Did I Do the Right Thing? - Albertson,NC

Updated on September 30, 2010
S.S. asks from Albertson, NC
25 answers

Yesterday, I was at our local Sam's Club getting new tires. We were there 4 hours(a whole 'nother story) and while I was there, I needed to go to the bathroom. I took my18 MO son with me. When we got to the bathroom, the door was propped open because they had recently mopped the floors. Right in plain view from the door is the changing station. When I walked in, I saw an infant strapped to the changing table with no adult in sight. I looked at her and she was about 2-3 months old and Hispanic. I stood there a minute, as it was obvious there were people in the stalls. I felt sure her mother was around the corner or something. Nope. We went to the bathroom and when I came out of the stall, she was still there. I washed my hands and kinda stood around, waiting. Still no mother. I walked out the door and stood just outside where I could see her. At this point, two Sam's Associates came out of the bathoom as well and the 3 of us just stood there, appalled. Then, a little 4 or 5 year old Hispanic girl came out of another stall. She came out and one of the Sam's ladies asked her if that was her baby sister. She didn't respond. The two associates left. I stood there until I saw the mother come out and I left.
I can't help but think I should have said something to someone. What do you think?
I mentioned she was Hispanic because the little girl didn't understand the associate when she talked to her. I too have IBS, and I have learned how to unbutton and unzip my pants one-handed.

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answers from Detroit on

I would have started knocking on stalls, or just start ask loudly, "Whose baby is this?" Since the associates just left without taking any action, I would have reported it to the manager - maybe they need better training on what to do in these situations.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'm appalled that the store's employees did nothing and just walked away. I think you did the right thing. I think the mother of the children was wrong to leave the baby unattended.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

i think you did the absolute right thing by waiting until someone claimed the child. i can NOT believe the two associates just walked away. this is their place of employment and they are willing to just leave this baby alone. that's what i find ridiculous. i suppose that (even though it was incredibly irresponsible and wrong) leaving a baby strapped to a changing table isn't worthy of having her child taken away (which is always my fear when considering calling authorities on something like this) but i would definitely have given the lady a look before leaving. probably makes me a judgemental witch. but no one will be stealing MY baby from a walmart bathroom while i'm in the stall, either. she should be grateful you were not some psycho.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I feel that knowing that she was Hispanic was helpful in picturing the situation and deciding advice. I would be much more willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a foreigner who maybe had a different custom than we do than to a typical white suburban mom. We are WAY too sensitive in my opinion. It is what it is already.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, you did the right thing. Sometimes people just don't think their actions all the way thru. It may not have occurred to her that it was a bad idea. My MIL says when she was a young mom (in England) that it was common practice to just park the baby in the stroller outside the store while you went in to shop. I was like "what??!!"
One time, while we were at the mall, I was in line to buy food, and my husband was holding a table with our baby and 4 year old. The 4 year old had to go to the bathroom, so instead of "losing" the table, he asked someone cleaning the tables to take her to the bathroom. I about lost it when I got to the table and she was gone. I never ran SO fast in my life. I ran from stall to stall frantically looking for her! I was sure this worker had taken my kid and left the country!!!!! LOL okay, so that was a bit over-reacting... but still... you see my point. And, my hubby, was like "huh? what's the big deal?"

Next time, you might nicely point out that it wasn't a good idea. Because, even the smartest of people, have NO common sense. :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think you did exactly the right thing--hang out and make sure someone comes to claim that baby!. Everyone has different comfort levels for their children, but this was a pretty extreme moment of negligence. (And sorry, but I don't buy the "maybe she had to go"...I have used the toilet with my son on my lap on several occasions, preferrable to leaving him on the changing table, even when it was in the stall.)

It's hard to know what to say to another mom-- everyone has their own "reasons" for doing questionable things with/to their children, and most people aren't receptive to correction or insight in the moment.

I'm also appalled at the idea of leaving a child in the car to 'run in' for anything. This happens often at our local Starbucks and I want to have some form of custom citation to leave on their car..."Someone stopped to watch your child because you couldn't be bothered." Yes, it sounds completely judgmental, but if your latte is worth leaving your child unattended in the car, it's worth finding a drive-through coffee shop!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Thank goodness you stood there and waited. I probably would have called out: "WHO'S baby is this????"
Otherwise, I would have done what you did--waited til I knew she was safe. People are idiots.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

You absolutely did the right thing! The scary part is the employees did nothing. I had a situation I posted about a few months back. I was in Red Lobster with my family, waiting to be called. The waiting room was filled with at least 30 people. A little boy around 3 came out of the bathroom in tears he couldn't find his mommy. The hostess took the little boy and said I think I know where your mommy is. As the mother saw him she screamed and I mean scream profanities at this little boy and then hit him in the back of the head because he didn't stay by her side. She then proceeded to drag him by the hood of his jacket telling him when she got him outside she was going to beat the sh$$ out of him. The entire place was silent. What did I do without thinking I stood in front of the door blocking her from leaving and told her she was not going to beat this little boy. Needless to say it became a very heated argument with her calling me a white b$%ch and so on and so on. I didn't even think I just reacted because I feared for this child. I called 911 and the police came. She took off in her car after our altercation but I did get her license plate and gave it to the police. I do not know what happened but I knew I could never just stand by and watch a child be abused. So many people I tell this to tell me I was crazy I could have been hurt. I was with my husband, my son who is 25 and his girlfriend I knew they would have had my back. The staff did nothing, everyone just stood there in shock. I am sorry but if more people got involved and helped poor defenseless children maybe we wouldn't see the horror stories all over the news. Children are helpless they need us to watch out for them if their parents are to stupid to do so themselves. I think what you did was awesome. Good for you!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It's a momentary decision. I too get hysterical when I see little ones alone and in possible danger (cars, stalls, anywhere). You did what you did and it turned into a happy ending. I have tried to stop children from stuffing plastic over their heads while they sit unattended in an aisle with mom nowhere in sight. My husband says to mind my own business. I get frustrated. And now for my question WHAT IS IBS?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

I'm not sure why Hispanic was important to share? So, the mother was in there afterall in one of the stalls, right? The baby was strapped on?
I do say it was an odd find on your part, but apparently the mom knew the baby would be okay while she jumped into a stall and peed as fast as she could. I think I probably would have stood there watching the baby till the mom came out just like you did, and maybe just smile and nod and walk out. Not sure if there would really be any "right" thing to say that wouldnt have been taken the "wrong" way.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

The right thing is this situation was to ensure the baby's safety, and you did that. Why was it important to say she was hispanic...? because if the older little girl could have said, "yes that is my baby sister, my mommy is in the potty right now," you could have at least sighed in relief that the infants parent was in there.
I am totally not sensitive about this stuff, I live in California, where tons of people don't speak english. It's scary in moments like these when you simply can't communicate. I once had a women come up to me and several other people panicked and crying and I couldn't understood a word she was saying. She finially grabbed someones hand and dragged them to her car....come to find out her little boy got out of his car seat and the car while she was pumping gas, turns out he was ok, just in the store looking at candy.
Here's something similair that happened to me. I was walking in a grocery store and the car parked next to me had three kids in it alone. The oldest was probably 6 and the youngest was probably 18mo. I walked in, got what I needed and came out, still the children were alone. I did what you did, looked around, waited. Finially when I saw the little boy trying to turn the keys in the ignition, I called the cops. They responded right away and ticketed the father, who by the way was cursing me out the whole time, and told me that its the law as a citizen to report children who are unattended.
God forbid if that little boy got that car started and out of gear, they could have all been seriously hurt.
Now, of course I wouldn't call the cops on every scenerio that involves a child, but in that one I don't regret it. In the situation you gave I would probably stand around, wait, call the manager. You did good! =)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

yes you did the right thing, stand there and wait, then say nothing. A concerned look would have done nicely. I understand why you mentioned she was hispanic, the language barrier, and different customs. perhaps to get insight, or just to be thorough. if it were me and my baby id have brought the baby into the stall with me, had a tough time wriggling around with her, but would have done it anyway. I have done it many times, but thats me. If i had been you in the situation i would have done the same exact thing.

As a matter of fact i have been you, but just in a different way, ive seen mothers leave their baby in the car, keys in the ignition to run into a store. I have stood next to the car with my children in tow, just to wait for her return. I got smiles both times, and never a judgement on my face. Just felt like i should.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I wouldn't go into a stall and leave my baby strapped to the changing table , not just incase they rolled but incase they were snatched aswell , so yes it does seem strange to me that a parent would leave the baby out of sight like that , I would have hung around like you aswell just to make sure that someone did come back for the baby and that he/she didn't roll off.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

You did the right thing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

To answer the other poster, I think the Hispanic part may have been to indicate that the little girl may not have understood when the lady spoke to her. I too have IBS and understand that sometimes you just have to go but even if the child couldn't roll off (never know when the first time would be), there are sick people in this world and it sounds like she wouldn't have noticed until she came out if someone had grabbed her baby. I personally think I would have pick up the baby and taken her to the customer service desk/management team.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

I'm not sure what IBS is, (oh, wait, I just figured it out... Irritable Bowel Syndrome, for those others who couldn't figure it out either) but having 7 kids myself, have been known to resort ot some tactics that some others may consider "dangerous" but was my best choice at the time. I would guess maybe the 4 yo had a problem, maybe diarrhea. or just couldn't get herself on & off the commode by herself. Try doing that w one hand! Would you prefer the baby be laid on the toilet tank? Or the dirty stall floor? What other choices do you think that poor mom had, to better care for both her childrens needs?! I would usually wear my baby in a carrier, so I could have both hands free for such mom related tasks. But for whatever reason, this woman wasn't wearing her baby that day. So many unexpected things crop up when you have kids! I, like you, would have stood guard, and been glad to do it, with sympathy for a overwhelmed mom. What could you have possibly said to anyone to help the situation? No, I think you handled it well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't think she was purposely abondoning the baby, maybe not the best of judgement but apparently she didn't have a stroller to put the baby in to take it in the stall with her. I have IBS and there are those moments when you just have to go and go NOW if you know what I mean.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

If I walked in & seen that my heart would be racing.What I would of done go to the nearest asociate get the manager & report it ASAP that way your not face to face with the mom in case is she became confrontational the ladies that walked off that were associates why didn't they get the manager?How can you not ignore something like that.The mom probably thought she won't get hurt it'll be till I use the bathroom "Nobody is going to say anything to me".Glad you stayed there & she was straped in.We all do something that others won't agree with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

It irritates me how people think that it's okay to leave their babies like that.

You have no idea how many times I've been sitting at the mall waiting for a friend or boyfriend to come out of the restroom and a random mother comes up to me and asks me to watch her baby or toddler while she uses the restroom real quick. She has no idea who I am... What if I'm a crazed baby stealing maniac? She just handed me the jackpot! I always say yes because I don't want her to ask some one who IS a baby stealing maniac.

The same thing happens all the time at work (I'm a cashier). People don't even ask... They just bring their toddlers up to me or set the baby carrier on the counter and say (To the baby or toddler) "Okay, stay here with this nice lady while mommy uses the bathroom" or something along those lines. I honestly don't mind watching a kid for a few minutes while their parents use the bathroom, but if another customer were to come up it's hard to concentrate on checking that person out while keeping an eye on the toddler or baby.

Sorry... I got way off topic there and went into my own little rant.

I think that it was a good thing that you stayed there and made sure that the mother did come back. I probably would have knocked on stalls to make sure that the mother was in the bathroom or, as another poster suggested, started talking to the baby sort of like "Where's your mommy?" just so the mother knows that people are worried about her baby.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

A very strange occurence! I would have called the police, that is just not an ok thing to do!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Okay, I know this was not your question, and I am truly not trying to make a scene here but I also agree that pointing out that the baby, sister and mom were hispanic has no relevance to the story. It makes it seem (even though that may not have been and probably wasn't your intention) that you would only expect something like this from "hispanics". I'm just saying...be careful how you word things.

Other than that, I agree with you totally and would have found it to be very odd and worrisome indeed. I don't really know what you could have done or said, and if faced with that situation I probably would have stayed next to the baby while waiting for the mother to come out just to make sure. I do find it surprising that the employees just walked out and didn't wait for the mom! That is terrible, especially considering that if the baby had fallen it would be their hides that would have to pay since they didn't do anything! I think that since the mom came out and took the baby eventually there really isn't anything to do. I would never do that, but I guess some people are right when you have to go you have to go and maybe it's better than putting her on the floor!? (although I probably just would have wheeled the big ol' cart in there with me, but to each their own!) Thankfully the baby was unharmed!


answers from Norfolk on

I would have done as you did, except after awhile I would have let management know, and then let them handle it from there. I can't imagine ever leaving a baby alone like that for any length of time.

Additional: IBS = Irritable Bowel Syndrome


answers from Asheville on

you did the right thing. I don't think the cops needed to be called as some others said. Sometimes I have to go to the store alone with twin two year olds. The walmart handicap stall has one toddler seat with a strap. What do I do with the other one? Let her crawl under stalls? get out of reach? I don't take the stroller. Its hard to push a stroller and pull a shopping cart at the same time and if I bring the double stroller not much else will fit in the car! That baby was strapped in and safe. Mom used her smarts and figured out how to handle her situation. It was nice of you to watch. Im sure she was worried the whole time that someone could take the baby while she helped the toddler or used the bathroom herself (or both)



answers from Charlotte on

I would be tempted to take the baby to Guest Services to tell an Associate. That way, when the parent came out of the stall, it would give them the scare of their life too think that their child was kidnapped. I have a fear of public changing tables and have only used them in emergencies. I cannot believe how stupid some people are!



answers from Toledo on

I think you were right to be uneasy with the situation, and I think she probably thought it was a good idea rather than hold her in the stall. She could've stationed the sister to watch the baby while she used the toilet, or she could've done a couple of other things, but she didn't. I don't think it would've been productive to say anything other than, "I watched her for a minute because it made me nervous to see her alone." The employees could've made a small fuss (knocking on stalls, calling for someone) to demonstrate how the situation might look alarming. It doesn't rise to a crime. The next time, maybe you could just talk to the baby for your own peace of mind.

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