Kids do the darndest things.
Intellectually, we know that children absorb knowledge at an astonishing rate simply by observing their surroundings. But few of us can truly appreciate just how quickly young kids learn new things – and this next story demonstrates this incredible phenomenon.
Little Ameleah Kegley of Mansfield, Ohio is by all accounts a normal five-year old girl. On October 26, Ameleah took the bus home from school much like any other day. But when she arrived at her house, she was startled to find it empty inside because neither her mother nor her father were home. So little Ameleah stayed in the house, played with her cats, and waited… and waited… and waited – for about three hours.
When her parents still weren’t home around 7pm, what did Ameleah decide to do?
Go find them, of course.
Ameleah got a hold of the keys to her mother’s 1999 Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicle, which was parked at the top of the driveway of her home. The girl climbed into the front seat of the SUV, flipped on the headlights, stuck the keys into the ignition, and turned them. Ameleah was unable to start the engine – but she did somehow succeed in putting the car into gear.
As a result, the Navigator began to roll backward down the sloping driveway. It reached the street but thankfully did not strike any objects, people, or other vehicles. The SUV finally rolled to a stop in a yard across the street.
Then what did Ameleah do? She went back to her house… and dialed 911. When the operator answered, the girl told her that her mother’s “car” was backed out of the driveway and that her parents weren’t home.
But there’s even more to the story.
You see, when the operator asked Ameleah what happened, the girl initially said that the SUV “backed out on accident” and that she didn’t “know who pulled it out.” Later in the conversation, she added, ” somebody moved it across the street” and continued to plead ignorance when the operator asked for more details.
The situation became even more curious when the five-year old girl told the operator, “You gotta get here quick. My Mom’s gonna be pissed at me.” (Yes, she used the word “pissed.”)
It wasn’t until a police officer was dispatched to the girl’s home that she finally told the truth. After a few more denials, Ameleah admitted to Mansfield Police Officer Ryan Grimshaw that she had in fact gotten into the vehicle and tried to start it.
The whole ordeal was caused by a miscommunication between the girl’s mother and father (who live apart). The mother was supposed to be home, but she had to be taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance due to an undisclosed ailment. She tried to reach the father to tell him to care for Ameleah after school, but he never received the message.
Later that evening, the girl’s mother returned home – and the police decided not to file charges in the matter. But everyone involved learned two valuable lessons:
1) Leave a list of emergency contact phone numbers for a child (or an emergency operator if the kid calls 911) in case something like this happens.
2) Kids not only learn new things fast, but they also learn how to cover them up.