Infants are delicate. Clumsy. Awkward in a brazenly cute way. They get away with stuff that would draw scorn and cringes if committed by an adolescent. You have to be careful with them.
And they're annoyingly good at getting out of the places designed to keep them safe. Foolhardy in their curiosity, they reach for iron cords, electric outlets, stairways. Despite plug covers and hallway gates, the kids are just too damn good for us.
Wilkos - Every parent's nightmare is to appear as the target of Steven Wilkos' blustering, antagonistic glare. A one-man grenade launcher of judgment, disgrace, pitchforks and torches, the man dispatches due process with absolute righteousness. If everything he says about his target is true, it's hard not to love him. But, you know, it may not be. He might have it wrong. But let's not worry about that - the fear of Wilkos would motivate parents to keep those babies in their car seats!
Stronger Gates - Those baby gates that are supposed to keep the kids off the stairs always did look flimsy to me. They beckon the youngun to scale the barrier and explore the domestic hazards beyond. Boiling pots. Hot ovens. Toasters! The temptations are far to extravagant to keep even a docile infant from leaving these pitiful barriers behind with a mocking snicker. I'm telling you. The kids are smart!
The Utica Observer-Dispatch reports that a nine month old baby was observed padding down Bleecker Street the other night. Kid evidently got bored and decided to go out on the town. I haven't heard that Utica has much to offer in the way of night life, but just being out on the street is probably a night at the Ritz if all you're used to is being strapped in a stroller or car seat. The kid evidently had a blast. Local law enforcement was not amused:
″(The) Utica Police Department became aware of an infant in the roadway unattended,” said Lt. Bryan Coromato via the release. “Once the video was brought to our attention an investigation was immediately initiated.”
The local police learned of the prowler on Facebook. That's a topic for a whole new post.
The Facebook video showed local citizens, in a touching gesture of thoughtfulness, coming to the child's assistance. One clearly even went so far as to post the sequence on their Facebook page - maybe as a screen test for the bold but otherwise clueless actor. But this kid wasn't acting. He was on a real-life adventure. This was not reality TV. It was life experience.
The kid, who wasn't named in the news report or I wouldn't be so cold, escaped from a car seat. This is a miracle in itself given the straight jacket, Houdini-proof protections afforded by today's car seats. I wouldn't dare try to buckle a child into one of those things today without credentials and a license.
The mom was found after a brief search and she came to collect her child. The authorities had other things in mind for her. Being wholly ignorant of the details of the situation, I won't make any judgments or sling rude comments in any particular direction. Let's just say the kid is safe and the mom has some explaining to do.
Clearly this story reveals gaps in our system of toddler protection. Is it a problem of parental training? Is our society failing our youngest, neediest generations? Are the kids just too damn crafty? All probably true. But I thought I would throw in some ideas for dealing with this troublesome incident.
Judge Judy - If the kids are getting too smart to control, maybe we need to find somebody that is smarter than anybody to reassert sanity and good manners. Judge Judy don't take no crap. Not even from tykes that are cute and subject to keeping fits and remorse. Judy will not be deterred. The children will find it within themselves to resist all manner of temptation. They will stay put. Or else.