My mother has often told me that when my brother, sister, and I were growing up, after we would leave for school, several times throughout the day she would ask herself what each of us were wearing when we left the house. She had a fear that if we ever went missing, the first question the police asked, “What was your child wearing?” she wouldn’t be able to answer.
As a parent of two daughters, I have tried this method several times to find my memory cannot always recollect what they went off to school in each day when I get to work. Both parents work in most American households these days, and the majority of middle income children are involved in some sort of extra curricular activity. There are many things for parents to have on their mind from the moment they get up in the morning until they lay their heads down again at night. No one is claiming it’s Easy Street by any means.
Since 1998 the tunnel visioned parent rate has obviously increased because there have been over 450 children left in vehicles to die in the heat while oblivious parents go on about their day. (Source)
Doctors are calling it an epidemic. They say it can happen to anyone. I hate to throw a bullshit flag on the play, but I do know that it would never happen to me. They’re blaming this on extreme levels of exhaustion, changes in routine, stress from work, money, marital problems… throw them all out there on the table.
Have any of them ever made you forget about your child?
Doctors are claiming the same parts of our memory that allow us to “zone out” are to blame. Have you ever driven home from work and then when you pulled in the driveway, you realized that you don’t really remember the last 15 minutes? Guilty… I’ve done this. The source of my information goes on to compare parts of the memory that remind you to buy milk on the way home from work… but upon arrival you realize that you didn’t actually stop and get milk.
This is where I throw the flag. When you get home, you realize you didn’t get milk… right? Or you pull in the drive way and snap out of your trance… your back…. you go get the milk…. it doesn’t take you until the next day to remember milk. It definitely shouldn’t take 8 hours to remember your child is still sleeping in the car. How zoned out do you have to be to honestly leave a child in a car? There has to be a bigger problem here. Depression? Anxiety? Insomnia? Otherwise, you’d be in the category of people that walk away from the car and then go, “Oh shit… I can’t believe I did that”… immediately run back and grab the kiddo.
Doctors are claiming that your brain goes on autopilot, you’re not “the one” that normally drops the baby at daycare, you’re out of routine… so you just go on about your day even filling in the blanks creating a false memory that you actually did do so.
You’re a parent. You don’t get to just make assumptions like that. Not to mention I find it extremely difficult to swallow that these people take NO notice to what’s in their back seat. “I didn’t see them in the rearview mirror, I don’t have any baby stuff in the car, nothing reminded me.”
You had no baby stuff in the car? You had THE BABY in the car.
It seems to happen mostly to “doting” parents. Really? Doting on the outside…? Got it all together family…? “Perfect American Dream,” but what’s really happening in the house… no sleep, no sex, no adult interaction, no me time…. whose to blame for that? The Baby… what’s the easiest way to get rid of a baby? Roll up the car windows and leave it in the heat for 15 minutes…. freak out like a crazy person… and boom, you’re a tragedy and not a killer.
I’m not saying there could never be an accidental death by heat to a child… I am saying that the steady increase in numbers yearly is alarming and looks like an easy out.
Could you forget your child is in the car? Doctors say you could. Basic mothering reasoning skills say, not a chance.