On the list of every parent's worst nightmares, this one's pretty high up: You show up to your child's daycare center one evening, expecting to walk in, scoop them up, and head home after a long day at work. But instead, the place is locked, there's not a person in sight, and you can hear your baby crying inside. That terrifying reality allegedly happened on Monday, when a Houston mom found her baby locked inside a daycare overnight — and had to break in with her husband just to get him out. She even captured the terrifying ordeal on camera. And although the daycare has since responded, admitting the oversight and apologizing, the resulting footage is still pretty upsetting.
"I was thinking this isn't happening. I'm dreaming," Sharonda Ross later told the ABC-owned station KTRK. "I'm going to wake up and it's going to be a dream. I'm just at a loss for words."
Ross told the outlet that she typically picks up her 10-month-old son, Jordan, from Joann's Day Care in Houston after her 6 p.m. shift lets out. So when she swung by at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, she definitely wasn't expecting the place to be closed. Still, she admits, she wasn't panicked at first — she reasoned that her husband, Lawrence Matthews, must have picked Jordan up and forgotten to tell her. So Ross hopped back in her car and drove home again, but when Lawrence later arrived, she learned that he hadn't picked Jordan up at all, and that the little boy must still be inside the daycare.
The distraught couple claim that they raced back to Joann's Day Care, where Ross banged three times on the window, and heard her son crying inside. Then she started filming. As the frantic mom later recalled to KTRK:
I put my phone on record and start recording it. He breaks the window. We start breaking the glass out. He goes in and I'm still recording it the whole time. He comes (back) and there's my baby -- just left," the mother said. "Nobody's here, no cars, no nothing. I called the day care several times on my way to make sure to see if he's at home and on the way back and my child's here at day care by himself, no supervision. Nobody's here.
Needless to say, the entire ordeal was pretty terrifying for both parents, who feared for their baby's safety inside the daycare. "No parent should have to go through this, and yes, things happen but it's still not acceptable," Ross told Click 2 Houston.
As for the daycare's response? Well, they were definitely apologetic. The owner, Joann Davis, spoke with KTRK this week, saying, "First I'm deeply, terribly sorry. I thank God he was OK ... It was our mistake. I'm not saying it's not ... but the main thing is the baby's okay, and I'm sorry as I can be." Still, according to KTRK, the staffer who accidentally left Jordan inside the day care center will not be fired. (So is the alleged incident really being taken that seriously?) Though Bustle tried to contact Joann's Day Care on Thursday, a spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
In the meantime, Ross has filed charges with the Harris County Sheriff's office, and says she worries about what to do for childcare after the scary accident. "I don't see myself allowing him to go to daycare," she said. "I'm going to be at work and asking, 'Is my baby by himself? At what point did you forget my child was there?'"
I can't say I blame her. It's terrible to think the young mom is now scarred for the experience, and forced to figure out new childcare alternatives — especially when that whole process is difficult enough on new parents.
Image: ABC News