It takes a spot of courage to stand up tall and a bit of derring-do to rise when you fall

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Stores And Shopping And Stupid Parents

I ventured out last night and again today to Christmas shop. I figured that maybe I should start, what with Christmas Day looming large and all. And I have to say that it was a completely unstressful experience. By some stroke of luck, I was always able to find a parking place after a minimal amount of time looking. I never waited for more than five to ten minutes in a line (I'm adding the ten minutes in case I forgot a line, but I really can't remember waiting even that long). No one was rude or obnoxious or overbearing.

I only have a few small items left and the places I need to go are a breeze. Overall, a much better experience than I'd anticipated.

I did see something today, however, that made me a little crazy. At the very end of my shopping excursion, I made a quick stop at 7-11 for a Diet Coke (super big gulp, to be precise). Just covering the necessities. When I came back out, there was a car parked next to me, still running, with three small children in it. One child was asleep in a car seat--perhaps two years-old. Another child was maybe four or five and then the oldest one looked to be maybe seven. There they sat while Dad went inside---not only with the doors of the car unlocked but with the car running. I couldn't believe it. Do people not realize how incredibly quickly the most precious things on earth to them could be gone? Do they not realize how fast a car-nabber is in the car and gone? Why are people so completely sure that it's never going to happen to them? Things like that just drive me nuts----that, and seeing people driving down the road with their two- or three-year-old bee-bopping around the car, not in a car seat. In the event of an accident, where do you suppose that little free-floating missile is going to be? And since accidents aren't planned events---hence the name---how is it possible to know when it's a "safe" time to not be in a car seat and when it isn't? Are there brains in these people's heads or just dank, empty space--fluffy, cotton-like filler? It really makes me wonder.

So.....a handful of shopping experience, mixed thoroughly with bouts of rain, and a last-minute dash of bearing witness to unworth-it risktaking. All in a day's work.


Blogger Thomas said...

I just love not being a stupid parent. Though I also hope I am not a stupid single person.

7:32 PM, December 18, 2005

Blogger heatherfeather said...

ugh! (to the post, not to thomas)

i still haven't done a lick of christmas shopping - well, not true, i've sent the SOB his xmas gifty already.

8:05 PM, December 18, 2005

Blogger DDM said...

Ugh. We live on an Indian Reservation. There is no seatbelt law here. I can't count the number of times I've followed a car off the rez, into town that had three or four little people bopping around in the cargo area. Makes. Me. Nuts. My husband is a firefighter/EMT out here, and he can tell you exactly what happens to those little projectile missiles when an accident happens. He's been through post traumatic stress counseling to deal with it.

8:07 PM, December 18, 2005

Blogger jay are said...

I can imagine it would be horrifying to witness the after-effects. Doesn't seem like rocket science but some people don't seem to get it....
and thomas, a sure way to not be a stupid parent is when you're NOT a parent. perfect. Can't help you with the not-being-a-stupid-single person, tho. hmmm.
have you sent my gift, h-f?? :)

8:12 PM, December 18, 2005

Blogger Kylee said...

Wow...I don't get how some people just dont think. Sure there are times I don't want to get my son out of the car so that I can make just a quick stop..but my alternative is just not to stop. Not leave him in the car with the car running and wide open...its like saying "HI come take my kids" Sad..

Way to go on the shopping!!!

8:21 PM, December 18, 2005

Blogger Crystal said...

you should have jumped in the car and took off just to teach that parent a lesson.

then again, i have hung out with 3 kids under the age of 7 before. maybe he did it on purpose.

10:20 AM, December 19, 2005

Blogger Michelle said...

Don't feel alone, Oz has its fair share of moronic parents that have no clue too. Infact, so much so, we've started prosecuting parents who do such things. The temperatures here can be so extreme (it was 110 here on the weekend) and parents have been known to leave their kids in the car to pop into the casino for a few minutes!! Or, into a shopping mall. Crazy.

3:08 PM, December 19, 2005

Blogger Left Coast Sister said...

Yikes about the kids. Makes you want to run in the store screaming "There's a car full of kids out there!!"

4:05 PM, December 19, 2005

Blogger unca said...

My parents used to leave the car running with us kids in it all the time. I remember when they returned to the car and we were all still there they looked kind of disappointed.

5:47 PM, December 20, 2005

Blogger michaela said...

just the thought of that makes me angry.

7:44 AM, December 21, 2005

Blogger unca said...

OK, for the record, I would never leave my kids in the car with the motor running and the doors open -- not good thing to do - dumb.
However, also for the record, the main danger is that one of the younger kids will jump out of the car and get hit by someone in the parking lot. The danger of someone at that very moment deciding to steal the car with the kids in it is miniscule (probably about one in a million). So yes, it's dumb but despite our perceptions of abductions and our worst nightmares, it's probably not a matter of impending doom.

9:40 AM, December 21, 2005

Blogger jay are said...

well, unca, I believe you're most likely right. I'm sure it's a tiny likelihood but it just seems so scary to take the chance. Because one in a million DOES happen!

12:22 PM, December 21, 2005

Blogger mamacita said...

Good post, Jay Are. Actually, I remember sitting in a running car as Unca said. Actually I think Unca and I were sitting there together! (solve that one folks). Remember that this was 50 years ago and there were fewer weirdos around and any sane person wouldn't be dumb enoush to take on 6 kids no matter how good looking we were. Seems it was tempting to try to drive the car thnough. Except Dad was so strict about such things we didn't know where the brake, clutch or accelerator were. I too remember the look of disappontment when they returned to find us all still there (just kidding, Michaela). But in this case, the world having gone mad, Jay Are, it was REALLY dumb, and I think if a policeman had seen it he would have waited around till the parent reappeared. That's All Folks!

1:05 AM, January 03, 2006


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