There is one service station nearby that I use when I have my four year old on board. It is in the country and I have clear visibility from the counter to the pump, and if I can't get on that side of the pump I either wait or I come back later. The counter is about ten feet from the door and it means that I am only about five feet from my car and only with glass between me and my son and great visibility for miles, and I still usually lock the doors and with the window down a little for air. If it is even slightly warm, then forget it.
I make every effort to fill my car when my son is not in the car and plan ahead for every step.
There is no other time I leave him in the car alone. It only takes a minute or two to get him in and out. And I know the risk is so remote, but every time I hear of someone getting their car stolen with a kid on board I think what if that was me. I could never forgive myself. There is nothing I am doing in life that is more important than my son or can't wait two minutes more to get him out.
Did backfire though when I used to pick him up from daycare and one day I really wanted a drink. I didn't want to stop at any shop and go through the drama of getting him in and out etc, so I went through McDonalds drive thru. He discovered Maccas and life has never been the same.
Luckily he only wants to play on their playground and not eat their food.
"He didn't want to tell the cop he was on his way to the Butt Pirate Palace for a little two-step with Joe-Joe during the Village People marathon." - Cat_Doc
"Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand
You can't flip it over and start again...Don't blink..." Kenny Chesney
"Take care, never leave home on bad terms, watch your back and go home in one piece." - Aussie Nathan
"The batton in my jacket is hot like a porn actor to beat someone down." - Patchcop