Just popping in to say hi. I'm back from the mountains, where I actually had access to the Internet was just too dad-gum tired to post. I have no idea how teachers do it. I spent four days doing school presentations and now I need to chill out for the next four months.
I will have to wait until next week to chill out, however. On Thursday, I'm going up to Attleboro, MA, to give a speech and visit some middle school classes about one of my books. I'll be back Friday, and then I only have one more trip for the foreseeable future. Yay!
I wanted to report something I saw today, which has to be really, really high on my list for The Most Idiotic Parenting I've Ever Seen. I was walking across the library parking lot, when I noticed a driver being incredibly careful as she pulled out of her parking spot, tapping lightly on her horn as she drove. At first I couldn't figure out what she was up to, but then I saw the three-year-old on his scooter and understood.
Yes, right there in the middle of the library parking lot was a little kid riding a scooter. His mom was standing at the back of her car, hatchback open, changing her baby's diaper. Scooter Boy went back and forth from the car to the parking space opposite.
I'm trying to remember the last time I've been so dumbfounded. Really? Letting your kid entertain himself by riding his scooter in the parking lot of the public library is somehow a good idea?
What touched me was how careful all the drivers were as they pulled out. They saw the kid, and they pulled out of their parking spots at approximately twenty yards per hour. It was as though collectively everybody in that parking lot was more concerned about that little boy than his mom.
I never know what to do in these situations. Dress down the mom? Go stand by the little boy until she finished diapering the baby? In the end, I did what everybody did--I backed out of my spot very, very slowly, keeping my eye on the little boy the whole time.
I know that every mom in the world has pulled moves that later she can't believe. You leave the three-month-old baby on the bed while you run to get the phone, praying he doesn't suddenly learn to roll over in your absence and fall off the bed (in my case, he did). You don't strap on the belt on the diaper changing pad that's on top of a high changing table (that's when Will learned to roll over--onto the brick fire place). You run a yellow light with the kids in the car and almost get hit. You wake up in the middle of the night completely panicked, the memory of what almost happened making your heart race.
But let the toddler ride his scooter in the parking lot while you change a diaper? That's not a "I'll just be out of the room for five seconds" sort of thing. That's insane.
Oh, I should have said something. Would you have said something? Tell me what.
Back next week, and much more regularly, I hope!
Under the Speading Chestnut Tree
4 hours ago