Thursday, September 24, 2009

People in Your Neighborhood, Part Deux

So, who doesn't remember that song, "People in Your Neighborhood" from Sesame Street? It was one of my favorites!

If you tuned in yesterday, then you would have seen my Wordless Wednesday post with the tantalizing footnote about little people being involved. Today, I'm providing the narrated version!

At approximately 7:45 AM on Friday, Sept. 18th, I was sitting at my computer blogging/facebooking/tweeting/etc. when all of a sudden I heard hysterical laughter and saw two teenagers running/tripping down this driveway (two doors down):

Yup, that's one steep driveway! In fact, during the winter, they have to park on the street if we've had snow or ice.

Well, having been the victim of these teenagers' pranks on more than one occasion (like the time I caught them putting my house up for sale with my other neighbor's for sale sign), I decided that I had had enough and was going to call the sheriff's department. After all, the teen in the getaway car/minivan was revving the engine extremely loud and driving across my other neighbor's lawn, or was he...(other neighbor's house/lawn)

As I ran, barefoot across the chilly dew-covered grass with cell phone in hand, I came to the startling conclusion that those weren't teenagers running down the steep driveway, but rather panic-stricken parents of two pint-sized, unrestrained, DRIVERS.

Apparently, the four-year old unbuckled himself and saddled up to the driver's seat where he managed to press on the break and shift the gear from park to reverse. Of course, his five-year old sister had also unbuckled her seatbelt to tell him to stop and that he was going to get into trouble. Thus, it was not a teenager that I saw in the minivan driver's seat, but rather a bouncing four-year old!

(NOTE TO SELF: Besides the fact that it is completely ILLEGAL to leave children unattended in a vehicle (running or not), it is also quite dangerous!)

Here you can see where the minivan did a 180 degree turn while careening down this homeowner's stone stairs/retaining wall. The minivan eventually came to a halt when it hit several large trees toward the bottom of the ravine.

As yesterday's wordless post contained a majority of emergency vehicle pictures, I'll refrain from posting them again. I'm sure you get the general idea...but I must leave you with these last two pics...

This would be "mater" as in Tow-Mater from the movie Cars. My 2.5 year old son insisted on being photographed in front of the "hook-up" truck and kept referring to the tow truck driver as "mater". It was a bit embarrassing!

And finally, this shot is one of the minivan after it was towed up from the ravine. Erin, over at The Little Things in Life left me the most perfect caption for this photo on facebook...

"Mom, I thought you were watching the kids." "What...I thought you were!"

And by the way...the vanity plate on the front reads, "World's Greatest Grandmother". I should say so when you loan your minivan to your daughter-in-law, who in turn loans it to her four and five-year old kiddos!

Seriously, all joking aside, except for some nasty facial bruises, these two little ones ended up mostly unharmed. Guardian angels were surely riding on their shoulders!!!


  1. Wow! Did the parents get in trouble?

    It's easy to leave the kids buckled in while grabbing something forgotten inside. I can't imagine how scared the parents must have been! Good thing you guys live in the country!

  2. Hi Morgan.

    Yes, they did receive citations for leaving the children unattended in the car.

    As you said, this is so easy to do (leaving kids unattended to run in for that forgotten grocery list, library book, etc.), but such a dangerous habit to get into.

    I can remember, as a child, often being left in the car, with siblings, radio ON, b/c we didn't want to go into the grocery store or Target with my mom. Today, you would be arrested for such behvior!!!

    Mom and Dad probably needed a couple of stiff drinks that night! LOL

  3. Hi Valerie--
    Glad to hear that everyone is ok.
    What a ride those two had!!
    Things today are so different than when we grew up. Mom tolld me NOT to touch anything and I did it--I didn't want to get into trouble!


  4. Oh, truer words have been spoken! While not everything parents did back then was developmentally appropriate, there did seem to be more kiddos (me included) that had the fear of God instilled in them via their parents!

    If they said, don't touch, by golly, I didn't touch.

    As a footnote: after the accident occurred, but while fire/ems/police were still there, I asked small fry about his scary ride. He looked at me and said, "I wasn't scared." And, I bet he wasn't until the POLICE arrived!!!


  5. Oh my goodness! That is crazy!! I use to hate waking a sleeping baby to go in to the store to pay for gas (before debit cards got popular). I was always so scared something would happen. Things like this remind me why, ha!

  6. Four years old kids surly can do things they´re not supposed too :-) Good that they didn´t get more hurt!
    This has happened over here too and it´s miraculus that no kid got killed yet. Their guardian angels really has to work :-) :-)
    Have a great day now!

  7. Shana,

    I have been tempted on more than one occasion to do the same; my conscience, whispering in my ear has always saved me from making this very mistake!

    It is so tempting to do, with infants especially, but none-the-less illegal in our metro area.

    Nothing is more frustrating though when the debit/credit card receipt machine is broken...aaargh! I pay at the pump for a reason!!!

  8. So true, Christer, those hardworking guardian angels!

    Unfortunately, we did have a trajedy occur several years ago here in the metro.

    A mother ran into a sub sandwich shop to get her son some lunch. He was about 6 years old. Well, a thug decided to steal her vehicle, not realizing a child was still inside. The mother saw what was happening and ran outside, trying to unbuckle him from the backseat. The child ended up being dragged as the carjacker drove off, killing this sweet innocent child.

    So, many reasons why you should never leave a child alone in the car!!!

  9. Classic! World's Greatest Grandmother!

    Loved the pix...Is that a Pierce or Freightliner engine?


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