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  1. #141
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    Jun. 22, 2004
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    It happened to me once. Night before a horse show,, I hitched truck and trailer, loaded everything, and got a ride home.

    Next morning, drive to the barn, kiddo in back seat in car seat. Left him sleeping there while I get pony ready, load pony, take off.

    Took me about ten minutes to realize I forgot kiddo.
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #142
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    Mar. 3, 2010
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    When my daughter was 9 months old, we went on our annual summer vacation--always the same place at the same time of year with other family members and friends. I was driving instead of my husband--not that unusual anymore, but he always drove more when our kids were little so I could help with sippy cups, etc.

    I parked in the check in zone just below the steps to the main hotel entrance and went in to check in. A few minutes later while I was in line, I saw my older kids out talking with friends and cousins and my husband chatting as well. I said to him "Where's the baby??" And his response was "Don't you have her?" She'd only been in the car alone for a max of 3-5 minutes, but what if I hadn't turned around or been further up in the line?

    My husband is a super conscientious person, but we had strayed ever so slightly from our usual routine and it was a momentary lapse luckily. And we were on vacation and not at all frazzled!!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    I listening to the conversation about brain function and am happy to say I've never experienced the brain "fog", to use a one-word summary, like that. It is beyond my experience and sounds dreadful to be mentally lost for a while.
    You're very fundamentally misunderstanding the autopilot concept.
    It is not a fog or some kind of absence seizure episode. It's what your brain is supposed to do, and what it does with routine tasks (yes, even yours).

    Remember when you first learned to tie your shoelaces, or to drive? How you paid careful attention to every muscle movement, how you very overtly consciously tried to judge whether you were in the middle of your lane, or when you'd need to start braking to stop at a light?

    If your brain didn't autopilot those routine tasks, every time you drove, every time you tied your shoelaces, every time you washed a dish, whatever, it would be like that. But it's not. We autopilot those tasks, even complex tasks like driving - still paying attention to the road, not running lights or crushing pedestrians on our wake, but the daily drive to work does not require the conscious higher functions that learning to drive did. It doesn't even require the higher functions that driving to work for the very first time, when the route was unfamiliar and you had to pay careful attention to street names and exactly where to turn in.
    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


    13 members found this post helpful.

  4. #144
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    I must be broken or something.
    Ride like you mean it.



  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    I must be broken or something.
    No, merely not understanding the various normal levels of human brain function. It's no big deal, and hardly unique.
    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


    6 members found this post helpful.

  6. #146
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    I am so aware when tying my shoes. I do everything you mention except for mentally isolating tendons, ligaments and muscles. My fingers can move without me thinking about it but tying a shoe? Yes, I do exactly what you describe. Driving, I do exactly what you describe...seeing everything. I sense everything.
    Ride like you mean it.



  7. #147
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    Jan. 4, 2009
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    My takeaway from this--I'm just glad my daughter is 21, never got left behind anywhere, and now she's responsible for herself! And by the time she gets around to having children of her own (if she ever does), I will be too damned old to drive those kids anywhere.

    I can't imagine forgetting a child either, but I remember those sleep-deprived days when she was little, especially when I was working 70-80 hours a week. Who knows what might have happened?

    Rebecca



  8. #148
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    Dec. 11, 2006
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    My aunt and then-11 y/o cousin drove 2 blocks before either one remembered my newborn cousin was in his car seat on the table in the house.

    I walk into another room and forget why I've gone in there.
    I've turned on the wrong burner on the stove.
    I've forgotten my cell phone at home and several times, on my desk at work (kinda embarrassing to walk back in and hear the Doctor Who alarm going off to remind me to feed my neighbor's cat...)
    I've locked myself out of the house so many times that I learned to pick the lock.
    I've forgotten to take meds to the point I programmed alarms on my phone to remind me of new ones.
    Salt is not sugar and too much ruins a recipe. And yes, the container is labeled.
    I moved to a new cube at work in March. I'm still afraid I'll go back to my old one of nearly 8 years.
    I have no idea how I didn't forget my kid at least once.

    I am not sleep deprived, but I am ADD and hypothyroid, both of which can affect my brain function and amplify Autopilot. I think I see "sugar" when I've actually used salt and have NO memory of it.

    Everybody forgets things. Sometimes that "thing" is a child in the car. It happens
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #149
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    The power of routine is strong.

    I have a shift that doesn't include clocking out for lunch. For three years at this installation I have NEVER clocked out for lunch. The last two days I had to fill in for an employee on a later shift, which meant I had to clock in and out for a two hour lunch. On day one, my routine was disrupted and I performed some afternoon shift tasks, clocked out for lunch, went out and had a bite, killed some time and was annoyed a bit, but clocked back in as scheduled. On day two, I had grocery shopping to do and I intended to do it during this two hour period, go home and drop off the groceries. So I was performing my usual end of morning shift tasks and heading over to the time clock, and even though in the front of my head was "shop, go home and come back" my reptilian cortex clocked me out as usual at that time. When I reappeared at the correct time, boy did I hear about it! You clocked out and the boss was all freaked out and yada yada yada.

    ETA "Out" a in End of Shift, not Out to Lunch.

    I don't find it stressful, in response to EZ, because what is happening is that I have delegated things to that reptilian cortex (like clocking out) while I'm thinking about other stuff. At some point I did find it stressful, and the coping strategy was to use that part of my brain to "take care of it". It's not smart, it uses routines, my higher functioning brain has to think these up and train it - and boy do I have a lot of trained routines, from where I put my work badge and keys when I arrive home, in a specific place, to how I mix up my horses' dinners.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  10. #150
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    I am so aware when tying my shoes. I do everything you mention except for mentally isolating tendons, ligaments and muscles. My fingers can move without me thinking about it but tying a shoe? Yes, I do exactly what you describe. Driving, I do exactly what you describe...seeing everything. I sense everything.
    It's good that you are able to do all these things and still function normally. It is my understanding that this can be a big problem with mildly autistic people; they may focus so intently on such little things that the bigger picture becomes unfathomable or just overwhelming. It is not a sign of a lazy, weak or irresponsible person, to be performing one task while shifting one's actual focus to another.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


    6 members found this post helpful.

  11. #151
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    Oct. 12, 2005
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    Va
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    There but for the grace of god goes anyone.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest...a52_story.html

    These incidents increased when it was required to put babies in the back seat. There are alarms available that will sound when a car is shut off with the car seat occupied. These should be mandatory.
    I read that article and have been in puddles. I wish I'd never clicked on the link. I cannot think of anything more devastating. It's so heartbreaking.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #152
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    between the barn and the pond
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    what is interesting to me ( I mean that kindly) is that now I understand that some people believe there are only two states that humans function in, and no more, and they are Constant:

    In Control

    Out of Control



    LIFE is a million times more complicated than that for 99% of us. So we read it and weep, feel compassion, and understand how it could happen.

    For the other 1% it truly, honestly, IS incomprehensible. It 'cannot happen'. because that means there is a place where they are NOT in control, for even one second.
    I'm not making a judgment, just noticing and interpreting what I see.


    I rescued a mange-riddled puppy in 1999 and named her Noodle. For 13 years I loved that dog. She was the sweetest, kindest, lovingest miscellaneous dog. And in the Spring of 2013 I walked around my truck and trailer and checked for low tires and napping dogs before I hauled to a friend's arena. And then I went in the house and got a water, walked out, loaded the horse, and cranked the truck...and I pulled off. And felt a hump. I thought it was the water bar in the driveway. It was Noodle.

    She died that afternoon in my arms while I wailed and beat the ground and wished and cried and prayed and grieved that I'd taken ONE more walk around that trailer. Just one more pass.

    Life happens. And it hurts. And it's awful. But no one, anywhere, is immune.
    Last edited by katarine; Jun. 20, 2014 at 09:41 PM.


    24 members found this post helpful.

  13. #153
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    Apr. 6, 2006
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    Northern Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabula rashah View Post
    It's totally besides the point but actually, yes, I take my horse to work quite often and I haul my trailer almost every day.

    Sorry y'all can call me a heartless bitch but there are some "mistakes" you just don't get to make. Roasting your child alive in a car is one of those.
    Wow it must be a long drop for you when you dismount your high horse.

    You too ezdunit.


    14 members found this post helpful.

  14. #154
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    Mar. 14, 2004
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    Left coast, left wing, left field
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    Quote Originally Posted by minnie View Post
    I read that article and have been in puddles. I wish I'd never clicked on the link. I cannot think of anything more devastating. It's so heartbreaking.
    I am childless, mostly by choice. There are many things about having a child that do not seem to fit with my life and my character. I have always had a tiny bit of regret, not regret that I don't have a child, but regret that I was not born a child-interested person. Anyway, I read that article about a year ago, the last time we had this topic on COTH. I honestly cannot think of anything in my life that has affected me as profoundly. It was all I could talk about for days. A combination of overwhelming sympathy for the heartbroken parents involved, plus a real vivid association with the mental states that were described, left me, as minnie said, in puddles.

    I lost a dog because she was new to me and I wasn't used to having her with me at the farm. I was doing barn chores, with my friend's dog and my dog off leash in the vicinity. My friend's dog was not one to wander… except this day. One minute I was watching them and keeping them in my mind, the next minute I had been overtaken by whatever it was I was doing. One minute they were there, the next minute they were gone. I still figured I'd round the corner or come out the other side of the barn and find them, and in a way I did. But my new dog was under the wheel of my landlord's truck. He had been going about 2 mph from one side of the property to the other. But that's all it took. So many harmless places they could've gone, so many places my landlord could've been, but on this day, compounded with my lapse of attention, it was fatal. I do and do not blame myself. But this was a dog not a child. I relive the situation enough to have a miniscule glimpse into what those parents' lives will be like forever, with no relief.
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?


    6 members found this post helpful.

  15. #155
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    Feb. 11, 2008
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    gorgeos city
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    Quote Originally Posted by mswillie View Post
    My son and DIL do just this. My son is easily distracted, he's terrified that he could forget his son in the car.
    A friend of mine was so paranoid he would forgot his baby that he would take off one shoe and leave it in the backseat.
    ----//\\----
    ---//--\\---
    --//----\\--
    -//------\\-


    8 members found this post helpful.

  16. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windsor1 View Post
    How wonderful to be you, so unfailingly attentive to whatever you're doing and so wholly incapable of even a moment's lapse of focus or judgement.

    For you:

    http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/.../04/cookie.gif
    We should all follow ezduzit's example as she is correct. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    If any parent left their child in the car and the child died, they should be charged with Involuntary manslaughter. They don't get a free pass or lessser charge. You chose to have children, take responsibility for them!

    There are also people out there who kill their own children (Casey Anthony) and they can easily use the "Oh I forgot my child in the car" defense.

    Ezduzit, PM me for I want to treat you to a coffee of your choice! High five!
    "Common sense is so rare nowadays, it should be classified as a super power."-Craig Bear Laubscher


    5 members found this post helpful.

  17. #157
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    Sep. 15, 2003
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    552

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    A teacher at my high school did this. It was the beginning of the school year, he wasn't used to the routine of dropping the baby off at the daycare, he just forgot. He wasn't prosecuted--the police said they figured nothing they could do to him would be as bad as what he was already going through.

    And it has nothing to do with how much the parent cares for the child, or how forgetful they are, or even how stressed they are. It is the way the brain works. I don't know anyone who has never forgotten anything. I forgot my coffee in the car this morning. The process is the same, the effects are terribly different.

    The thing about the brain is, in its normal state we all go on autopilot, because that is how the brain is able to learn new things. We can only consciously think of one thing at a time. In order to think of anything else, simple routines run in the background like programs on the computer. We know they are happening but we don't have to do anything unless we need to change them. If we didn't do this, every drive in a car, for example, would be "press the gas now turn the wheel now more gas now straighten now press down on the turn signal now ease off the gas now press the brake" the whole time. It would actually be less safe driving because our attention would be on our own movements, not on noticing what the drivers around us are doing (this is why beginner drivers are so unsafe--they don't yet have enough skill on autopilot to do and see everything they need to). And it by definition would not be possible to consciously think of a child while also thinking consciously of driving. If our brains didn't have the capacity for autopilot, we wouldn't be able to merge into the turn lane and stop for a light while simultaneously singing a nursery rhyme to the baby. Or to wash dishes while testing the kid on their spelling words, or to groom a horse while deciding which bridle to use today. But the price for the incredibly important ability to do one thing consciously while doing something else in the background is that the background thing gets only the exact routine it learned. It doesn't matter to the brain if the routine is about a cell phone or about a baby, it's just a script. So any time there's a change in the script, or if we have to change conscious attention from one thing to another--say focusing on buckling the baby into the car seat and then switching focus to deal with heavy traffic-there is a chance for something to be missed.

    So it doesn't work to say, "Only pay attention to important things, don't be distracted.". Even in a perfect case, you're fighting basic brain function. And making something so very important as a child's life wholly dependent on things going perfectly is far too risky. It's like a tightrope act without a net. Why make so much depend on one person not making a mistake? Sure, the ideal would be not to make the mistake, but the consequences can be avoided much more reliably by building in checks or reminders. A policy of the daycare calling if the child isn't there, or of putting a necessary item beside the car seat, or of setting an alarm reminder, are so much more secure. Anyone can do them, it is within the control of the person to prepare for the situation.
    The hooves of the horses! Oh witching and sweet is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet. Will Ogilvie


    8 members found this post helpful.

  18. #158
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    Aug. 25, 2008
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    Just FYI, the parent in the referenced case has just been charged with Aggravated manslaughter.



  19. #159
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    Dec. 11, 2006
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    That Starbucks is not far from where I live. My heart broke for Harrison then and again after reading that article. Aside from the parents' guilt and grief, this is what struck me most from the article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest...a52_story.html)

    Humans, Hickling said, have a fundamental need to create and maintain a narrative for their lives in which the universe is not implacable and heartless, that terrible things do not happen at random, and that catastrophe can be avoided if you are vigilant and responsible.

    In hyperthermia cases, he believes, the parents are demonized for much the same reasons. “We are vulnerable, but we don’t want to be reminded of that. We want to believe that the world is understandable and controllable and unthreatening, that if we follow the rules, we’ll be okay. So, when this kind of thing happens to other people, we need to put them in a different category from us. We don’t want to resemble them, and the fact that we might is too terrifying to deal with. So, they have to be monsters.”
    But these parents aren't monsters and continually berating them over a horrible mistake isn't helping anyone. It's as though some people won't be happy/satisfied until the parent commits suicide. That level of smug...gloating should sicken us far more than "how could s/he forget the baby??"
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


    15 members found this post helpful.

  20. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    That Starbucks is not far from where I live. My heart broke for Harrison then and again after reading that article. Aside from the parents' guilt and grief, this is what struck me most from the article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest...a52_story.html)



    But these parents aren't monsters and continually berating them over a horrible mistake isn't helping anyone. It's as though some people won't be happy/satisfied until the parent commits suicide. That level of smug...gloating should sicken us far more than "how could s/he forget the baby??"
    That's how victim shaming/blaming works too.
    Join the Clinton 2016 campaign...Hillary For America. https://www.hillaryclinton.com/


    8 members found this post helpful.

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