CAVEAT: I am NOT a parent. I do NOT have children. I am an aunt and a godmother, but I, myself, have no children under my 24 hour care. I know parents do what they have to do, and compromises have to be made. I get it. My mother reminds me that she had three children in less than six years and that was a lot for her. I know there are parents who are just doing the best they can. This post isn’t about those types of parents. This is about two people who were careless, and thank the Gods nothing bad happened. So here goes…
I wish I were making this up, but I’m not.
So the parents of the demon spawn upstairs really do take the Parents of the Year award today.
Hubs and I were going to our car and we see demon’s dad’s car with the two back doors open. We walk past and both the demon and his infant sibling are strapped into their car seats, looking clueless.
I waved to the demon, and he scowled at me, which is a shame, because he really is a beautiful child. He takes after his mother, who is also stunning, but I digress.
So I look around and see neither their mother nor father anywhere. Not anywhere in the parking lot. Not near the mailboxes. Not near the dumpster taking out the trash. No. Where. In. Sight. Where the Hell are they? It got me worried.
Instinctively, I stop at their car. I don’t have a maternal instinct, but SOMETHING in me kicked in to watch over these kids. I mean they were literally just there…hanging out…with no parental supervision whatsoever…A toddler and an infant. It was like the beginning of a children’s caper if they could just get out of their car seats.
Anyway, so Hubs walked to our car (two or three spaces down from theirs) and opened it up. He called, “C’mon” to me, but I was thinking, “Do you NOT see the demon and his sibling in this car alone?” He said, “There’s nothing you can do about it.”
Sadly, he’s right…There IS nothing I can do about it. I’m not a mom. I’m not THEIR mom. And, after several conversations with BFF (who IS a mom), I am told that interacting with a stranger’s children could seriously freak out the parents, and with good reason.
Yes, I’m their neighbor, and they’ve known of me for a few years, but I’m not a friend or even an acquaintance of theirs…And I DO refer to their eldest child as the spawn of Satan. We exchange a head nod or a “Hey” when we see each other in the parking lot, or by the mailboxes, but nothing more than that.
So I went to our car and got in. Hubs had already started it up and had the AC blasting. I was anxious. I STILL didn’t see the parents, but I thought, maybe they just got into the car and was going to back out of the spot any minute.
It felt like an eternity, but it really was only about two or three minutes, when we saw both parents walk past our car (and subsequently their own car with their children left in it) both carrying furniture. He was carrying a rattan chair, and she was carrying what looked to be the cushions for said chair.
They were walking away from their children, toward the dumpster. I opened my mouth to sputter out that I was going to say something to them about leaving their children abandoned in the condo parking lot, strapped into their car seats because they couldn’t have the sense to have one parent make two trips, once for the cushions, and once for the base. But before the air passed my vocal chords to make audible noise, hubs pulled out of our parking space and drove away.
I managed to get, “Dafuq!” out, to which he replied, “They’re not your kids.”
He’s right. He’s absolutely right. I did not birth those children, Hell, I don’t even LIKE them. I yell at my ceiling time and again when the demon is stomping around at all hours of the night. I hear the infant wailing as it’s likely teething. And, as BFF has drilled into me, people don’t want other people to give them parental advice. All those things are 100% valid.
BUT…In. My. Gut. I know that what they did was wrong.
If we lived in a society where it was okay to talk to a parent about their unruly, disrespectful, or undisciplined child (the father admitted that the reason why Hubs found his gold Amex outside, on the ground, next to the AC compressor, was because demon’s latest thing is to steal stuff and throw it out the window), I would have said something ages ago.
If we lived in a society where a stranger could tell someone that what they’re doing to their child is wrong, I would straight up say something.
But we don’t. The idea of “it takes a village” no longer applies, as we’ve become so isolated and insulated…in our own little worlds with little knowledge or care for the periphery, unless it directly impacts us.
If I were a sicko, I could have made off with one, if not both of those children before their parents were able to stop me. If I were a sicko, I could have said, “Hey, little boy…want some candy?” and poisoned that angelic looking boy. If I were a sicko, I could have done any number of horrendous things. But I’m not.
But if watching the news on any given day will show you, there ARE sick people out there, and I have to wonder if it’s worth the tongue lashing from a parent to say, “You need to keep an eye on your kids!” Because, some day, they may use their car and car seats as a babysitter again, and it may not turn out as well as it did. Some day, someone who ISN’T looking out for the welfare of those kids may stroll by. Then what?
Be safe, all. Be good to each other. And look out for each other. Peace.