I know very little about parenting. The only parenting skills I have came from babysitting and technically those don’t really count because I get paid and it’s not really a lifelong commitment. Basically, I know how to change a diaper, keep an eye on the kid, tell it to look both ways before crossing the street and not to take candy from strangers (although, if someone was going to snatch up a child these days, candy is not the most popular way to go). But let me tell you about a couple I had the chance to meet and how far their parenting skills got them.
This couple has two children. I’m not certain but I’m going to say the little girl was close to the age of four and the little boy was eight years old. At any rate, the children of this couple were fairly young. This family, I discovered, had gone through the emergency room because their little boy had been in an accident involving the use of their riding lawn mower.
Who decided it would be a brilliant idea to let an eight year old child drive a riding lawn mower by himself? That’s like telling the kid that it’s okay if he drives an ATV by himself without a helmet on or something. Maybe it’s just me, but in this situation, a little red flag should have gone up for the parents here. I can’t help but wonder that even if they were dog tired from the day’s work, how they could possibly allow for such a lack of safety for their own son.
Even if they were watching their child ride around on that thing (with the blades going I might add) how could they not stop to think about how dangerous this could be?
The story doesn’t end at the parent’s lack of what to me would be common sense. The little boy, clearly inept to run this mower by himself, steers it into a fence to make it stop. When the mower doesn’t stop, he jumps off because he doesn’t know what else to do. Unfortunately the little boy’s foot got caught underneath the mower and the blades sliced off three of his toes.
I stood in awe at these folks as neither one of them seemed too upset by the fact that their son would be forever traumatized by the fact that he only has two toes on one of his feet.
In the end, not only did I feel awful for this little boy – someone I didn’t even know, but I thought about what would happen if he didn’t get his toes back. What would he do if he wanted to be involved in sports when he got older? Would he be made fun of by other kids in school? Would he have to walk funny or would he have to use a walker or something to help mobilize himself?
My best advice: Don’t be an idiot.