Thursday, October 22, 2009

Left home alone

My sister lives in the suburbs of Memphis and brought a recent news article to my attention. A mother of two toddlers, ages 2 and 3, left the children at home alone while she and her aunt "ran errands." The house caught on fire killing one child and leaving the younger in critical condition.

The fact that the aunt seemed more worried about the condition of her purse and public assistance card than the children only added to public disgust. As I watched the woman speak on camera, I wondered if she was mentally unstable or was drunk. Yet, she was too coherent to be inebriated.
I then turned my thoughts to my own 26-month-old granddaughter. I called my daughter to share the report. Incredulous, she said, "Why did they BOTH have to go ... no wait ... they were going to score drugs!" Her answer fits perfectly. It explains why the aunt is so disconnected, why they wouldn't take the kids, and why they'd reason away risks. My daughter went on to conclude that the children probably got hungry and tried to cook food.
This is complete supposition, and hopefully, the facts will come out. Public outcry lambastes the district attorney for not filing charges. I can only hope he is trying to assemble a strong and tight case against the women so that they have no chance of being dismissed on a technicality.
A myriad of books give child rearing advice, but none offer technical guidance. If you lack common sense and need a manual to raise children, then 1) don't have them, and 2) at least look at the law books. In North Carolina, it is illegal to leave children under the age of 12 unattended. I'm sure other states have similar laws, reinforcing the fact that baaaaaad parents are everywhere.

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