Monday, July 18, 2011

Leaving Babies in a Car

This post I cannot even believe is one I will be writing. And yet, Emmanuel tells me every year the police arrest people who leave their babies in cars while they go into nightclubs (sometimes even in Winter). :(((( This makes me so sad and so angry!

The same day I was walking home and near got my ankles clipped by a driver (See post on Bad French Drivers), I walked about 50 feet and passed two clinics. I heard a sound of a child crying. Not unusual because there are lots of children in this neighborhood and the French rarely seem to tend to a crying child. (I know I am grossly overstepping and sterotyping, but this is my blog and these are all just my personal unfounded opinions!)

However, I looked trying to find where the child was because there was no one else on the street. I noticed a navy blue BMW station wagon. Inside, on the back seat were two baby car seats. With two babies in them! One was looking out the window with his hand on his face as if to say, "Hmmm, my sister here is bawling her head off but I'll just look outside and try to ignore her." The other was crying hysterically. I looked in the window and she looked at me. I said, "Oh! It's's going to be okay. Mommy will be here soon."  I looked in the car to see if I could assess anything else. It looked like the keys were inside on a console. Maybe she (the mother) locked the keys inside and is going to get help? That must be it. She must be somewhere getting help. By why didn't she just stay with the children so they didn't become afraid?

The baby girl kept wailing. I felt bad. I had Simon with me and was thinking "how is this situation going to play out?" I knew if I called the police they'd do nothing. I'd only been there a few minutes. They wouldn't take me seriously for a much longer time. No one else was on the street. And even if there was I knew the typical French response would be: "it's not my problem." And: "you shouldn't concern yourself with another's problem." Very French. (That isn't a criticism. It's an observation and a fact from knowing a little about French history, culture and personality shaped over centuries.)

Little girl still crying. Oh God what am I going to do?! I can't stand it. The solution is so simple! The parent keeps the children with them at all times and the babies aren't abandoned! Simple. Why couldn't this woman just do that?!

Another minute passed with me trying to calm the baby down by talking to her. Am I making her more upset? "Who is this stranger in a brown hat cooing at me in a foreign language?!" (I was speaking English.) Then a man in a bright green Ralph Lauren "Big Pony" shirt, Mont Blanc wallet and car keys comes sauntering out of one of the clinics, heading towards the car.

I could not believe it. This guy. This Jerk. Sauntering, ambling, strolling over to his car like NOTHING is inside, let alone two breathing live infants! I said, "is this your car? She's been crying." I didn't come out with anything more fluid because I was shocked by the whole situation.

When I got home Emmanuel confirmed what I knew (and should have said): "NEVER LEAVE A CHLD IN THE CAR!"

What pisses me off is this guy was so casual. So unconcerned. His wife will never know he did this. And if it happens often enough, he could be creating some real trauma for his children.

Why do people have children to do things like that? It really makes me upset.