Yesterday I saw a really frightening thing through the big picture window at the gym. A mother let her 3-year old son out of the car and, while she turned her back to get his sister out, the little boy darted across the parking lot. By himself. I watched, waiting for the horror to register on her face as she realized what had happened, but it never did. In fact, Mom looked like she hadn’t registered a facial expression since 1978.
And then I saw it happen again. A few hours later, this time in the Office Depot parking garage in Evanston, a small girl went skipping way ahead of her mom, right through a big dark garage full of moving cars. No reaction from Mom.
Un. Freaking. Believable. Is this not BASIC parenting?? You don’t let your little kids go racing ahead of you through a parking lot! Am I right, or have I gone mad??
I think I’m right. (I know, you’re surprised.)
So. What I’m hearing, loud and clear, is this:
Therefore, dear Interwebs, I give you…
1. If your toddler picks up a large shard of glass, do NOT allow him to run with it in his mouth. At least not too fast over a bumpy surface.
2. Children under the age of 2 shall not be in charge of making dinner on the stove. Unless it’s for you, and you have had, like, such a long day.
3. Your young child shall not be allowed to play in the street unless you are busy talking to a neighbor and don’t feel like pausing to remind him.
4. If your child is about to put her finger in an electrical socket, it is your job to shout, “Stop!” and get off your butt to remove her from the area. Unless you want to teach her a lesson about electricity, that is. I mean, science is important – even for girls.
6. In a busy parking lot, be sure your child stays close by you. It is never acceptable for her to run ahead of you, unless you know for absolute certain that she’s not the “accident type”.
I sincerely believe that, if we could just follow these few simple rules, our children would be far safer in this dangerous world.