In which self-righteous shamers leave the gorilla world behind and return to harassing more mundane moms:
Lenore, I just experienced my first crazy ‘concerned citizen’ this morning. I stopped at the dairy mart to get my son some breakfast on his way into daycare. When I’m running late, he waits the 3 minutes I’m inside the store, within my line of view. I came out this morning and this lady was screaming at me about how she could’ve got in the car and kidnapped him.
I told her she was crazy and got in the locked car with the keys she was supposedly going to use to drive off in. She then tried to block me into my parking spot. When that didn’t work, her husband drove the truck around me and tried to stop me in the middle of the road!
I turned down a side street because I didn’t want these crazy people knowing where my son went to daycare. I turned around and proceeded on my way. They were waiting for me!!
They did a u-turn, almost caused several accidents and flew down the road trying to catch up with me. I turned into a parking lot and watched them fly by before pulling out and going on my way.
These people thought they were being helpful but they put more people at risk than I did. Luckily I lost them before I dropped him off at daycare, but they were crazy and I wanted to share. — Garfield Heights, Ohio
There’s something strange about a society where everyone is convinced that they just happen to have stumbled upon the crime of the century, and it’s right there at their local Kwik E Mart. (There’s also something strange about a society that believes that spelling “q” words with a “kw” is the height of hilarity).
When do-gooders become convinced that kids absolutely must be by their parents’ side at all times, they turn into mom-seeking missiles whenever they see a child unsupervised, however briefly.
The gorilla story actually weaves into this narrative, because it becomes another easily referenced example of “what can happen” — even if it is the rarest of the rarest of outcomes. It’s just like how people will bring up the names of stolen children when we mention letting our kids walk to the bus stop.
The only way to make these vigilance vigilantes understand that they are not making kids safer is to…I’m not sure. Keep repeating the fact that more kids die in moving cars than stationary ones? Remind them that a parked car is safer than a parking lot? Ask them to remember their own childhoods, and the time they spent not dying while waiting for their moms to shop?
I’m actually not sure how to beat back the baseless conviction that even a second in a car without mom = death. But it’s all part of the whole message here: Our kids are not in constant danger. Not waiting in a car. Not playing outside. And not even, believe it or not, at the zoo. – L