Monday, March 9, 2009

News Flash: We ARE Negligent Parents

Case #1

Location: Home Depot
Time: weekday morning
Incident arousing suspicion: 2 children surveying the lawnmowers on display.
Employee reaction: Male staff in the vicinity tells the kids not to play on the lawnmowers. Also tells Dad that they shouldn't play on the lawnmowers.

Note: Children were not actually touching the lawnmowers - just looking.

Case #2

Same place, about 10 minutes later.
Incident arousing suspicion: 2 children laying on the bottom rack of the shopping cart as Dad is pushing it, Mom walking beside.
Employee reaction: Female clerk says something along the lines of, "Oh, kids, you really shouldn't ride there - you could get a finger driven over, and we'd hate to see you get hurt!"

Note: So would the parents. Which is why we had told them 2 seconds earlier to get out of there, and had merely pushed the cart an additional 5 feet towards the door in order to have more room for the hustling.

Note: To be fair, the employee probably thought we were going to push them right out the door riding on the bellies on the bottom of the cart - and only one with a coat on.

Case #3

Location: Hobby Lobby
Time: weekday morning
Incident arousing suspicion: almost 3 year old boy touching a wooden dollhouse
Employee reaction: Female clerk tells boy, "You shouldn't touch that. It could break." Mom is 2 feet away, looking at clearance items.

Case #4

Location: local hotel
Time: Saturday morning
Incident arousing suspicion: 2 children run ahead of their parents, ride the elevator down one floor to the lobby, turn corner, and are found at a large pillar in the lobby by their parents, following immediately after.
Employee reaction: None. A couple female staff across the room are giggling and watching.

Note: Mom and Dad visibly shaken, scold children for going ahead without them. Quickly herd children out the door.


AJ said...

What a rash of incidents. The police blotter doesn't reflect it, but we seem to be at least middle of the road for watching our kids closely. And our kids are at least average for being obedient and not hyperactive. Just bad luck I say.

Noel said...

The negligence was in not taking advantage of teachable moments. For example, here's some parental words of wisdom which could have totally redeemed the moments:


"Look at this great John Deere walk behind lawn mower. In about 8 years, you could be walking behind one of these and mowing our yard! Dad would be so happy not to have his allergies act up from the grass and dust. When you graduate from college, you could even work for John Deere some day!"


"Good thing we aren't in Minnesota where the cops would give you at least 6 points against your cart driving licence. They'd tell the folks in Bismarck who would cancel your license and you'd have to start from scratch in getting a new license."

[Actually, I was surprised to learn this week how much ND legal teen driving actions are illegal in Minnesota.]


"You like houses just like your daddy. When we get home, maybe you could paint a few rooms and hang some shelves before he gets home!"


"Wow. You kids went down faster than our 401(k) plan. Good thing you found this pillar that's as secure as a T-bill. When we get home, I'll give you your allowances and we can design CD ladders until lunch."

mama.nichols4 said...

Noel - I LOVE these responses! If I had time to think, I'd love to teach my kids like this. hehe

Liz, I've seen your parenting in public and I have to admit, it scares me! I'm just way too much of a nervous, over-protective mom to not know where my kids are at every moment.. thus the reason I am constantly flipping out and causing myself neck pains from twisting my head round and round, back and forth, searching for them.. hehe

I'm sure they'll all be just fine though, yours and mine. :)

Lyz said...

I've already discussed with Tara how her comment really does make it seem that I should be arrested, or at least sent to parenting classes!

But really, these incidents are pretty much the ONLY ones we've had! And the first 3 were pretty unwarranted - the kids were supervised and fine. The last DID bother me - but not the staff. Hmm.

Noel, I do like your take on the lessons to be learned!