Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Seeing is Believing

As I left the rec center after working out on Monday morning, I pulled out my cell phone to call Anthony. While I sat in the parking lot talking to him, I noticed something odd in the parked car next to me. There was a small infant sleeping, still strapped in her car seat, partially covered with a jacket. No one was around. It was kind of chilling.

"There is a baby left alone in the car next to me," I told Anthony. "Someone has left it there." She wasn't in distress; she was sleeping quietly. I could see her little curled up hand poking out from under the jacket, and she was breathing calmly. She was tiny, small enough to need one of those head bumpers inside her Graco carseat.

I talked to Anthony a while longer, hoping someone would show up. I have been tempted to just run in to a place while doing errands when my baby was sleeping peacefully in the car, but I would never leave them in the car while I did an entire work-out. It was a cool February day, but this was just wrong. Babysitting is available at the rec center for cheap. There was another empty toddler car seat in the car; this person might even have the older child inside. What if this baby woke up and no one was there to comfort her?

By this time at least 6 minutes had passed. I hung up with Anthony and dialed the police. They took the car's license plate number from me, and dispatched an officer. When the officer pulled in, as instructed I flagged him down. "Do you need me to stay?" I asked, after giving my information. "No, you'd better leave so you don't get involved," he said.

Right-oh. I hopped in my car and prepared to back out when the officer tapped my window.

"It's a doll," he mouthed.

No way! I hopped out, and once I leaned into the window and shielded my eyes, I could see that indeed, the domed little head had not a hair on it and had a plastic sheen. But I had seen her breathing, that's how I knew she was OK! Well, it must've just been me breathing, although she was very realistic and in a real car seat with real accessories.

So, red-faced, I jumped in my car again, and drove off as fast as I could legally! I'm so glad, in retrospect, that I was wrong, but faced with the same situation, I would call again, of course after checking much more closely.


We had a new instructor at our Spanish class, and it was MUCH BETTER. He was not as charming or enthusiastic, but he was pleasant and very methodical, and we went over the basics and practiced them over and over. We didn't even get to verb conjugation! Some of my classmates had obviously bonded with Christina and were sad that she was gone, but I think everyone got a lot more out of it. Plus, there were handouts to follow! Anthony was much more confident after this class, and we have been practicing a little between us.


Cousin Bevie said...

That's crazy about the doll! You obviously did the right thing by calling the cops. I wouldn't put it past people these days to abandon children like that.

Hip-Hip-HOORAH for a better Spanish teacher! I'm glad its given you guys a confidence boost.

Hugs and Kisses on this pre-valentine night!

Mudpuppy said...

LOL. I don't mean to laugh, but the the moment when the police officer told you it was a doll must have been so mortifying! I agree you absolutely did the right thing, but this is obviously an example of "no good deed goes unpunished"!

Emily said...

How horrifying. I would have done the same thing.
Steve's friends in V. Beach that we stayed with have several life-like dolls throughout their house. They are creepy but VERY realistic. She even had one in a real, regulation carseat, so I can totally see how that could happen.

EdamameMommy said...

Then please tell me Ashton Kutcher came out of the bushes and tell you you were being punk'd (uk relatives, it's the theme of their show to do this to people)?!?!? MORTIFYING is the right word. Oh Jenn. Shouldn't dolls in carseats be outlawed like yelling "Fire" in a crowded theatre? ;)

EdamameMommy said...

oops sorry bad grammar, I meant "TOLD YOU"

(Too much Valentine's Day sugar...I am typing faster than I can think)

A.Norma said...

Well,Jennifer, once again I am proud of you...you were quite correct in your action...I have heard of having a 'male doll' in the car seat for safety but NEVER a lifelike childs' Doll!!!