Airport screening officials must have had the shock of their lives when they sent a mother's handbag through the x-ray machine the other day. The scanner showed a 5-month-old baby boy! Let me repeat this so it will sink in: someone actually thought it was a good idea to put an infant in a purse and send him through airport scanners.
Folks, Paris Hilton carries her dog in a handbag. You do NOT, under any circumstances, put a baby in one! And yet, that's what airport officials say an Egyptian man and his wife did in order to smuggle their baby.
I've been wracking my brain, trying to summon some sympathy for these people, trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, but it's not working out well.
The parents are now in deep trouble in the United Arab Emirates, where they were first stopped by airport officials because their baby didn't have any official documents. According to police, the couple allegedly waited for a shift change, stashed their poor child in the bag, and tried to get into the country once again, apparently thinking that no one would notice the living, breathing human being inside mom's purse.
Stuffing him in a handbag is, of course, the worst part of all of this -- I don't even want to think about what could have happened to the poor little guy. But the fact is, if all of this is true, they've treated this baby like a non-human from the get-go. The mere fact that they tried to fly him into the country without the proper paperwork means they were treating him more like a piece of luggage than a child. Here in America most moms apply for a birth certificate and a Social Security card before we even leave the hospital! And they did nothing?
Parents shouldn't have to be reminded that a baby is just as important as someone who can speak for themselves, but every day we see those parents-to-be who think that they will be able to live their lives exactly as they did before the birth. Let this be your big, fat wake-up call: that baby is a human being, with wants and needs. You can't just stuff them in your purse when they get annoying.
What do you make of this whole baby smuggling scandal?
Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr