Chuck E. Cheese was such a madhouse when I was a kid that as fun as it was I hated going there and have still never returned, so I can’t imagine what it must be like for an adult trying to keep track of little three-feet tall maniacs having the time of their lives. Still, I’m going to have to call a parenting fail on Maryland co-parents who didn’t realize they’d left their kid in the play center until her picture showed up on the news.

Parents of a 3-year-old girl had some explaining to do after they forgot their daughter at a Chuck E Cheese and did not realize it until they saw her picture on the evening news.

The girl, named Harmony, was left behind at the theme restaurant in Bel Air, Md., after she attended a large party with her parents. According to a report from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office,  both of Harmony’s parents, who share custody, assumed the girl had gone home with other relatives.

A restaurant manager alerted sheriff’s deputies around 8 p.m. that the girl had been left alone  after Harmony approached a staff member to say  she was thirsty.

Unable to locate the 3-year-old girl’s parents, the deputies asked local news media to put Harmony’s picture on the evening news.

Once the broadcast aired, both of Harmony’s parents called in and she was released to her mother through Child Protective Services. It’s clear that no one meant any harm but it troubles me that these parents seem so loosey goosey with their co-parenting skills —  it’s always necessary to ask yourself the question “do you know where your children are?” and especially for a three-year-old have a clear answer.

Read more at MSNBC.

What do you think of this story?

  • Simone

    WOW. I guess this falls under the old saying, “When it’s everyone’s responsibility, then it’s no one’s responsibility”.

    No, worries, my ex or my relatives will take care of my child and make sure she gets home safely.

    I’m surprised CPS gave her back to her mother, frankly.

  • mamareese

    Yes they deserve to be investigated….simply because a 3yr old must be belted into a booster seat at this age. How did you leave, get into a car without noticing you’ve strapped your kid in and drive all they way home without noticing your kid is missing? And how many kids do you have to MISS one?

  • mamareese

    Ok I reread this. Even still I’d be calling to see if she got home ok and that she was anchored to the adult I left her with. And I’d beat that relatives tail.

  • M12Casey

    That’s crazy. Even if they thought she had gone home with a relative, how is it that they thought this was ok? You should always know where your child is and who they’re with. Especially since she is only 3 years old. It makes no since to bring your child somewhere and then leave without them unless you know for sure that they are safe and taken care of. I’m surprised they gave her back to her mom too.

  • Will

    I don’t think that it was lack of love for the child. It’s seems to be lack of parenting skills. Each assumed that she was with relatives and didn’t check for the facts of whose custody she was in. I pray that they both learn from this. Thank God this child was protected from harm.

  • ExactlyWhatIthink

    Same thing happened to a friend of mine when she was younger. She has a large family, many siblings and after returning home from the grocery store, all of her family members assumed someone had her…but instead she remained in the car. Eventually she was found at her father’s mistress’s house. He drove to his girlfriend’s house not realizing his missing child was actually in the backseat.

  • Blasé

    can’t help but laugh and shake my head.

    what must be going on in their lives that it would take seeing their kid on tv to remember?

    poor baby.

  • Candy 1

    This sounds like deja vu because it happened at a Chuck E. Cheese in my state about 2-4 years ago with another family. I’m sorry, but that is completely irresponsible, no matter how you paint it. It is not that easy to lose your own child unless you are the type of parent to assume that “someone else” has your kid, which should never be the case, especially with a child that young. What if someone had kidnapped/harmed her?

  • http://www.melleau.net Mel

    She must be a really great, quiet child and they are just really awful at parenting. Even if they were not good parents, they are human beings who can at least try to pay attention to their surroundings. You came into a building with a child and then you leave without one? Obviously you’re missing something. -___-

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    I don’t know. If you have ever tried to navigate a large group of children and doing so is not your job, stuff like this happens. I would not be so quick to condemn the parents Judgey McJudgersons.

    She is an adorable child and I am happy all ended well.

  • Sho

    You must not have children. I can’t imagine NOT knowing where my child, especially a three year old, is at all times. I don’t care if it’s 100 people or 1000 people in the room. Forget that, the more people present, the more protective I am. My child’s whereabouts and safety are on my mind 100% of the time. That’s called parenting.

    If they thought another family member would take her home, why not say something before you leave, call, send a text, send a damn email reminder on your phone. They are incredibly lucky nothing terrible happened to their little girl.

    She’s three, not thirteen. She’s a baby for goodness’ sake. People are so quick to defend negligence and ignorance. These parents made a really stupid mistake; that can’t be ignored. But don’t brush it off about the crowd being big.

  • binks

    I agree this is a case of being way to relaxed with parenting skills, I know parents aren’t perfect but one should never “assume” when it comes to their kid. Hell if it was my parents either would have called so and so to make sure I was where I was supposed to be and was fine and they would have seen me off to make sure I was going with which relative especially at 3. Thank God it ended well but with the world today you need to be mindful where your kids are they is no excuse.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    You are right I don’t have kids, but it is not like the parents went home together. Each person may have thought the other one was watching her. I have seen parents turn around for a second and their child takes off.

  • Candy 1

    I’m can’t agree that this can easily happen unless you’re being irresponsible. With your own kids(especially little kids), in a large group, most people pay extra close attention to their own offspring naturally and by default. I’m not a single parent, but many times our family goes on outings, and then my husband and I separate for the remainder of the day, but we double check with one another to make sure our kids are with the other person. When you have little kids, you should be on your P’s and Q’s about that kind of stuff. These people might not be bad parents over all, but they sure did drop the ball. This is different than turning your head for 10 seconds and someone snatching your child.

  • Alivia

    There is no excuse for their behavior. Period!! Neglectful parents..smh

  • Tonton Michel

    Well looks like somebody was HIGH AS HELL to forget their kid at Chuck E. Cheese of all places. They were smoking real good.

  • MommieDearest

    My question is, who did the child COME there with? THAT is the parent that should have followed up and made sure the child was accounted for. If I bring my child to a party, I DAMN sure will be the one my child leaves with unless I am involved in a specific conversation where other arrangements are made. I assume NOTHING when it comes to my child’s whereabouts.

  • dvine0722

    can u say dumb.. they should’ve stayed and had chucky-e-cheese make an announcement or contact all relatives to make sure they did or didn’t have her.. duh.. what kind of parents are these..

  • CaramelBeauty

    I can see forgetting your keys, forgetting a jacket, but how in the world do you forget a three year-old?!?!?!?!?! You mean they were not responsible enough to actually put her in the car with the relative and kiss her goodbye? What they just left? WOW!!!!!!!

  • full moon

    I was there last weekend for my nephews bday party…but there were only 3 kids to look after. Now we didn’t let the lil one’s out of our sight…there was way too much going on…crowed as hell. But I seen soo many kids wandering around alone. One in particular, she was like 2, and she was walking around alone like she knew where was going…no parent in sight. I mean I seen her go by the table like 6 times alone. I was perturbed. I kept my daughter neice and nephew close…period. Its too easy for a child to get snached or anything.
    This is defin a Parenting Fail. Get it together Mom and Dad.

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