I really like where we live. Granted, it’s near a school, so during the year there’s a fair amount of traffic at 8 am and 2:30 pm. Still, it’s a nice little neighborhood. Added bonus: they built the new police station/court building within a mile. Score one for neighborhood safety!
I came home from work one day and Car said, “You’ll never believe this. I looked out the window, and there was a kid in our car!” We own a Mercury Grand Marquis (or “boat”) with doors that won’t lock. Heavy doors. Doors that can be difficult for adults to open. So Car went outside, removed the child from the car and walked him back to his house. There were eight or so kids playing, the eldest of whom said “AJ! You can’t go wandering off like that!” AJ* is three. Clearly a 3-year-old should be sternly disciplined for not being able to properly police himself.
The next day we were in the kitchen when Car said, “That kid is trying to get in our car again!” A few days later, we found popsicle smears on the handle of one of our (thankfully, fully locking) other cars. I found out my next door neighbors have also found AJ trying to get into their truck.
I talked to a neighborhood friend (We’ll call her…Bob. No, I’m kidding. How about Karen?) about this, because I find it highly concerning. About a week later, Karen was babysitting AJ and his siblings. A few hours into the day, AJ turned up missing. Guess where he was? If you didn’t guess “in the car,” you need to work on your logical thinking skills. Karen was so grateful we’d had a talk about his predilection for cars, because that’s one of the last places she would’ve looked. When AJ’s mom came to pick her kids up, Karen mentioned the whole AJ missing and then discovered in the car episode, and AJ’s mom said, “Oh, yeah. I should’ve warned you that he does that.”
What? Am I alone in thinking this is problematic behavior? Those of you that have had/do have 3-year-olds–would you be okay with this?
I’m not trying to be judgmental. I’m just genuinely concerned for this child. AJ shouldn’t be wandering the neighborhood alone. He also shouldn’t be climbing into people’s cars. I have no way to lock our monster car, and the parking brake doesn’t work. I’m stressed that AJ will get into my car and either a) get trapped when the weather is horrifyingly hot or b) put the car into gear (SO glad I don’t live on a hill).
I want to talk to AJ’s mom, but will that do any good if she’s already aware of the problem? I’m not sure what to do here. I don’t want to walk out one day and find a dead 3-year-old in our car.
Any ideas? I’m really stressed about this.
*Names have been changed. I’m awesome like that.
**Hey, WordPress Proofreader? “Should’ve” is a word. Didn’t we have this discussion about “must’ve”? What’s your beef with contractions?
**Apparently you also hate adverbs. And thanks for making me lose 10 minutes of my life trying to decide if I’m completely insane to think that “horrifyingly” is a word, and another 5 trying to decide what part of speech it is. I don’t need this crap. I spent an entire year of 9th grade English diagramming sentences. Or possibly 7th grade. I’m not sure. It was so awful I’ve blocked it from memory. Thanks for making me relive that, jerk.