I recently read an article about a toddler who was found outside by a neighbor. The mom had apparently taken a nap and her toddler had let themself out of the house.

I remember instantly thinking “How could she?” of the mother. She must be negligent. How do you not have your house secure for your toddler? How do you take a nap and leave your child unsupervised? Etcetera.

Apparently God decided that this week was time for my lesson about judging others.

On Friday I was spending a wonderful day with Charlotte at home. It was my favorite kind of stay-at-home rainy day.

I was picking up the living room when without warning Charlotte ran over to the front door, opened it, and ran out into the rain! I dashed out onto the porch after her in time to see her on the walkway turn on her heel (in her socks) to run back inside. She wasn’t happy about the rain falling on her.

I took her in, dried her off, changed her socks and made a mental note that we must start locking the front door (which I did).

A couple of hours later I took something into the garage, when I went to go back in I realized the garage door was shut. I went out the garage to the front door and realized it was locked so that Houdini couldn’t escape.


Standing in my bare feet, freezing, on my porch I assessed my situation. I could already hear Charlotte inside looking and calling for me. Front door- locked, Garage door- locked.

As I started to panic I realized that our french doors in the back would be unlocked. Thank goodness… usually we lock those too so that the dogs don’t let themselves into the house.

Great. A way in. Only problem is that our backyard is fenced half in chain link, half in wrought iron. Since we are in the process of finishing the wrought iron there is no gate yet.

Perhaps I can heave myself over the wrought iron? I walk over (in the rain, don’t forget) and do a test “jump”. Nope, we bought the extra tall so that the dogs can’t jump over it so there is no way I can throw this something-lb body up that high.

Most people would have a ladder or something in the garage to use. My good luck is that there wasn’t. Either Eric had it at work with him, or it was in the house for him to change the lightbulb in the office.

So, the conclusion is that I climb the chain link portion of the fence. In my bare feet, in the rain.

OF COURSE I slip. My pants snag on a top piece of the fence and rip. I get stabbed where it rips through. Let me tell you that it was in a very not nice place to get stabbed. As I am climbing/falling/ripping my pants over the fence I half look over my shoulder and hope that my neighbors don’t see me. (If they had, what would they think of me?)

I make it back into the house only a little worse for the wear with sore feet and unmentionables, cold and wet. Hug the baby since apparently it seems to her as though those couple of minutes were forever that I was gone.

Late that day I was snuggling my little one on the couch and we were watching Toy Story (3) for at least the hundredth time. I doze off (Yes, the door was locked!) I feel her get up from the couch and I open an eye… she is playing with her toys on the floor and watching the movie. I close my eye again.

What if she had learned how to unlock the door? Would I have heard her? Could I have been just like the mom on the news? If so, how would I feel if people judged me for something that was completely innocent?

A few days later Eric and I are BOTH home. Someone forgets to lock the door and she escapes again. It is only a second and she only makes it to the walkway, but still.

Just last night Charlotte climbed out of her crib for the first time. Now I get to worry about her falling out, climbing out in the night and doing who-knows-what, falling down the stairs in the dark… the list goes on and on.

Now I think Maybe that mom’s child was safe in a crib and she laid down to rest and her child climbed out of the crib and opened the door. It only takes the first time of a child doing something.

So, I am setting a personal goal for myself to be less judgemental of others. I have plenty of personal flaws to be correcting before I have an opinion about others, and even then I won’t be perfect.

And, I’m buying a crib tent and a child proof front door lock tomorrow so I don’t end up in the news too!



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