Parents, baby sitters, and running over unattended not quite 2 year olds.

Two years ago, or so, we had a nice empty couple of lots to the left of my house in the woods. Lo and behold, they plowed all the trees down, and now there are three houses instead of one to left of me. And they have 13 kids between them. There went my nice quiet neighborhood.

So for the last couple of years, it is a absolutely mandatory to check the entire area for kids running amuck as well as stray toys prior to backing out of one’s driveway, otherwise your risk of backing over kids and/or toys is quite high. This being a quite rural and seemingly peaceful and safe environment for kids to play has led the parents of all these little bastards to let them play out in the area unattended. … day and night. 5 and 6 year olds are not responsible enough to keep an eye on their little 2 year old siblings. We do have some traffic to worry about, and the wildlife here is common…we have moose, bears, wolves, etc. Plus, your yard and property is your yard and property. My yard is MY YARD and MY PROPERTY. So I should not have to check if your stray kids and/or toys are in my yard and driveway.

OK, so I was backing out of my driveway to head to work. I do the customary kid check and see two of the tikes in their yard, two houses over. I see the 5 year old and the 2 year old, and no adult in sight…as usual. But I am confident it is safe to go. They are way over there in their own yard. I back out and slowly head down to the end of the circle to the stop sign. A white bronco zips down the thoroughfare going about 50 mph in a 25 mph neighborhood, and I grumble to myself. As I start to go, I hear a noise, and my tire catches something, and I hear a drag. As I think to myself, “What the heck was that?” I glance over to the 6 foot snow berm piled high with chunks of road grade and debris and I think, “Ah, another icy chunk under my wheel.” This happens all winter. We have rough roads from all the weather conditions. We are used to driving over bumpy, uneven, crusty roads.

I had this nagging feeling I should look.

But, then again, I had encountered many a icy crud ball under my vehicle before. You just drive over them.

But…I should look, I think.

I chose to open my door and check, just to make sure, and I hear this sickening indescribable noise, whimpering kind of…my first thought, “Oh Jesus, I hit a dog and where the hell did it come from?”

I walk around to my back passenger side, and there is this tiny snowsuited kid appearing to be lodged under my back tire, sled and all, just his little head and shoulders visible from under my tire…

Well, to cut my horror short… I engaged emergency protocol. The paramedics were there in less than five minutes, the police zipped along like 30 sec after … the babysitter was looking around trying to find the kid…I hailed her. And finally, the little boy was not hurt. He merely banged his head, has a black eye, and a huge goose egg on his forehead. The police pieced together that in a freakish accident, as I left my driveway and was on the opposite side of the circle and the kid’s house, the little guy decided to hop on his sled and in a twist of poor timing, cruised my way and zipped under my vehicle unbeknownst to me, just as I was leaving the stop sign. Had I not heard the crunch of his sled, and not felt compelled to check it out, I would have just rolled over him and squashed him like a little melon. And if I hadn’t been there to bumper the little guy, he would have did a Clark Griswold supersled and slid down to the local Wal-Mart which all downhill about 1 mile away. Unless of course, someone else “stopped” him.

Where were the parents? Gone…they had a baby sitter. Where was she? In the house getting her coat… “for just 2 seconds!” And she told had after all told the five year old to keep an eye on him. This scenario could have played out either way, baby sitter or parents, one of my greatest fears coming to life.

I have not seen a child out playing in their yards since it happened three days ago. Maybe they wizened up, and god I hope so, or maybe they think we’re gunning for 'em now. I don’t know. Damn them all. Though it turned out okay, I am scarred and will hear and see that little kid under my tire for the rest of my life.

Gas guzzling monstorous SUVs are not all bad…

Gah - I’m shivering just thinking about what happened! Here’s hoping everyone learned a valuable lesson here. You did all the right things, so don’t dwell on the “what if” scenarios.

I’m so glad my kid is way past that age. One worries about different things with an 18-y/o.

Holy crap. I’m glad the kid’s okay, but I’m sorry you’ll have to carry this with you, Krebnut.

Krebnut, kid’s only alive thanks to You.
If he’d died it would not have been your fault. I think most people would have driven over him in the circumstances you describe and it would not have been their fault either.
Sorry, mate, but it’ll still probably haunt you for a very long time.

Bloody, bloody, good instincts, you just saved a life.

WOW! It’s no wonder that you’re shaken after that experience. However, thank goodness that you double-checked and didn’t drive right over the kid. I hate to say it but I don’t think I would have checked. I would never expect something like that to happen. :eek:

Bloody hell!! I was one of those kids who grew up running amok in a suburban neighborhood, and I remember a great sled run which started at the top of a neighbor’s drive way and carried down the drive, down the street they lived on to the circle at the bottom. Note the word “circle” – it was a residential cul-de-sac. I was also about 9 or 10 years old.

My brother has a theory – that raising a child successfully involves a certain amount of luck, in particular, not having bad luck. As a parent, you do all you can to minimize the oportunities for bad luck. I don’t have or want kids, so I try to stay out of the parenting battles, but it sounds to me like this babysitter nearly made a stupid and tragic mistake. I’m sure it was accidental and she might honestly have thought nothing could happen (although with some kids I’ve known, I wouldn’t underestimate their ability to get into things!), but it was nearly one hell of a mistake nonetheless.
Krebnut, I’m glad you double-checked, and I’m glad the little boy’s all right. Two may be little young for this, but he may have got the idea that sledding down the street isn’t a good idea, and I hope the babysitter’s learned never to underestimate the trouble kids can get into when you’re back is turned. I may not have kids, but that’s one lesson I learned teaching Sunday School! I’m glad things weren’t as bad as you feared.


Holy shit!!! I kept reading, anticipating what would happen from the title, but thinking … “Naaaaaaaaahhhhh Can’t be!

Thank G-d you checked. Every time I hear something under my car, I think back to a woman on Montel or Oprah or Dateline or Some Show, who was so scared she’d hit someone/something driving, that her paranoia made her stop her car every so many feet, to check. Then I think, “Ok Cheeky, don’t be paranoid. It’s an ice chunk.” But you gotta.

My father was very strict with me, overly so. Though I lived on a quiet street, I wasn’t allowed to drive my ten-speed on the road until I was 11. It was a bitch back then. But I’m alive now.

When I see kids doing stupid stuff on the side-streets, I think to myself: “If my father would have seen that, he’d have killed me!” Stuff like this includes:

~ a 2-year old sitting on the street (cul de sac), in the space I wanted to park. First instinct was to park somewhere else. Second instinct was tell the kid to get off the street, which I did. Where’s the mom? In her apartment in front of this parking spot, not even watching from a balcony. I keep thinking, “It would have been so easy to swipe that kid and that’s it.”

~ Kids playing hockey in the streets (winter and summer). If you’re Canadian, this is almost certainly a rite of passage. But they probably never thought that some cars are “visitors to the area” and aren’t aware that there are so many kids on this street. They could easily plow down the street while a kid is moving in to score the point needed for the Neighbourhood Stanley Cup. They also aren’t aware, because they’re kids and it’s not their job, that it’s not easy for a car to stop on two inches thick of ice with a coating of fresh wet snow. You KNOW the driver sees you; you ASSUME he’ll stop. What you don’t know is his brakes are locked and he’s having a private chat with G-d as we speak.

~ Kids on skateboards using various forms of propulsion: car bumpers, bicycles, scooters, family pets (Hey, this is Canada, but the dog-sled championships haven’t been held in a suburb of Montreal for a long long time). Special mention goes to roller-bladers.

~ Make-shift ramps. Isn’t velocity a wonderful thing? But no, when you take a rotting piece of wood from a renovation dump, prop it up on some poor soul’s recycling bin, push yourself off said ramp in hopes of gaining enough speed to make it off another ramp, under which a kid is lying down in hopes that you’ll pull off this Evil Knievel move ~ NO! Velocity is not a wonderful thing. Especially ON A PUBLIC STREET!

I always end up thinking: Where the hell are the parents? Did they grow up doing the same kind of thing? Do they think this is safe? G-d forbid I should hit one of these future olympians, they’ll blame me won’t they? It’ll be MY fault, won’t it?

Oh I know that you don’t have much time to yourself. You finally have a quiet moment in the house to call your friend who’s left three messages in the past week. I know the kids are out playing and it’s a safe neighbourhood. It WAS a safe neighbourhood before YOU moved in!

I appreciate all the kind words from everybody, thank you all very much. Some very good points were made. I agree, there is a good amount of luck involved with parental control on raising kids. And it can be good or bad luck. I remember some close calls with my own two children, terrible things that could have happened that were nobody’s fault, just circumstance and kids being kids. As a parent you realize how lucky it was things turned out, and as a kid, you learn never to try that again! (…you hope.) Cheeky, if you hadn’t mentioned you were in Canada, I would have swore I lived in your area because I have seen all you described. I think older kids versus younger, like the under 6 crowd and especially toddlers for gawd’s sake, should be within a parent’s view. I haven’t talked to the parent’s since the day of the accident, but since that day, none of the 13 area kids have been playing outside…it’s been barren of kids. I have however heard them from inside their homes , the sound of cooped up children playing inside. Sort of like the sound of a car with its stereo turned up loud…you can hear it leaking sound and think “wow, that’s gotta be loud inside there.” I wonder how long it’ll take for them to lose their minds.

Prepare yourself for the inevitable lawsuit.