Every summer, a few parents forget that their child is in the car when they leave to go shopping or clock into work. When this happens, the news is flooded with tragic stories about how babies die in hot cars as temperatures soar, thanks to climate change. However, one mother named Bonnie Engle feels it is totally fine for her to leave her baby in the hot car while she goes shopping and even leaves a note in the car window to let worried passersby know that she left her baby in the hot car on purpose because she did not want to go through the hassle of taking the child out of the car seat to go shopping with her.
The handwritten note, which has sparked furious debate after an image of it was shared online, told people that she would “be back soon” and that her baby had everything the child needed to care for themselves while mom was having the time of her life shopping without the burden of a young child.
The sign read: “My baby is OK. He has his snacks and his drink!! I’m in Target.” She made sure to heavily underline the words “OK,” “Target,” and “Be back soon” so people would not get the wrong idea and try to rescue her baby from the confines of the boiling hot car.
Engle lives in the United States, where too many babies die from heatstroke after being forgotten by their parents and left in a hot car for hours at a time. Although hot car deaths are too common in the United States, Engle did not fear judgment from other people when she decided to leave her son alone without supervision in the hot car while she went into the air conditioning inside the Target store in her community.
Engle posted a video to Instagram that said, “Please no judgment. He is safe and well.” She is a mother of three children who have all survived past their baby years.
However, Engle then panned the camera to the front of the car, where she showed that her husband was still in the vehicle drinking an iced coffee. He was also chomping on a bag of popcorn and did not seem to be having as much fun as Engle at the internet prank.
Bonnie Engle’s video quickly went viral on Instagram and amassed more than thirty million views in a short period of time. Other parents on the social platform were prepared to launch into criticism of Bonnie until they realized it was all a big prank on them.
“For a second, I was about to get really upset… I was not expecting that,” another mom wrote.
Another person wrote, “My heart dropped, and then I (laughed).”
While many people saw the fun in Bonnie’s prank post on Instagram, there were countless other people who found her prank to be downright offensive, given that too many babies die in hot cars every summer across the United States.
“You shouldn’t joke about leaving a baby alone in a car,” a critic wrote.
Another person added, “Honestly, this is so tasteless.”
Do you think this mom’s joke about leaving her baby in a hot car is funny or offensive?