Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And the worst parenting award goes to...

There are some parents out there who make me feel like a really bad parent.  You know, the ones who are "supermoms" and run themselves ragged trying to make everything perfect for their little ones.  And then there are parents who make me feel thankful for having a brain, some common sense, and a background of having had good parents.  Compared to them, I feel like gold.

I encountered a set of the latter parents today.  L.H. and I were strolling down the block when we saw a little boy, probably around 20-22 months old, standing in the leg space of a scooter with his grandma sitting on the seat.  The scooter was off and parked so I thought it was a little odd, but I know how much L.H. loves motorcycles and scooters so I figured she was just taking the chance to let him explore one a little bit.  Then the kid's mother comes out and stands there chatting with the grandma, smoking a cigarette in her little boy's face.  Just to set the record straight, I have very little respect for people who smoke next to their children.

In the meantime, L.H. was busy investigating some weeds growing by the side of the sidewalk.  The next thing I know, the boy's father comes out wearing his motorcycle helmet, gets on, and starts up the engine.  What about the little boy, you ask?  Oh, he's still standing on the scooter.  His father starts driving the scooter up and down our (one-way) street with this little toddler standing on it and holding on to the handlebars.  I was shocked, to say the least.  The women of the family were standing on the sidewalk cheering them on, and from the behavior of the kid I could tell that this wasn't his first ride, either.

I debated back and forth a little bit whether or not to speak up to them about the dangers of the whole situation.  In the end I decided not to.  First of all, I'm not sure that I have all of the vocabulary needed to tell this people how much harm they could cause their child.  And secondly, if both the boy's parents and his grandmother were all participating and they all clearly thought it was fine, then why on earth would one little person on the street telling them it was dangerous change anything?

I just love how the father wore a helmet and heavy leather jacket, while his son was just in sweats and a ponytail.  You care enough to protect yourself, but not your precious child?

It is days like today that I feel like a good mother for not doing stupid things with my daughter.

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