I don't particularly like Christmas time. I'm always rushed for time, the shops are busy and there's never any where to park, so I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to drive straight into a parking slot this afternoon.
My pleasure was short lived, however, when my attention was drawn to the back of a posh new car parked close by. Inside, sleeping soundly in her car seat, was a tiny little girl wrapped up really well in a fluffy pink anorak and matching tights.
The child was probably about one year old and clearly well cared for, but she had been been left alone in that car. Anything could have happened.
I wouldn't have noticed her but for the fact several people were talking and pointing in her direction. When I asked what all the fuss was about, they told me. As I rushed off to complete my errands there were several people discussing the situation and obviously they'd decided it was none of their business because when I returned shortly afterwards they'd all gone.
Not so the little girl who was still sound asleep.
I don't know how long she'd been there but I couldn't leave that car park until the person responsible for her had returned. My conscience wouldn't let me. What if someone had broken into the car and taken her? What if she'd woken up and been absolutely terrified of being alone?, What if............?
I know shopping with children can be difficult and when little ones fall asleep it's nice to leave them so you can get on , but we are regrettably living in an age where life is considered cheap and some people are out of their minds on drugs and alcohol. Many will do anything to get money to feed their habits. Don't forget either the gangs and paedophiles who roam amongst us.
Most people are basically good but you can't be sure. Parents must take responsibility for their children, especially when they are too young to look after themselves. The woman was lucky. The child remained asleep and unharmed but it could so easily have been another Madeleine McCann incident.
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