LO and I were at our local playground yesterday where there was another little girl playing. She was slightly older and was accompanied by her mom, who was just on the phone the whole time and didn’t seem to care about what her daughter was doing. Now, I’ve talked on the phone too with LO around, and I’ve left him to play by himself, watching at a distance. But this mom just didn’t seem to care. She would interrupt her phone conversation by berating her daughter, “Stop! Don’t get sand in your face!” Um, she’s in the sand box, what are you expecting? And maybe if you paid attention to how kids grow, you would know that they need to explore things with their hands, including sand. And yes, that gets messy.
The little girl followed us around because her mom wasn’t paying her any attention. She started copying what LO was doing, which was throwing sand in the air. After a while, she got too close to LO and was about to put sand in his hair. I was able to stop her, but of course from a distance, her mom yells out “NO!” and left it at that. No going over to talk to her daughter, no spending time with her, nothing. She finally said, “Let’s go, you’re doing stupid things.” Lovely.
Another mom was there with an older boy, about six years old. This mom wasn’t as bad as the first one, and she was sitting at the bench. The thing that bothered me was that whenever her son would want to run on the grass or somewhere further out of sight, she would yell at him to come back. It’s like, really? You can’t just stand up and walk a little bit further away to keep an eye on him so that your son can continue exploring and satisfying his curiosity?
The sad thing is that these kids live near us, and while I’ve seen plenty of great parents in our neighborhood, maybe that’s why the public school we’re zoned for only got a six out of ten. If LO went to that school, these are the kids—and the parents—that we’ll have to contend with. I sure don’t want him having friends whose parents aren’t involved in their parenting.
Why would you do this…
This morning I see even worse examples. “Hot sauce mom” videotaped herself punishing her adoptive son by putting hot sauce in his mouth and telling him to take a cold shower. Why the videotape? Because she wanted to be on the Dr. Phil show. Earlier she had submitted videos of her yelling at her kids, but the producers wanted to see a video of her punishing her son. That just makes me want to cry right now.
Then there’s the other story of the mom who threw her seven-month-old from a parking garage. Why? No matter how terrible a day you’re having, no matter how different your life is with a baby, why would you do that? Her son survived, but is in critical condition.
…when there are mothers who go through this:
Casey is an angel baby who was on this earth for only two months before reflux took his life. I found out about this baby from a baby board for kids born the same month as LO. His death completely altered my patience with parenting. At that time, I was struggling with LO and getting upset that he wasn’t sleeping, or that he was crying. Reading about Casey helped me appreciate that at least that is all I have to worry about; that in my arms is a non-sleeping, crying baby who is alive and healthy. No longer would I take that for granted. I still think about Casey, during good times with LO and during bad, when I remember how fortunate I am.
Ronan is another angel baby that I found about from a moms group I belong to. He died of cancer a few days shy of his fourth birthday just three months ago. His mom has since written a letter to him every day on her blog since he passed away. Reading her posts makes my heart feel tight and I have to stop reading because I can’t even fathom the emotions she must be going through.
Elijah is a boy in my area who was diagnosed with leukemia. He is fighting for his life, and his and his parents’ fight against his illness remind me of how blessed I am, and just how much the human spirit will struggle to live.
Love your kids
I seriously think some people shouldn’t have kids. They may love their kids, but I don’t know if they’re doing their best. Do they even know what’s their best? Who knows. I want to surround myself with parents who are involved in their kids’ lives, who don’t take out their anger on them, who understand how children develop and see things from their point of view. If only those parents could see how lucky they are compared to others who have lost or are struggling to hold on their kids, maybe they’ll re-think their parenting methods.