Baby left in shopping cart: Mistake or misdemeanor??

Baby left in shopping cart: Mistake or misdemeanor??

arizona-mother Internet support is  building for a woman who left her baby strapped to a shopping cart in a parking lot.

An Arizona mother of four was charged last week with child endangerment after leaving her two-month-old son in a shopping cart in front of a grocery store.

Cherish Peterson, 27, says she was rushing around a Fry's grocery store in Gilbert, Ariz., on Monday trying to buy her nephew candy for his birthday when she became absent-minded.

Peterson explained that she didn't realize she left her son Huxton in the cart outside her car until she got home, at which point she rushed back to the store.

Luckily, Huxton was spotted almost immediately by an off-duty cop, who took him to a salon next door.

The infant was not hurt. Police said Peterson returned to look for her baby within 40 minutes after she realized what happened.

"As I was pulling into the garage, my 3-year-old-goes, 'Where is baby Huxton?' I turned around and looked and realized he was gone," Peterson said.

She told CBS Phoenix Affiliate KPHO, she was distracted by two of her kids and forgot her son, who was still in the cart.

"Normally, I put my cart away, but I didn't need to because I parked at the front of the store, and I never park there. And I drove away," Peterson said. (

The incident has ignited a firestorm on social media, with some people claiming Peterson must be a horrible mother, while the hashtag #IStandWithCherish also began trending on Twitter with tweets from those who pledged their support for her.

My thoughts:

1) No harm, no foul.  Where I come from, poor disadvantaged toddlers are regularly left baking in the sun, playing with dirt, clad in nothing more than a nappy while their moms haul bricks on their heads as day laborers.  I'm a lawyer, but I do feel that when you start prosecuting people for...Woulda', coulda', shoulda' things, something is wrong.  Just putting a child in a car qualifies as child endangerment in some states.

2) The mom clearly feels very bad about it.  She's going to punish herself for the rest of her life, and she'd probably take the charges given to her because she's thankful that her baby is okay.  Anybody who has multiple kids or even one kid knows that there is so much to do; she's probably running herself ragged in doing errands; buying groceries; loading them in the car; preparing dinner for her husband and four kids. Also, if her baby is two months, then's she's still riding the crazy hormonal wave called 'pregnancy brain fog' which applies to the postpartum phase as well.

This can happen to anyone. . .remembering the days when my kids were little and even taking  a shower was a superhuman feat, I'd the last one to judge.






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