Joanna Gaines Rats Out Chip For Leaving Their Newborn Son Home Alone—TWICE!

Joanna Gaines is America’s favorite fixer-uppin’ mama, and together with her husband Chip Gaines, she’s also half of everyone’s favorite Christian TV couple. With their talent for renovation and decoration, they’ve TOTES won over the hearts of Americans on HGTV’s Fixer UpperAnd now, they’re telling the story of their rise to the top in a new memoir from Harper Collins, The Magnolia Story.

Photo: Harper Collins

Joanna Gaines has 4 kids, and has endeared herself to moms both on her show and her Facebook page time and again, and now she’s done it again with a LITTLE anecdote from her book, TOTALLY ratting Chip out for a rookie dad blunder! Though now they’re rather seasoned as parents, the couple told Good Housekeeping that when their oldest, Drake (now 11), was a baby, Chip kind of…forgot he existed…TWICE.

Joanna says when Drake was 6 weeks old, she decided to start exercising and get back into shape, so she went for a short run, leaving Chip at home with baby Drake.  Here’s how they recounted the tale for Good Housekeeping:

Joanna: Chip was so sweet and supportive. When I got back he had prepared an elaborate breakfast for me, as if I’d run a marathon or something. He’d actually driven to the store and bought fresh fruit and real maple syrup and orange juice. Drake was sound asleep in his swing, still wearing nothing but his diaper.

“Chip, did you take Drake to the grocery store without any clothes on?”

“Oh my gosh,” he said. “I totally forgot Drake was here. He was so quiet.”

“Chip!” I yelled, totally freaked out. Anyone who’s met Chip knows he can get a little sidetracked, but this was our child!

Chip: He was in that dang swing that just made him perfectly silent. I felt terrible. It had only been for a few minutes. But I literally got on my knees to beg for Jo’s forgiveness.

Ok, so I have to admit my mama bear instinct would have been to KILL HIM DEAD, but Joanna’s a better person than I am, so she forgave him. And then, LATER THAT SAME WEEK…

Joanna: Several days later I decided to go on a good long jog, trusting that Chip would not leave Drake again. On my way back I saw Chip coming down the road in his truck. He rolled up to me with his window down and said, “Baby, you’re doing so good. I’m heading to work now.”

I looked in the back, thinking, Of course, he’s got Drake. But I didn’t see a car seat.

Chip: “Chip, where’s Drake?” she said, and I was like, “Oh, shoot!” She ran like lightning all the way back to the house as I turned the truck around. I sure hope no one from Child Protective Services reads this book. They can’t come after me retroactively, can they?

Miraculously, Joanna STILL did not kill him, but after she went for a third run later in the week and came back to find that Chip had taken their newborn for a drive on a 4-wheeler, she says, “I didn’t go for another run for the whole first year of Drake’s life, and I took him to the shop with me every single day.”

I am DYING laughing just recounting this story for you! Obviously, since they had three more kids, Chip got his dad feet under him and quit endangering the kids’ lives.


Sometimes I wonder how babies survive their sleep-deprived, clueless new parents!

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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.