There are good moms, bad moms, and then moms who force their 4-year-olds to chug beer on the playground in front of a crowd and have 10-month-old daughters who are not breastfed but still manage to test positive for cocaine. The third kind deserves her own category, no?
This is a true story and happened in Connecticut this week. The mom, Juliette Dunn, said her son loves beer and she joked on the playground that he is already an alcoholic. Meanwhile she has "no idea" why her 10-month-old tested positive for cocaine, especially since she isn't breastfed.
This story is so wrong and despicable in so many ways, but perhaps most idiotic of all was that this woman felt the need to do all this in public. Did she really think no one would report her? Playground mommies report people for Twinkies. I am pretty sure the only reason any mom goes to the playground is to watch other moms and feel superior. And in this case, those mommies got it right.
There are times the whole "it takes a village" concept goes too far, like when one parent "helpfully" suggests to another that their snack is too sugary or when they look your child up and down and shake their head slowly, as though horrified by what they have seen.
Those are the times we want to say, "Shut up and mind your business!" But then there are also times when such conscientiousness saves us. Living in a city, sometimes it's easy to just ignore everything around you.
If I see two people fighting, I stay out of it. I tend to think everyone needs to stay out of everyone else's way, and if someone seems insane, I especially want to stay away. But one mom at the park flagged down a police officer. As the police approached the woman, they saw an empty 40-ounce bottle of Steel Reserve beer on the ground beside the boy and she had used it to fill the boy's baby bottle (and yes, 4 years old is too old to use a bottle, but that is beside the point).
According to police, the boy told a social worker he likes "Natural Ice beer, Budweiser beer, but didn't like the taste of Dog-Bite beer." In this case, the good samaritan who intervened was clearly in the right and probably saved these poor children from pretty dismal futures.
But it's hard to know when to intervene. This was such a clear case of right and wrong, but honestly, I am not sure I would have reported it. I am not sure I would trust what I was seeing. After all, how insane does one have to be to give beer to a preschooler in a public park? It seems almost impossible.
Would you have reported it?
Image via Tim Pearce, Los Gatos/Flickr