DEAR ABBY: My mom baby-sits for my 3-year-old, "Jessica," while I am at work. Last night I arrived at Mom's to find that she had again left Jessica sleeping in the back seat of her van, still strapped into her car seat. Jessica had been there for an hour, and although the temperature outside was fairly mild, my little girl was red-faced and sweaty.
Mother says I'm overreacting because the van was parked in the driveway with the door left open. But I know of at least one incident last year when she left Jessica sleeping in the van, got distracted with something in the house, and didn't realize my daughter had awakened and been screaming for some time. For weeks, Jessica talked about being left outside alone.
I have asked Mom numerous times not to leave my child sleeping in the car, but her only response is to roll her eyes, tell me I'm making a big deal out of nothing, and continue to do it.
Maybe if Mom hears from someone other than me that it's not OK to leave a child unattended in a car, even in a driveway, she'll stop doing it. Thanks! -- OVERHEATED MOM IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR MOM: Do not expect your mother -- who is in denial -- to listen to me. These incidents are recurring because you are allowing it to happen. Your mother has proven repeatedly that she is too easily distracted and too forgetful to responsibly supervise your daughter. Recognize that your daughter is in danger and make other arrangements for her immediately. To paraphrase an old saying: If something happens once, shame on the perpetrator. If it happens twice -- shame on the "victim."