Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sleeping Parents

 I need to invest in a bus pass. Sometimes I feel like I don’t need to be behind the wheel of a car because I’m reaching my limit on all the wild stuff I see. I can’t be the only one going through this, but it seems I’m always in the wrong place at the right time. It seems like there’s always something popping up that reinforces my lack of faith in the human capacity to think reasonably. This time it really strikes a cord with me...more than any of my previous behind-the-wheel observations because I’m a parent watching other parents sleeping while they're awake...with small children in their charge.

   It’s simply mind boggling to me why any parent would put their own child in harm’s way. Although some might scream ignorance as an excuse, that’s a horse I’m not riding at the rodeo. Perhaps I’m being harsh, it’s possible, but I can only view this from my perspective and experience as a parent that constantly troubleshooted about the safety of my children in every situation I knew they were in, could be in, and would be in. I can link every one of my few gray hairs directly to my children...but I’ll trade black for gray any day if it means my children are safe.

   The safety of a child starts with the parent and one of the most potentially unsafe places for a child to be is in the street. Even at the curb is nerve tingling place for any small child to be since I know they have it in them to bolt into the street with no warning. This brings me to my
 first observation of a “sleeping parent.” In my opinion, if you are putting a small child into a car and you choose the street side door over the curb side door to do’re asleep. WAKE UP! Has it never occurred to you that a car speeding by could hit you and your child? Has it crossed your mind that as you hold the door wide open and instruct your toddler to get it, that the busy mind of youth might have other plans and direct them into the street instead? I just can’t fathom the thought process that reveals the wisdom of bypassing a safe option for a potentially fatal one. Maybe it’s me...

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I’m really beside myself when I watch parents literally push their child out into traffic. I know, it sounds incredible, but what do you call it when a stroller with a baby in it precedes the searching eyes of the parent, looking to see if conditions are safe to cross the street? By the time that parent can observe that a car is coming, the stroller would already be hit. To clarify, I’m not talking about people that jump into the crosswalk with their strollers, although it’s also a bad practice to use the stroller to stop traffic in this way. I’m talking about people with their vision of conditions totally obstructed by a parked truck, SUV or a bus that they’ve just exited or are crossing in front of...and go to the edge of which to “peek”...with the stroller out in front of them. WAKE UP! Is it too much stress on you to reverse your direction so that when you “peek” the only exposure to traffic is your peeking eyes...instead of your unsuspecting, sleeping bundle of joy? That’s how I did it, and am very glad I did on some occasions. Maybe it’s me...

   With all the safety awareness taught in school, shown on television, and heard on the’s incomprehensible to me that someone would drive around with their children roaming free through the vehicle...jumping around as it were. I mean, seat belt safety has been a hot topic for a long time, so much so that you can now get a ticket for not having one on. For those parents not concerned with a ticket, then how about showing some concern about the reality of your child being smashed  the windshield at sixty miles per hour. WAKE UP! Seat belts and car seats aren’t an iron clad guarantee of safety, but they do save lives...and while you may not want to be bothered to strap your children in properly, I think you’d be a bit more bothered to have to arrange a funeral for your child because of your stupidity. There I go again...too harsh perhaps? Maybe it’s me...

   Maybe it really is me and I’m missing something here. Maybe I’m just making a big deal out of nothing and need to take it down a notch. Perhaps I really should “Mind your own business” and not say a word when I see innocent children being fed to potential tragedy. I’m not perfect, but I’m certainly not sleeping when it comes to my children and loathe to see other parents asleep when it comes to theirs. 
   I would ask everyone reading this post to do two things for me please. First, share this post with at least five other people...parents if you can, but anyone will do, and ask them to share it with another five. Second, (and this might be asking a bit much of you, but I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t care), whenever you make any of the observations I posted about above or other situations equally dangerous for a child precipitated by a sleeping parent, please honk your horn long and loud...and WAKE THAT PARENT UP!!

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