Parents Fly To Paris, Leave Child Behind

@jerzgirl (7990)
Gloucester City, New Jersey
August 4, 2008 9:26pm CST
OK. As a parent of children who managed to pull some doozies even when I thought things were under my control, I'm all for defending parents when a young child opens a door in the middle of the night and disappears without their knowing, and other things along that line. There are just some things that a parent can't prepare for - you can't anticipate every single thing your child might do, even when you're doing your best to protect them. My daughter once decided that being sent to her room as punishment was unreasonable and decided to jump out of the second story window (she was 5) and ended up hanging from the window by her fingers, screaming. Since she had also gone to her room screaming, I had no idea her situation had changed until my son and his friend came flying through the front door to go rescue her. Kids WILL do things even when we think we have a cap on it. But, this story....I'm sorry, but there's definitely something wrong here. WAY wrong!! [i]Family Unaware Until Officials Find Child POSTED: 9:51 am EDT August 4, 2008 JERUSALEM -- The start of an Israeli family's vacation sounds like the movie "Home Alone". Israeli airport police said a couple and their five children were late for a flight to Paris and were in a mad dash for the gate. They remembered their duty-free shopping and their 18 suitcases, but were one child short after take-off. A 3-year-old girl was found in the terminal at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, crying for her mother. According to Israeli media, the parents didn't realize the girl was missing until they were told, in the air, that she'd been found.[/i] http://www.nbc10.com/family/17086216/detail.html FORTY MINUTES into the flight??? (According to one story, that's how long before they realized their child was missing and then only after attendants told them!!) But, glory be, they didn't miss a single piece of luggage or any of their duty-free items. HALLELUJAH!! Just who did they think put her in her seat? Neither one of them made any effort to do that themselves. And, it was a charter jet - not a all-holds-barred commercial jet!! This is something that goes beyond the realm of "things kids do". THIS is "things parents SHOULDN'T do"!! The child was later flown with an attendant to Paris to meet with her family, but there are plans to look into this upon their return by authorities. Well, I sure as hell hope they mean it!! There is NO excuse for these people to make sure all their luggage and purchases are accounted for but never ONCE account for their child. It was funny in "Home Alone", but with two profound differences: 1) the parents realized Kevin was missing on their own. No flight officials had to tell them they'd left a more important piece of luggage behind. And, 2) Kevin was older and at least minimally capable of taking care of himself short-term. Not so with a 3-yr-old!! No way!!! So, my discussion, besides getting your reaction to this unnecessary "almost-tragedy", is to see if anything has taken place with one of your kids (or with you or your siblings if you don't have kids) that almost makes you feel like (or your parents look like) a bad parent, even when you know you weren't in the wrong. Tell us about it - free yourself of those guilty feelings and realize you're not alone.
4 people like this
7 responses
@tyc415 (5706)
• United States
5 Aug 08
I can not recall doing anything that would be considered wrong when my children were little and I don't recall anything going wrong with my brother and myself from our parents. I can't imagine how scared that little girl was being in an airport all alone with out any of her family. Can you imagine who bad things would be if they were like Jon and Kate on Jon and Kate plus 8? This couple goes on trips and always have their kids in tow.
3 people like this
@jerzgirl (7990)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
5 Aug 08
Exactly - even when the "plus 8" are unruly and out of control and driving Kate beyond the brink, they KNOW where they are and stop and pull things together. It doesn't sound like these parents cared about anything except not losing physical property (oh, and they just HAD to stop at the duty free shop even though they were already late to the airport - priorities, people, priorities!!)
2 people like this
@pam210 (345)
• United States
5 Aug 08
Ok so I'm with you on your children will do things that you never expect and you can't watch them every second no matter how you try. I had my 2 year old walk out of the house and was in the garage before I caught him. I didn't realize he could open the door. After that the door was locked. But not only do you leave your child but then you don't realize it. I can maybe see getting on the plane and sitting down - but then one of the parents should of realized they were short a child. And what about the boarding passes. When you handed them 7 and there were only 6 people didn't someone catch on. This is definately a strange story and the way I heard it on the news its like everyone is joking about it. Unbelievable.
2 people like this
@jerzgirl (7990)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
5 Aug 08
I never even thought of the boarding passes!! That's a great question! Did the gate attendant mess up as well or did they not hand over all 7 passes? But, still - don't they even make sure all their kids are seated before they seat themselves? It sounds like they expected their children to be independent and not need them. Not good when you're three!!!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60810)
• United States
5 Aug 08
I heard about this and wonder how on earth they managed to do it. I have to congradulate you on your raising your son to care enough for his sister go want to go rescue her, I've know siblings that would probably be outside laughing!
2 people like this
@jerzgirl (7990)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
5 Aug 08
Well, I felt terrible for a long time and she was so mad at me, like I somehow had caused it to happen because I didn't come rescue her. But, her screams sounded the same while she was hanging as they did when she was screaming at me from the room. But, I'll tell you - she never tried it again!! Hard lessons on all sides, I guess. I don't know how these parents could take such careful inventory of 18 pieces of luggage PLUS purchases and NOT notice they didn't have all the kids. I just don't! So, I do hope someone looks into this more when they return from their vacation!
@Hatley (164671)
• Garden Grove, California
6 Aug 08
jerzgirl this happened a long time back when I was shopping with my mom, and sister and youngestchild. there were three adults yet somehow myattention got caught by something in the store, and'suddenly i realized I was no longer holding onto little lisa's hand. Iwas horrified, and we looked all over the big store JcPennys and couldnt find a five year old little girl in a pink dress. finally as I was about to call the police, a laughing clerk came up to us and said, I think I have found your little girl in the pink dress.come with me. and she led us back to the dry goods aisle where we had been looking at some b\fabric. there curled up sound asleepon a boltod dress good lay my messingdaughter.she got tired, she lay down. just that simple.But those people had all that luggage and could not also lug one little girl. that was insane.
@jerzgirl (7990)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
6 Aug 08
There you go - sometimes kids just do things and it's totally innocent, but we feel (and sometimes look) like we're so terrible for not paying attention. But, it just happens. When I was 3 or 4, my grandmother and aunt went to W.T.Grant Co downtown with me in tow. They knew they could trust me, and I knew they'd be back at the payment window paying on their account, so I just looked at toys and pets and things like that. Well, it seemed like it had been a while and they weren't finding me, so I went to find them. I looked all over and couldn't find them anywhere. I looked out the front doors and didn't see the car, so in my child-mind, I thought they had forgotten I was with them and went back home. Home was my grandparents' house about 5 blocks away. I had to cross Broadway and then Holly Ave, both with a light and then walk a block west and 3 blocks north to get to their house. So, I did. They weren't there. So, I walked back the same way I came. When I got to where the store was, I saw police there talking to my grandmother and aunt, both of whom were crying hysterically. The police officer saw me first (my bright red hair made me pretty obvious), then my aunt and grandmother saw me and I was swooped up and hugged and kissed and then hollered at! LOL I told them I had walked to the house and back and they were incredulous. It didn't seem like that big a deal to me, but they were so frightened. I understood better when I was a parent, but to me it was just common sense. They weren't used to having me with them, so they must have forgotten me, so I walked home. How a kid's brain works is really more complex sometimes than we give them credit for. My event took place in 1958 or 1959, so traffic wasn't nearly what it is today.
@redkathy (3375)
• United States
6 Aug 08
Hey there, This is a total lack of parenting, I'm sorry. I have done some dumb things and I'll tell you about one but first let me say I would never forget my 3 year old while boarding a plane! Now for my dumb, bad parent story. There was myself, hubby, my sister and her hubby, my son(the daredevil) and my friends daughter in the group. We decided to take the kids to the state fair. Well about an hour or so into the fair we stopped to look at some vendor booths. The kids were in the center of the adults, side by side. So we all started to walk again, both kids in the middle. About half way down the row, my son was gone... no where in sight! There were thousands of people there and the place was huge, like square miles huge. I was really scared and the hubby was about to freak out! Well we split into four directions. I was calling my son and so was my friend's daughter. I had such a hold on her she asked me to let go a bit! After about five minutes, which seemed like weeks, I heard a man yell my name. There was my son. I was never so happy to see him!!! He said he got split from us when we had to pass around a group that stopped in the center of the midway. Since he didn't see us or the police, he went to an adult(food both owner) like he teacher said to do if he was lost. Get this, he told the man "His parents got lost"! From that moment on, I never went anywhere without holding onto him. In fact my cousin used to tease me about how paranoid I was. If she took him to the park I would give her a big speech about him being an escape artist!
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (7990)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
6 Aug 08
ROFLMAO - I felt like I was reliving my own son's childhood reading your story!!! My now ex took our son to the mall and to JC Penney's. Now, neither of us really held on to him, but we always knew where he was - and the few times he'd disappear in a store, we were able to find him by knowing his penchants (toys, hunting and fish). Well, G and Paul were in Penney's when G suddenly noticed that Paul was nowhere. He looked all around the department he was in, went to the usual hangouts (even though Paul was little, that kid could find whatever it was he had in mind to look at), and then went back to the department where he'd last seen him. All this time, he called and called his name. He walked in the main aisles to make it easier for Paul to see him. Just when he was ready to give in and go to security, he noticed movement from the corner of his eye. He thought he imagined it, but turned to look where the mannequins were standing. There was PAUL, POSED, next to the mannequin like a mime!! That boy had such a devious mind when he wanted to!!!
@fluffysue (1458)
• United States
6 Aug 08
That really is horrible. I could see if it was an older kid who could presumably be trusted, who had walked off to look at something and missed the plane, and perhaps the parents assumed he'd gotten himself on board. But not a 3-year-old! I would hope that a parent would have a hand on a 3-year-old at the airport at all times, let alone when boarding a plane. I don't think I was allowed to walk anywhere in public without holding a parent's hand at least until I was in school. But then there were only 2 kids in my family. I guess I shouldn't judge someone with 5 kids to take care of when I don't have any, but yeah something seems very wrong with this.
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (7990)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
6 Aug 08
Exactly! How do you go into a flight for 40 minutes and not notice that your youngest child hasn't said a word to you or her siblings? Didn't they even miss her voice??? They never even attempted to put her in her seat!!! Something is EXTREMELY wrong in this picture!
@bamakelly (5194)
• United States
5 Aug 08
What a story and a half. This is the first I have heard of this story. And you would think that on such a big trip that people would have all of their ducks in a row especially when it comes to a child. Yes maybe it was funny in Home Alone but not real life. I am glad that child is alright. I really am.
1 person likes this