This 3-year-old boy is so lucky he was found before something awful happened.
Motorists on a Florida freeway witnessed a pretty terrifying sight this past Wednesday when a diaper-clad toddler commandeered his Power Wheels motorized vehicle out onto the median. It wasn’t just any road — it was US 19, a notoriously busy highway where this story could’ve taken a very tragic turn if not for a few good Samaritans.
According to WFLA News, The Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating how a 3-year-old boy managed to escape the house without his father realizing it and ending up on US 19 by himself. Thankfully, a few motorists stopped to help the little boy with another taking photos to document the jaw-dropping situation.
Witness Danny Collins tells WFLA, “I was shocked. That’s why I took the pictures. I was like nobody’s going to believe it. Could have ended a lot differently if not for the people who stopped.” He goes on to explain that the child’s father arrived about 10 minutes later and told deputies that his son got out of the house while he was using the bathroom. The child apparently used a chair he pulled to the doorway to climb on and reach the latch.
At first blush, this story sounds like a case of straight-up neglect. Scratch that. It sounds that way to anyone who doesn’t have children. While it’s sadly a possibility that this child’s parents are neglectful and the little boy leaving the house by himself is indicative of said neglect, it’s also possible that he was just doing what toddlers do. Silently wreaking havoc while their parents are just trying to poop alone. Come on. You know you’ve been there.
Anyone who’s lived with a wily and creative toddler understands what they’re capable of. I live next door to a wonderful family with two small children. These parents couldn’t be more dedicated and careful if they tried. Yet, when I was getting in my car one day last fall, I saw their 3-year-old wandering the front yard alone with a popsicle in each hand. As it turns out, his father was inside changing his sister’s diaper and he stealthily escaped out the front door without his dad realizing it. My neighbor was mortified when I brought his son back, but these things happen. I never judged him for it and until authorities turn up information that suggests otherwise, no one should attack this little boy’s father either.
We all know what it’s like to be busy and lose track of a kid for a few minutes and that can be all it takes for something regrettable to occur. Hell, a few seconds can do the trick. My kids never cease to amaze me with how much trouble they can cause in a very short period of time and while it was upsetting to read this story, I can’t say I was shocked. Any seasoned parent knows how easily this could happen to even the most careful among us.
Hopefully, family services will discover that this was simply a case of a toddler gone wild instead of a siren indicating a larger problem. Either way, it’s a relief to all involved that nothing happened to this little boy. This story could’ve had a terrible ending and frankly, it’s an absolute miracle it didn’t.