At the playground today I experienced another gem of a story.
The park was full of kids, mostly Jewish and the benches were full of Jewish mommies chatting each other up. The moms that weren't sitting were walking around observing their kids, making sure everything is okay. At least some of them were. I was walking around the gated swing area with my child when I noticed a little barefoot boy in pajamas (!) who couldn't have been older than 1, in a bit of a predicament.
His head was stuck between the bars gating the swing area. It was too big to go in either direction, oh, and he was crying his eyes out.
I immediately ran up to him and tried to help him get free. He was clearly stuck. About 30 seconds later a boy (who was about 7 years old) claiming to be his brother, runs over and tries to help the child out while calling for his mother. After a few careful maneuvers we helped the child out. Then mom shows up, thanking me for my help. I reciprocated with a you're welcome and walked off.
What was this baby doing alone? How much time was he away from his mother that he got tangled up in the bars? While her baby was in trouble, mom was, you guessed it, on the phone...on the other side of the playground. Yeah.
What could possibly have been so important that she could just leave her baby on the floor and walk away? Oh, maybe she left the baby with the older kid. As if that's okay. Is there really an excuse in the world that could justify leaving a baby to reach that kind of situation? Not that I can think of.
I know some of you are thinking. Why are you so hard on mom? So she spaced out a bit and her kid got caught in the fence. You know how fast these things can happen. Chill out. Well, one wrong turn and that baby would've seriously injured his neck, which could ultimately lead to paralysis. Not something I could chill out about. If a parent has to choose between being neurotically overprotective about her baby, or incredibly lax and neglectful, choosing the latter clearly says something about their parenting abilities.