Gretchen KinnearJust when you think people can't possibly be any more irresponsible or any less equipped to be parents, along comes this mom from South Carolina who was seen knocking back beers with her toddler son. Not just in the privacy of her own home, which would have been bad enough, but in a bar out in public, like it was no big deal.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Gretchen Lynn Kinnear, 44, headed out to McHale's Irish Pub Saturday night in Fort Mill, South Carolina, with her 4-year-old son in tow. Witnesses say they say saw her giving "shots of beer to the boy." The manager and a waitress reportedly asked her to stop, and if she had, it might have all ended there.
Only she didn't stop!
According to the paper, she gave him about three more shots. Police were called, and she admitted she had given the boy some. She also told them she'd given him beer in the bar a couple of other times. The boy told officers she gave him "tea" that "tasted funny and made him dizzy and laugh a lot" and that sometimes she gave it to him at home. She backed that up and said she gives him wine while she drinks it at home, but NOT to get him drunk or keep him quiet. No reason for why she does give it to him was given, and I can't think of a single one that would be justifiable.
Can you say messed up? In so many ways, not the least of which because it sounds like she saw nothing wrong with what she was doing.
When it comes to older kids, I think there's an argument to be made for letting them have a tiny sip of wine at a holiday dinner or something like that in the privacy of your own home. But to give a toddler alcohol any time, especially on a regular basis and out in public, is dangerous and downright criminal. She's currently in jail, and the boy, thankfully, has been placed in the care of his babysitters.
As much as I want to berate this woman, however, my overwhelming reaction is sadness not anger. It's heartbreaking to think of all of the children out there like this little boy, whose parents really aren't up to the job of raising them whether because of addictions, mental issues, or just plain selfishness and stupidity. At least in this case, she got caught. Hopefully, she'll get the help she needs, and he will too. Too many others do not.
Do you ever give your kids alcohol? Even sips?