How easy is it to forget your children?
David Cameron's daughter was accidentally left behind after a visit to the pub. It's a scenario that's familiar to many parents, writes Kathryn Westcott.
For people who don't have children - or for those parents who are super-organised - the idea that a child could be left behind by a parent is simply outrageous. Forgetting your keys or wallet is acceptable but never a child.
But there are many parents who will identify with that feeling of horror when the realisation dawns that a child has been left behind somewhere. The Camerons were said to have been "distraught" when they realised that eight-year-old Nancy had been forgotten when the family left for home in two separate cars.
It's a heart-stopping moment - one that my family experienced not that long ago. Anyone with children will know that trying to get a group of them out of the house - shoes, hats, toilet runs - often needs to be planned with military precision.
And if there is a large party of folk to be extracted from the house, one parent may set off with half the gaggle, leaving the remainder with the other.
n our case, we streamed off down the road for a family event at the local church, three generations in tow. It was only when one four-year-old asked where his similarly aged cousin was, that panic set in. Frantic messages were verbally sent between the grown-ups, until we discovered that he hadn't been seen since we left the house. After a mad dash down the street, we discovered him at home, oblivious to the alarm that had been caused by that moment of parental negligence.
Like the Camerons, one parent simply assumed he was with the other.
Justine Roberts of Mumsnet website says that this is a familiar scenario for many parents.
In many cases both [parents] are working long hours - these are easy mistakes to make”
"Many people will have some understanding of how this happened to the prime minister and his wife. Particularly if you are a family with two cars, there is the assumption by one parent that the other parent has a particular child. Everyone can see how it happens - particularly the more children you have - when you become outnumbered."
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