GRRRRR!! I had planned an inspirational/encouraging blog for today and was working out the wording in my head as I headed out the door to dinner with a friend. At about that point, Ignorance and Laziness came waltzing through my town. Ever notice that things rarely turn out well when those two troublemakers come to visit?
It started as I was pulling out of my driveway. I live on a cul de sac so it is generally fairly safe to let the neighborhood kids ride their bikes and such in the street. However, if the child is young enough to need training wheels, or has just barely had them taken off, common sense says that they should be supervised. Part of this is because there are still a couple of idiots that think that because they have an 8-cylinder motor, they should use all cylinders in tha two hundred or so yards that make up my street.
Today, two kids were lucky it was me behind the wheel. This brother and sister pair are around the ages of four and five, Their grandmother lives across from me and their aunt and uncle live a couple doors down. Aunt and Uncle were gone, and Grandma does not move well. Apparently the kids were restless, because she sent them outside to play. When I went out to get in the car, the little girl must have been in the yard because I didn’t see her, I just saw the older brother riding his bike in the street. He seemed to be paying attention so I didn’t worry about him too much. A couple of moments later, as I was getting ready to start my SUV, I saw the two children in the middle of the street, I think the girl wanted to take a turn on the bike. The grandmother was watching out her front window, as she usually does when they are outside. This is a fairly small window, and does not give her much visibility. As they were talking from these positions, I gathered that an uncle had just taken off the training wheels on the bike, the little girl wanted them back on, grandma was willing and…Oh grandma FINALLY gets little girl to move closer to the windoe, thus getting her out of the road. I started my vehicle and crept out of my driveway as the little boy moved to the far side of the street. At this point I am annoyed but not fuming. That is about to change.
The little boy rides toward me on the opposite side of the road. Since even on his bike he is shorter than the front end of my vehicle, I wait for him to either stop moving or pass me so that he is behind me. So he stops parallel to my drivers door and turns his bike arround. Since he is at a standstill and is watching me, I decide to creep down the street. I barely get moving and he starts to move, so I stop. He stops as well, and waves me on. The process repeats. Once. Obviously, somebody thought i would be fun to teach this kid to race cars. I have lost too many pets that way, and little kid reflexes are slower. I opened my door and told hime that I was not going to race him. He shrugs, then crosses the street in front of me and goes into the Aunt’s yard.
The little girl has watched this entire exchange from the safe edge of the road. I continued my creeeping way down the street, keeping an eye on both of them. As I passed the little girl, standing still on the side of the road, I turned my head slightly to check the boys position. Out of the corner of my eye, what do I see but the little girl racing me! Since I was barely moving, she was gaining on me!! I slammed on the brakes (not much of a slam, I was only doin 2 mph) and tried to get my heart to settle as she darted in front of me and ran across the road to join her brother!!!!!
My goddaughter is that age and KNOWS better than to be in the street! She knows better than to be anywhere close to where a car is moving! She has for years, because we have made a point of teaching these things since she first started walking! What kind of ignorant, lazy parenting does not teach their little ones basic safety skills???
Probably the same kind of parent that I encountered after dinner. I had stopped at Walmart after dinner and was leaving when I found myself behind a minivan that was stopped in front of the entrance. A woman came out, opened the back door, let a two-year-old child down onto the back seat, closed the door and got in the front passenger seat. Okay, it was raining. I can see wanting to get into the vehicle quickly, but really??? Climb in the back with the kid and get him properly belted in!! Or even turn around from the front seat and get him buckled! He was small enough, he should have still been in a five point haness, not deposited in the back seat like a sack of potatoes!! I was right behind them, and could see into their vehicle all the way through the parking lot. Neither the driver nor the woman in the passenger seat ever turned around and I didn’t see any heads in the back seat.
In my opinion, if you want to risk your own life, that is your choice. If you choose to place another life at risk either by laziness, ignorance or idiocy, you oughta be pistol-whipped!
Sorry for the rant guys, but these smal souls need somebody to speak for them, and while these incidents scare the crap out of me and break my heart, the are not severe enough to call child services. How can these poor innocent ones feel cherished if those who are supposed to love them best fail to teach them how to stay alive?
My goddaughter only ever ran in the street once. I paddled her little butt for it. She didn’t stop because I paddled her butt. She stopped because when I was finished paddling her butt (a couple swatts on a diaper was enough to get her attention), I held her in my arms and wept out the fright she had given me. Then I walked her over to the Suburban I was driving at the time and made her understand that she can’t be seen from inside a vehicle. Peiodically she asks if she is big enough yet, when I tell her no, she says “cuz they can’t see me, huh?” My little angel is that much safer because I love her enough to make her understand.
Teach your children well. They may not like the rules, but at least they will grow up to resent them.