Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fun Facts About Orah - II

Ooh, get ready

It's the next installment



Although, it is only fun for those who are not at the other end of my wrath.


If I see an adult putting a child into, what I consider, to be an unsafe situation - I WILL say something. And if I see children causing themselves a potentially unsafe situation, and no other adults are around, I WILL say something.

I don't know if it is just the Mother in me, or the nurse in me as well, but I feel obligated to prevent potentially tragic situations. If I do not say something, and come to find out later that a child was injured, I will feel like I am an accessory to that injury. I will also feel tremendous guilt over not opening my mouth when I had the chance.

Do not leave your child, sleeping or awake, in the car EVER.

I will excuse those who might be running up to a door to, let's say, retrieve a child or the like, so long as they do not at any time enter a home or a building, thus losing sight of the car.

I once saw a car parked at the school that Ro and Ate attend, with sleeping child in the car seat and no adult in sight. I approached the mother of this child and nicely suggested she do not leave the child in the car. She was actually welcoming of my intrusive suggestion, which is good. Her response though, left a bit to be desired.

"I know, I shouldn't, but he no longer fits in an infant seat and I did not want to risk waking him and I thought it will only take a minute to pick up my other child."

Trust me, I am a Mother. I know how ANNOYING it is to schlep kids in and out of a car, especially if they are sleeping. But would you rather risk that your parked car gets hit by another car, while said, child is sleeping in it. Would you rather risk that the one minute too long you took, was the one minute your small child could no longer handle the extreme temperature you left him in. Would you like to risk the small yet possible chance that someone comes by and takes your child, or takes the car with your child in it.

I could go on with this example, but the point is made. I will only add that some parents will sooner leave their child in the car than a purse or a lap top.

So you don't want to schlep your stroller up the steps, and you think it is a better idea to leave your infant or toddler unattended in a stroller while you walk away, out of sight for five to ten minutes. Why don't you rethink that, or I will rethink it for you.

Yesterday, I saw three young girls outside my local community center when I went to pick up So from gymnastics. They were probably between the ages of 8 and 10, and seemed to be waiting at 6 PM to be picked up. They found an island in middle of the parking lot turn around that houses a flag pole. Currently it is also housing a pile, probably at least eight feet high, of snow. Which due to the weather, resembles a large ice berg. They thought it would be fun to climb the ice berg. One false move could have meant head to flag pole or head to pavement and worse. If it was head to pavement - that could include car to body since the pavement was the street and there was not much lighting there.

There was another adult across the turn around who seemed to be trying to say something to them, but her attempts were lackluster. She was too quiet and they did not notice her. I wondered if they were actually with this adult, but I did not care if she was their guardian, because her efforts were in vain.

So I walked right up to them and said,

"Girls, can you do me a favor and come down from there? That seems pretty dangerous and I am not comfortable with you being up there."

They pretty much looked at me like, they were not expecting any voice of reason during their climb, but they immediately headed down and I felt ....more comfortable.

I try not to overstep my boundary, but I feel obligated sometimes. I don't usually get involved if what I see is rather neglectful, yet not causing immediate danger.

Today I saw a mother pushing a stroller with an adorable boy who is probably no older than my Ate. She was in an outdoor mall and the temperature was not more than 20 degrees. This boy had no mittens on and his coat was unzipped and his hat did not cover his ears. He was holding his cute little hands in a fist formation, and I could just tell that his hands were cold, and probably the rest of him was too. I did not say anything, oh but I wanted to. I could assume that she was not outside at any one time with him for more than two minutes. I could assume that he kept pulling off his own mittens. Once I make these assumptions, which is probably giving her more credit than she deserves, I feel like I would be crossing a line in saying something. But if I saw the same boy standing outside for fifteen minutes shivering - I would indeed say something. Because I believe that situation would be the difference between benign neglect and true abuse.

I don't think of myself as a vigilante or a safety cop, frankly I do it out of my own selfishness. I don't want to feel the guilt or the responsibility if something happens and I could have prevented it.

I could go on and on about this topic, but it actually irritates me to think about.

The last thing I will say...

If you are a parent and someone else comes over to you (not necessarily me) and hoping they use a caring demeanor, tells you to rethink a potentially hazardous situation that you are contributing to, please don't get defensive. Just think about it for a minute. Maybe you did not take the time to think about the potential ramifications of your actions. Just take a moment and think about it. You might actually come to appreciate that parent's caring suggestion. And you and your child may be better off for it.

1 have shown Orah a little love:

Heidi @ Tayterjaq's Rebels said...

I have to confess that I will leave Rebecca in the car when I pick Jaquelyn up. In my defense, I make sure I stand in the glass doorway and call for Jaquelyn instead of going inside the gym, (where all the kids gather to be dismissed) that way I can always see Rebecca and the doors are always locked. Please don't hate me. :-(
I will admit to being a safety fanatic about car seats. My kids have always been in some sort of car seat for ages longer than their friends.
I actually just bought Jaquelyn a new backless booster seat a few months ago because I was uncomfortable with her not using one. I wish our state would change their laws and make it mandatory up to 4'9" like some other states.
The youngest my kids made it completely out of a booster seat was 8 1/2 and that was because she was very solid and maxed out the weight. (Jaquelyn will be 10 in June and is only 51 inches and 63 lbs)
Rebecca's 4 year pictures are being taken on Monday since we were snowed out this week. I can't wait.
Sorry to have written a book in your comment section...I am a bit talkative in case you haven't figured that out yet. I admire your guts, I would not normally have the gumption to walk up to strangers and say things like that.