This post could easily be titled "Why I sometimes hate living in the city, Part two" but it's too serious and too disturbing to attach any jokes.
Last night while enjoying a sandwich at the corner coffee shop with some friends, a couple and their little girl came to the shop. The couple was distracted and loud. The little girl was about 2, but unusually small.
Over the course of the next 20 minutes or so, we witnessed some of the most disturbing parenting (and lack of parenting) behavior I have ever seen. We sat uncomfortably, joked about calling child services, and after reading this article this morning in the paper, I wish we had.
This is a partial list of what we witnessed. The mother was inside, the father on the phone, pacing back and forth with little or no regard to the girl. In the meantime, she was:
- Going up to my friend's dogs, poking them in the eye, holding their snouts, and pulling their tail. Even after my friends gently removed her hands she kept going back for more. Any other dogs and she would have been bitten.
- She was eating a bag of Spicy Pork Rinds. Which in my official capacity as the NUTRITION POLICE of the under 5 set - I can tell you is in-and-of-itself is bad enough, but at one point the father picked her up about 3 feet in the air, by one arm, (while she screamed in pain), said "Give ME one!," took a pork rind, and set her back down to resume his conversation on his bluetooth.
- She stole some guys keys, ran outside, threw them in the street and went running in the other direction.
- When the family finally sat down and she had their attention, they were yelling at her and threatening her.
I know that it is difficult to live with a 2 year old. I know that. I do not judge normal parents, or even parents that I do not agree with - because who am I to judge. This was different. This was scary. I was scared for her.
We talked as we walked away about how it was not too late to save her, but that it seemed like soon it would be. I pray for this little girl and her parents.