I just can't imagine...

@ragmama (536)
United States
May 25, 2007 12:29pm CST
I just read the story of Madeleine McCann in last week's issue of People, then read a bit more online. In case you haven't heard of her, Madeleine is a 3-year-old girl who was abducted from her family's ground-floor room in a vacation resort in Portugal. My blood ran cold just reading this much on the cover. When I read the rest of the story, I learned that Madeleine's parents left her - as well as her 2-year-old twin siblings - alone in the room while they went to have dinner at a restaurant across the street (about 50 yards away), checking on them about every half hour. It was during one of those check-ins that they found Madeleine missing. The story is just heartbreaking, and little Madeleine still hasn't been found. Her birthday was May 12, which MUST have been unbearable for her parents. And as bad as I feel for them...I still just can't fathom leaving your three children ALONE while you go have dinner. Especially children so young. I just don't understand. Have you / would you ever leave your children alone at night - even if you were that nearby?
2 people like this
15 responses
@mememama (3077)
• United States
25 May 07
I would never ever leave my child alone, maybe when he's older (not sure the appropriate age anymore) and can handle it better, but 3 and 2 are way too young. Hire a babysitter, if you can't find one, stay with them. There are a million other things that could have gone wrong besides being kidnapped, one of the kids could have jumped off furniture and broke their neck, a kid could have tangled up in a string on the curtain and strangled, they could have drowned in the toilet, I could write forever about how kids can get into accidents left unattended. I hope they find that girl, and when they do the parents never leave her alone like that.
2 people like this
@ragmama (536)
• United States
25 May 07
Your comment reminded me - the article also said that the parents didn't hire a babysitter because they felt more comfortable leaving them alone and checking in periodically rather than leaving them with a "stranger"!!
@carlaabt (3506)
• United States
25 May 07
There is no way that I would leave my children alone while they are still that small. If my 15 month old is asleep, I will go outside to get the paper out of the yard, or maybe something we left in the car, but that's it. The rest of the time I am right there in the house with him.
1 person likes this
@ragmama (536)
• United States
25 May 07
Same here. Mine is three, and the most "alone" I ever leave her is to run out to the car (10? 15 yards from the house?) Never, never for longer than that. :(
@jillhill (37399)
• United States
18 Jun 07
No. Children should never be left alone especially very young ones. Fires break out in a hurry, people watch to see if they are left alone and numberous other things could have happened. Poor baby....
• Portugal
11 Jun 07
Me and my wife would never let our 3 year old son alone, I just can imagine that. Madeleine fathers told that this is a custom thing in England,!?!?!? I just can get that. But I share their pain, I hope Madeleine come home.
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
26 May 07
It's so sad to think what this poor child may be going through if she's even still alive after this much time because it was more important for her parents to go out to dinner than care for their children.
• United States
26 May 07
I'm so glad that you posted this. I was very surprised that I haven't heard much about this on the radio or online and just this morning read it in MY People magazine. So many celebrities are helping with this, financially, which is very sweet. But I can't stop thinking about the fact that they left two 2-year olds and a 3-year old alone in a hotel room. Even though they were a few feet away....this is so neglectful to me! It is really bothering me. ANYTHING could have happened to them. They could have wandered off....but the most scary, scary thing DID happen. I have to wonder if they did this frequently....if it wasn't the first time. I know that they must be over the top heartbroken but they are partially to blame here, imo. You just don't leave your children alone like that. I'm sorry if I'm sounding harsh but I am shocked by this behavior.
1 person likes this
@lillake (1635)
• United States
25 May 07
I know I could never do that. Children that young should never, never, never be left alone. Not for a minute, not ever. there are so many things that could happen. What if the room caught on fire, or an animal got in, or worse. I hate to say it but those parents are lucky that whom ever did it didn't take all 3 children. I do feel horrible for them and I'm sure they are punishing themselves worse than anyone else could ever do to them. I could not imagien the amount of pain they must be going through. But this is a wake-up call to other parents. Do not put your wants above the safety and welfare of your children. You are the aprent it is your job to care for and protect your children, even if that means you have to wait a few years to have a nice dinner. Is having a quiet meal worth this kind of loss?
1 person likes this
@fyrechsr (293)
• United States
25 May 07
I have a similar discussion to this about leaving kids alone. My are a bit older though. I wont leave my kids alone and my youngest is 10. People tell me all the time I am overprotective. I tell them so be it. Anything can happen.
@craz2max (254)
• United States
26 May 07
I totally agree with you that in todays society you can't be to careful. Our parents didn't even let us leave the yard until we were 12, let alone leave us without adult supervision.
• United States
12 Jul 07
this is one of the constant and many battles I have with my daughter over my grandaughter who is 6 and mom lets her play outside unattended tho I have told her if it keeps up she wont be coming over there she just lets her run in a store when she has her and wont keep an eye on her it scares me everytime her mom has her if she will come home safe or not and her mom is wanting custody back of her no way she wont watch her she wont get her
@eden32 (3978)
• United States
18 Jun 07
I wouldn't leave my kids that age alone longer than it takes me to use the restroom. I wonder though; if this area is a low crime area, and perhaps this is common practice in Portugal maybe I would if I lived there, kwim? When I was a kid, I had my own key to our house at age 5 (kindergarten). It wasn't often that my mother wasn't home when I got home, but if she hit traffic or whatever I would let myself in & wait for her. At the time & in our area it wasn't so unusual. Now, I couldn't imagine doing it in any area I've lived in.
@rapolu_cs (1184)
• India
26 May 07
How fool and negeligent they are just for having dinner they cant do this with their kids,its very unfare with those kids and i myself never dare to do this and iam verymuch afraid to do thus because i always have a fear of loosing them in doing this. No chance at all.
• United States
26 May 07
I have not read the whole story, but that is just horrible that they thought it was ok to leave those poor babies there by themselves! I can't even imagine how guilty I would be feeling about now! I do feel for the parents on some level, but I can't ignore the fact that they were out enjoying themselves over dinner when their daughter ended up missing. I will have to go read the story to see the details, because I have not done that yet. I hope too that that little girl is found and that she is all right.
@browneyed (2526)
• United Kingdom
26 May 07
I cannot BEGIN to imagine what her parents are going through. It must be absolute torture - their worst nightmare. They are lucky to have such a huge wave of public support and I'm sure that must help in some way. Leaving their children to go out must be one regret that's going through their heads over and over and over again. I hope to God this has a happy ending. I really do.
@maddysmommy (16243)
• United States
26 May 07
This is the first time I have heard this story and even though I do feel for the parents at this time, I just can't fathom why they would leave three young children on their own while they go out and dine and enjoy themselves?!? I just don't understand why they thought the kids will be fine on their own?!? Why do parents do this and think that it is ok? sorry but it really upsets me to hear this sort of thing. I would never ever leave my son on his own while I go off and enjoy myself :( this is such a sad sad story!
@sidoney (1033)
• Jamaica
25 May 07
infants and toddlers should not be left alone with the increase craysness of the world peole disaster natrual disasters its just not right but I think to them they were thinking straight sensible to cheack up on them every 1/2 hr i hope they find her alive as no one diserves this period