It's the classic set-up to the 1990 hit film Home Alone: amid the chaos of organizing a group trip, frazzled parents inadvertently leave their young child behind. On the silver screen, hijinks and hilarity ensue.
In real life, the scenario is a parent's worst nightmare. Just ask the British prime minister.
David Cameron and his wife Samantha reportedly left their eight-year-old daughter Nancy at a pub during a weekend in the country.
The parents "were distraught" when they realized Nancy wasn't with them, the prime minister's office said in a statement, according to British press.
"Thankfully when they phoned the pub, she was safe and well. The PM went down straight away to get her," the statement said.
The BBC reported the incident was said to have happened a couple of months ago, when the Camerons stopped for lunch with their two other children, Arthur, 6, and Florence, 22 months, and two other families. Mr. Cameron left in one car with his bodyguards, believing that Nancy was in a separate car with his wife and other children.
Nancy was left at the pub, the Plough Inn, for about 15 minutes.
As the Globe reported, a Plough Inn "insider" told The Sun newspaper that staff didn't know what to do.
"It's not like you can look up David Cameron in the phone book and then ring to say, 'You've left your daughter behind.' It's frightening the Prime Minister of Britain can forget something so important as his own daughter."
In fairness to Mr. Cameron, though, he probably has as much on his mind as any other parent, if not more.
As British Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said in an interview with the BBC: "It could happen to anybody. It must be any family's nightmare."
What do you think? Could it really happen to anybody? Parents, have you ever left a child behind - even just for a moment?