A mom in Massachusetts who left her baby outside of a restaurant in a stroller while she dined inside was being investigated by the authorities on Monday. Her defense? She's Swedish. And guess what else? She is right.
In Scandinavia it's perfectly normal to leave your baby outside. While she wasn't in Sweden, she was in Amherst, Massachusetts, where, perhaps, we're the ones who need to adjust. The fact is, we parents in the US do tend to be the hover-y, overly concerned types. We would sooner wake a sleeping baby and drag him screaming into a restaurant than let him sleep outside. That is just our culture.
It's sad, really. I would never even think to leave my child outside anywhere, even in my own neighborhood. And the reason is fear.
Our culture is so full of fear that if I lose sight of my little blond son for three seconds out in public, panic sets in. Even if I see him on the fifth second, those two seconds in between feel like an eternity.
I am always waiting for the bogeyman to jump out of the bushes. If I could put my kids in a helmet and knee pads and not feel like a complete moron, you better believe I would.
A similar case won a Danish mom more than $60,000 in compensatory damages from New York City after she was arrested for leaving her baby daughter in a stroller on a New York City sidewalk to go inside a restaurant for a drink.
We US parents wouldn't dream of such a thing. In New York City no less! But realistically, our notions of the dangers are hyped up thanks to overactive imaginations and a 24-hour news cycle that seems to feature only the many horrors that befall children all over the country.
Our sense of danger is all out of whack in this culture, and we will see as the comments roll in just how. My bet is that 99 percent of you will see this mom as wrong. You will say you would never do it yourself. And you know what? I wouldn't either. But that doesn't mean she is wrong. We are. And it's sad.
Do you think this mom was wrong?