How would you feel if you saw a baby in a bar? What if people around them were drinking – heavily? A recent article that aggregated pictures like this sent Care.com Global Parenting Expert, Katie Bugbee on a rant. Do you agree?
But then it got bad.
And then it got worse.
This wasn’t funny at all. These parents were at bachelor parties and bars…WITH THEIR BABIES. They were getting dangerously wasted. They were getting lap dances. They were at the gym lifting a dangerous amount of weight – while wearing a Bjorn. It’s not funny at all. It makes me angry at these parents and incredibly sad for the children.
The most disturbing images were the ones of the kids in their jammies under a stripper pole – while the stripper is doing her thing above them, and a couple with the baby strapped to a carrier on the back of a bar stool – completely ignoring the child. (see #6 and 14, here) who could have been hurt or even worse, easily carried away by a stranger.
Now, some of these kids are way too young to ever remember these experiences. But that’s not the point. There is NO NEED for these children to be experiencing this. Stay home. Don’t bring your baby to a flipping bachelor party. Ask someone to babysit. And if you “didn’t know” strippers would be there – leave. Call someone to pick up your kid. Children aren’t an accessory you can tuck away in the corner. They are your children and you are their parent….that’s supposed to mean something.
That baby bonding with a bar stool? Somebody PLEASE call the police. Slings and baby wearing devices were not invented to hang your baby up like a coat on a coat rack. How can anyone neglect an infant like this and be so selfish?
Anyone remember that quote from 1989’s Parenthood when Keanu Reeves’ character says “You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they'll let any !*%#)$ a-hole be a father.” (Or mother, from these pictures.)
It’s true. Anyone can become a parent. But if we – and these little ones – can’t count on every parent to be more responsible, then I wonder: What’s our larger social responsibility? When and how should the rest of us step in or speak up? They say it takes a village, right? If you have been at this bar, this gym, this strip club, this party – what would you have done? Would you step in? Would you call the police? Or would you think it’s none of your business?
I know that no one likes when someone questions or judges their parenting style… I certainly don’t. But for me, there’s a huge difference between someone questioning why I may or may not pick my child up the instant she cries and these situations where the children are being neglected, are in danger, and are being exposed to things that some adults couldn’t handle. We need to do something. We all know to alert the authorities, even break a window if we see a child –or animal -- suffering in a hot, locked car. These kids are slowly suffering too.. I say, if you see something like this, call the police and don’t leave the child until they come. Get this child some help. If he or she can’t count on their parents, they should be able to count on the rest of us..
Tell me, what do you think should be done? And if you have seen a situation like one of the photos I described, what did you do?