant or young child outside a store for ten minutes? Ever?

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31 Comments

  1. ilanadavita says:

    Me, I am sure I would have waited till the mother came out and given her a huge chunk of my mind.
    I certainly trust you on this! It’s difficult to know what to do on such occasions.
    Does this woman believe that she lives in a neighborhood where kidnapping or the likes never happen?

  2. jax says:

    I’d never leave my child outside a store unattended… I don’t leave my handbag unattended, why would I leave my child? I can assure you, none of those ladies would leave their bags unattended ha.

    Though, I was once told that ‘it’s what they do in Europe’. People will go into stores and have lunch and leave their babies parked outside. Maybe, I’m just too protective but you’d have to pry my child out of my cold, dead hands before I leave it unattended outside. (Btw, yes, I just said ” it”, not a mom but a very loving auntie.)

  3. I once saw an unattended carriage in front of a store start rolling away. The wind pushed it halfway down the block before a man (obviously not Jewish) grabbed it and turned it around and started wheeling it back in the direction it came from. I watched the woman come out, I saw her face when her carriage wasn’t where she left it, and I saw her horror when she noticed the man wheeling it. I don’t think she ever did that again.

    • Mark says:

      Exactly what I was going to say. Forget about kidnapping which is a rarity, think of the most common thing that can occur – the brake accidentally releases and the stroller rolls into the street!!!

      Child Protective Services would really make lots of trouble for such a mother. Rightfully so.

  4. marsh says:

    Not for a second! Who in their right mind would, especially in the world that we live in now. I would have either walked in the store and asked and/ or called the police. That mother needs to be taught a lesson without tragic consequences.

  5. European says:

    I think you exagerate.

    I do not think this mother is a criminal.

    But that’s perhaps because I’m from Europe…

    • HSaboMilner says:

      I don’t think anyone is saying she is a criminal, just that her poor judgment could have terrible consequences.

  6. Frayda says:

    that is horrible! i would never leave my child unattended for 1 minute! i would have said something to the mother.

  7. RubyV says:

    Is leaving her baby outside irresponsible? Definitely.

    Does she need to have the cops called? Probably not.

    What she does need is a girlfriend to explain why it’s not the best choice, for several reasons. In reality, statistics show that children are more likely to be harmed by family members than strangers. I”m more concerned about the temperature for the baby, accidents, etc than kidnapping.

    We have all had our less than stellar parenting moments. Imagine if we had the cops called on us.

    I’ve always wondered why, as a society, we harsh on mothers. Now that’s a fun (not) discussion topic.

    • HSaboMilner says:

      as mothers we are harsh on other mothers if they don’t have the same standard of mothering, i think. We tend to think they should know better.

      This woman’s friends would no doubt not tell her not to leave the kid outside – they would probably do it too.

  8. Jonathan says:

    There was a case of something similar happening in NYC a couple of years back, when a Dutch couple (recent emigres to the USA) did pretty much the same thing. Someone saw the stroller outside the storefront, and called the cops. Their argument was, as you can probably guess, that it was “what they’d do back home in Holland.”

  9. For some reason you’ve reminded of something entirely unrelated that happened to me:

    My mother and I were out walking late, sometime around 1 am or so, very very late. We saw that one house had a fire lit in a grill in their carport. Being that it was so late, my mother and I were doubtful that anyone was still awake. The fire was contained within the grill, but still, we were afraid it might go out of control. So we knocked on the door of the house, and we told the person who answered that his grill was lit. He responded that sitting inside his house, he could see the grill in the carport through the screen door, and that he was having a party and was perfectly aware that his grill was lit. He thanked us for being concerned enough to inform him, however.

  10. Chanief says:

    I would probably have waited for the mother and given her a piece of my mind. It’s ridiculously irresponsible to leave a baby outside a store while shopping and I would NEVER do it (though I have left my kids in my car while I run into Starbucks, but only in good weather with open windows, where I can see them, no key in the ignition, and they are 9 and 10…)

  11. batya from NJ says:

    it is extremely irresponsible for parents to leave their babies unattended outside a store. i’m afraid that the only way this will stop will be if G-d forbid a tragedy were to happen & then unfortunately ppl will “wake up & smell the coffee”. it is sad but i’m afraid that is what it will take for this behavior to stop. apparently, this is commonplace in Boro Park, Brooklyn as i’ve read many letters to the editor of the Jewish Press regarding this exact issue.

  12. Lady Lock and Load says:

    Your friend was very nice to take the time to watch that the baby was safe. I might have gone into the store and reminded the woman in a very nice way that it wasn’t safe and that a cop could pass by. Maybe the woman lost track of time and would appreciate a reminder. Worst come to worst, she would ignore you or yell at you but i would have done it anyway. People have accidently left children in hot cars with very sad results. :(

  13. R' Daniel says:

    Jew or no Jew, Yehudi or Aino Yehudi, I would not have hesitated to call the cops if I were there. If it were a father who did that, I’d punch him in the face.

    • HSaboMilner says:

      see, violence doesn’t solve anything. i believe this type of thing happens out of ignorance, not deliberate calculation.

    • Lady Lock and Load says:

      If you punched a man in the face you could be arrested for assault.

      • Reb Doniel says:

        There are no excuses for ignorance. If you ever were in Brooklyn, you would see that among Hasidic Jews, there is a huge problem of child reckless endangerment. You see kids as little as 3 years old roaming the streets alone like urchins, while the mothers are nowhere to be found. And no I wouldn’t be arrested- things aren’t that bureaucratic here.

  14. Marla says:

    I would never leave my baby unattended, but there is a chance that this ‘mother’ is just a child herself. She may be as young as 17 or 18 years old – and likely just needs some parenting classes and some mentoring. I am glad the baby wasn’t harmed.

  15. Zahava says:

    We have posters up in our synagogue reminding families to not leave their kids in their cars. We consider it abandonment/neglect, and when we’ve had families who have done it multiple times, despite staff talking to them about the dangers (isolated area, wildlife, moving the car, accidents, etc) we have threatened to call child protective services.

  16. Chav says:

    I would have said something, in a kind way, to the mother when she finally showed up.
    I was at a Jewish grocery store and I saw a carriage with an older baby just parked at the door. Mother nowhere in sight. The baby was whimpering and I started rocking the carriage to sooth him. Then I moved the carriage , just to see if anyone was watching this child. Noone was. I finally let the store manager know because I had to go. So disappointing.

  17. HaSafran says:

    Don’t you understand?
    You can always have another kid, but if Cheskie’s is out of babka…Oh, the horror!
    The other children will NEVER get a shidduch now.

  18. jill says:

    I’ve lived overseas for the past 7 years… and I can tell you that in both Israel and India, parents do this all the time! Maybe not for 10 minutes, but easily for 5 …

    Is it right? Who’s to say? When you live in a culture where this type of thing is the norm, it’s hard to judge.

    Then again, parents on this side of the world also don’t use car seats and let their kids sit in the front seat of the car… which is an entirely different post altogether!

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