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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A question.

I have read several articles about a heartbreaking story coming out of Portugal. A British couple was staying there in an apartment and apparently their oldest child, a three year old girl, was kidnapped. All of the stories that I had read were full of sympathy and pleas for the child's safe return.

I feel for these parents. I cannot imagine the pain that they are feeling and the fear that's coursing through them. But I can't seem to help noticing one thing that is mentioned in every single story. What follows is a quote from the article linked above:

"The McCanns had put her to bed and were dining 50m away with friends when she vanished from the unit where they were staying.

She was with her twin brother and sister, who were asleep when the parents returned and found that she was missing."

Am I missing something here? Are parenting rules different in Britian and Europe? Unless they're leaving someone out of the story, these people put a three year old and 2 year old twins to bed, and went to eat leaving them alone. According to this article, the restaurant they went to with friends was "within site of the apartment".

Who leaves a 3 year old and two 2 year olds alone? I don't care if the children were sleeping and the parent could see the apartment. They were going to dinner. This isn't walking outside for five minutes, this is at least an hour of time. What would have happened if any of the children woke up? Kids that age are curious and get in to all sorts of things. What would have stopped them from eating/drinking something dangerous?

I'm not saying the parents are to blame for the kidnapping, but am I the only one who views their actions that night irresponsible? I'm pretty sure if this happened in the US, the parents would be brought up on child endangerment charges.

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Blogger MonkeyGirl said...

Gives "I just looked away for a minute" a whole new meaning. Sad that it happened, even sadder that it was probably preventable with some old-fashioned good parenting. It's almost extinct now, you know.

2:53 AM  

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