Thursday, December 02, 2010

And the nominees for worst parents of the year are...

Anyone see NBC's Today Show this morning?

Meredith Vieira interviewed a couple whose son nearly drown in a bathtub about 10 months ago. The mom had been giving the toddler a bath... turned away for a few seconds... got distracted... and when she came back the baby was underwater. In fact, he was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital, but amazingly, doctors were able to revive him. After spending several weeks in a coma, the toddler recovered.

The "hook" of the story was supposed to be that, after making this miraculous recovery, the toddler is now taking swimming lessons. (First of all, you have to ask yourself how would NBC even know that a 2-year-old in Utah is taking swim lessons, but I digress...) Things don't always work out according to plan.

Halfway through the interview, the child became increasingly squirmy and demanded repeatedly to "put me down". Anyone with a kid knows how annoying this is. Yes, there is a huge temptation to put your kid down just to get him or her to shut up. And yes, many people do actually give in to this temptation (yours truly included). But here's where most of us differ. We don't stop being parents. These people did. They were so wrapped up in being interviewed on national TV that they let their 2-year-old wander unchecked around the set. First he stumbled off the riser that the couch and chairs were on. Then he hovered around a camera. Sure, he was cute looking at himself in the return. But the camera is heavy, it gets hot, it moves without warning and it is full of metal edges - never mind costing several hundred thousand dollars. That's not cute. Then the boy wandered back around the chairs and, despite the not-so-off-camera efforts of some staffer to safely corral the toddler, he stood up on the arm of a chair and fell back onto the couch.

Suddenly, it became painfully clear that this mom didn't just make a mistake. She and her husband are simply negligent. Worse still, they did not learn anything from the first time their son died!!! How sad for them - and how frightening for the little boy.

Shame on NBC for not interviewing the toddler's doctors - the real heroes of this real-life drama - rather than these hapless, attention seeking parents. And where's the Dept. of Children and Family Services when you need them anyway?

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