I am very much a believer in the notion of see something, say something. And especially when it involves a child being hurt or mistreated. But apparently some people take that sense of responsibility to a ridiculous extreme. When Paula Andrew took her 9-month-old daughter Maddy for a walk this winter, a passerby called the police on her. You won't believe why.
This "good Samaritan" reportedly said that that Paula was exposing the baby to the cold. She didn't feel Maddy was adequately bundled up. Paula says they had not been outside for more than 10 minutes when the police rolled up and said there was a claim that the child was cold. The mother insisted that Maddy -- who was wearing woolly tights, leggings, an all-in-one vest, and a fleece top -- was adequately covered up in the 44-degree weather and wasn't cold.
Still, two officers questioned the mom, who refused to give them her name. "I explained that she was fine and Maddy certainly looked fine," she said to the Daily Mail. "I told them that we came out to the prom all the time to play. I am not convinced police should be harassing mums playing with their babies."
This was a serious waste of the police officers' time. They have real crimes to stop and investigate. But let's assign blame where it's due. It's that busybody who called the police that overreacted. She may have disagreed with the way the child was dressed, but no crime was being committed here.
This was a ridiculous situation. These kind of people make it so hard for new moms -- always butting in and giving their opinion when it’s really none of their business. I remember once a woman stopping me as I pushed my son’s carriage. It had gotten chilly -- much more so than it had been when we left home hours earlier. She curtly said, "You should really have a blanket for him. His mother wouldn’t like this." There were two problems there -- one, she thought I was the nanny, and two, she had no business butting in. In fact, I was rushing home because of the temp drop but she assumed the worse.
That's not to say you can't have an opinion or even be judgmental about other moms. That's going to happen whether we like it or not. But I only ask that you think before you speak and certainly before you act.
Have you ever called the police on a "bad" parent?
Image via Pauline St. Denis/Corbis