Parents of disabled children have to make many adjustments to their lives, and some of those are to do with ideas of what is acceptable with children and what is not. Leaving a child alone in a car is completely unacceptable behavior to much of America, and probably much of Britian, where I live.
I asked people to look at the context – and perhaps show compassion rather than judgement, in a post on BabyCenter.
But, of course, I failed in this endeavor! Some people told me I shouldn’t take her out at all or wait until there was someone else around to assist me.
Maybe I was too abrasive, or maybe it is just that too many people believe that crime is going up, instead of down – as it is. In the whole of America, there are only just over 100 violent abductions of children by strangers every year. Out of 800,000 missing children, half are runaways. And, most of the others are done by either family members or friends and acquaintances.
Here’s part of the post. What’s your take on it?
I left my baby alone in the car today. And, I may do it again tomorrow.
I did it for all the right reasons, though you wouldn’t know those reasons if you happened upon him. Before you hear them – do you think I deserve to be called “Neglectful, Ignorant, Stupid, Dangerous, Idiotic, Selfish…”?
My son is a year and a half and I also have a daughter, May, who is a toddler. If I have to run in for something, I’ll frequently run in only with him. Not because I’m lazy, but because driving in the car sends May to sleep and waking her up suddenly can cause her to have a seizure. What’s more dangerous: a seizure or five minutes sleeping in a locked car?
May is severely disabled. We live in the city, two floors up. Every time I leave or return to the house, I can only carry one at a time. When we return, I could lead my son by the hand while I carry May upstairs. But, he is a squirmy little thing and May can not grip me. There is a strong possibility he will escape and run headlong into traffic. What’s more dangerous: him escaping or five minutes waiting in a locked car?
I wouldn’t advocate leaving babies in cars and, like all parents, I can’t help but judge sometimes. But, to hurl abuse at a stranger, over a situation where I don’t have all the facts? I can’t understand that.
Parents juggle a minefield of choices every day. Sometimes we make the wrong one. Who among us has not justified a bad decision to themselves?
Perhaps ridiculing the mistakes of others is a process whereby we weigh up our own parenting mishaps. Or – and here is a controversial thought – maybe other people really are better parents than I am.
Where do you stand?