There are 3 affidavits, with one story in each.
One friend says that he saw me in Toys-R-Us 2 years ago, with my kids, aged 3 and 5 (at the time). He says that I left the 3-year-old in the bicycle section for 5 to 7 minutes while I took the 5-year-old to the doll section. During that time, he and his wife raised a big stink with the store, and had an employee make an announcement on the loudspeaker. He concludes:
I found George's composure startling. George never acknowledged that Jenny was missing, never thanked us for returning Jenny, and didn't appear to comfort Jenny while we were present. All indications were that George did not recognize that his three year old daughter Jenny had been missing for five to seven minutes. [My wife] and I left the encounter shocked that any parent could behave with such careless disregard for their child's welfare. [names were changed or omitted]Another friend says that I picked a child after a gym class by waiting in the car and sending her sister in to get her. This friend concludes:
I also observed their father, George, waiting in the car while Mary came in to get Jenny. It was quite disturbing to me that Jenny could have been taken from the gym lobby by anyone since she was sitting in the waiting area by the door without any supervision. It appeared that this situation must have happened before, because she didn't seem upset that one of her parents weren't there to pick her up. She immediately started to play or color with the gym toys. [again, names were changed]That same friend also says:
Approximately 3-4 months ago, I observed [the kids] standing by themselves in Costco. I kept observing why they were by themselves, and watched one of them running off to the opposite end of Costco to try to find their dad, while one of them stayed by the side of the cart.The third friend says that 3 years ago she saw me back along my driveway with my child (who was 4 at the time) behind a seat in a 2-seat convertible. She says:
The child was clinging to the passenger's seatback as a means to secure herself in the car. There was no buckling of seatbelt involved, since she was not even in a seat.My wife removed the child from the car before I went anywhere.
There was no legal brief or argument, so I am not sure what my wife's point is. There is no allegation of any harm to the children. I don't think that she is claiming neglect either. I presume that her argument will be that I took unnecessary risks with the children.
Even if these accounts are accurate, there was no significant risk. The first affidavit comes from a chemistry professor at the local junior college, so he ought to understand the concept of risk. The child was only away from me in Toys-R-Us for 5 to 7 minutes, according to the professor's accusation. And that includes the time that the store announced on the loudspeaker that the child had been "found", and it includes the time the professor and his wife wandered around the store. He says:
[My wife] and I immediately recognized Jenny and started looking for [her parents]. Not being able to find [them], I stayed with Jenny and [my wife] went to the front of the store and had them announce over the loud speakers that Jenny had been found and that we were looking for [her parents]. There was no response to the announcement. [My wife] returned to the bicycle section where I was standing with Jenny. We then proceeded to look through the store for [her parents]. We eventually ran into Mary in the doll section of the store. We asked Mary "who is here with you, your Mommy or Daddy?" Mary answered that it was George her Daddy that was there with her. We found George nearby in the doll section. [names changed]All of this together took 5 to 7 minutes. So maybe Jenny was "lost" in Toys-R-Us for a minute or so. Once the loudspeaker announced that Jenny was "found", then obviously I was not concerned. They would find me in a couple of minutes, and everyone was obviously well.
I didn't acknowledge that Jenny was missing, because she was never missing. I never thanked them, because they are meddling and back-stabbing busybodies. I was composed, because the children were never at any risk. It sounds like the professor was fooled by one of those kidnapping urban legends.
All of this happened 2 years ago. Why does the court even bother with trivial and inconsequential allegations?
People tell me that the only way to counter such accusations is to launch a bunch of similar accusations against my wife. I should just document examples of my wife failing to adequately supervise the kids for a few minutes, and that way the court will be overwhelmed with conflicting claims. Then the court won't have much choice but to split the kids between imperfect parents.