How Some People Become Train-Wreck Parents Is A Real Puzzle

, , , , | Right | April 9, 2020

(I am working at a puzzle store; it’s like a toy store just with a lot of puzzles, though we do sell a lot of toy trains. To help selling them in a store not meant to sell trains, we put some in the middle of the store so customers’ children can play. The train set can be seen clearly from outside the store — we are small — and for a lot of parents, that is a sign for free childcare.

It is almost closing time, which is 11:00 pm. It’s mostly empty at this time at the mall, and my store is empty completely. The lights are already off, trains aren’t moving, and I’m just about to close the register when a woman and a little child enter the store.)

Me: “Hello, can I help you? I’m about to close, but the register is still open if you know what you want.”

Woman: *ignores me, talking to her four-year-old child* “Just stay here and play with the trains.”

Me: “I’m sorry, you can’t lea—”

(She leaves mid-sentence, completely ignoring me. I feel a little worried about the child in the mall alone, but he also doesn’t make a mess, so I let him be and continue with closing. Mall security comes just before I leave every day, so I plan to just pass him to them after I close. The kid only lasts for a minute or so, though, and walks out of the store alone. At this time, my dad is already here to drive me home, and we both see a strange man getting close to the kid. We can also hear what he is saying:)

Strange Man: “Hey there, where is your mom? I can’t see her… Maybe you want to come and wait for her with me?”

(My dad sits next to the child and asks the man how he is; he doesn’t know how to answer so my dad tells him to leave. I see the woman walk out from the clothing store next door and watch my dad tell the man off. She waits a bit until the man leaves and only then comes running to her child, snatching him and starting to yell.)

Woman: “Who the h*** do you think you are?! This is my child!”

Dad: “I’m sorry, he was alone and that man was trying to take him. Was he your husband?”

Woman: “I don’t know him and I don’t know you! How dare you talk to my child?!”

Me: *coming over* “You left your child alone in my store; you should be thankful we watched him, saved him from that stranger, and didn’t call the police!”

Woman: “It’s your job! You were supposed to watch him!”

Me: “Actually, I was supposed to call the police, and I did call the security to come get him.”

(Right on time, the nice security guy came my way, and even waved at me to say hello. The woman took her shopping in one hand and the child the second and RAN away.)

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