3/23/15

Parenting Fail . . .

I have said many times that I will never give parenting advice (unless directly solicited) and I think that people who just dole out parenting advice (staring, angrily at you - "Mommy Blogger") as though you have the right are the worst sort of parent (because they don't get how individual every kid, every parent, and every family is) but I've come to realize that I have, as a parent, been an absolute FAILURE as a parent in one very important aspect of my life . . . I have never, ever, ever just "checked" on my daughter when I go to bed.

What am I talking about? Be warned - it is something between neglect, asking for a crime to be committed, and glib arrogance and you might also be guilty of it.

Here we go (I can trust you, right? You're not going to call Child Protective Services are you? Tell me now if you are . . . ). I have never felt the need to ensure that my 8.66 year old child, in her approximately 3,160 nights of life, was where I left her when I put her to bed.

Why does this suddenly seem like a a "thing"? Simple. Pop Culture. Special Lady Friend and i have recently (I say "recently" like this has not been going on since Netflix came in to my life) been binge watching shows about horrible crimes against children and it seems that alllllll the kids of the world would be fine if ONLY their parents were less trusting of the safe confines of a child's bedroom at night.

Don't believe me? Where's Rosie on The Killing? What happened to Danny in season one of Broadchurch? What happened to Tom on Secrets and Lies? Sure, sure. Sean was kidnapped from a Science Fair in Ransom and let's assume that 84% (I am making that number up) of all real kidnappings happen (tragic as they are - let's be clear about the jovial nature of this post vs. the real horror of a child taken) anywhere BUT the kid's bedroom. That is NOT what pop culture wants you to believe. They want you to think that the best way to lose a child to horrible "next" is to let them sleep in their rooms without checking in at bed time.

If this makes me a bad parent - I'm fine with that. My kid is a light sleeper and I chose to believe we would hear any compromise of her room and I believe her mother would hear the same at her place. I, more over, chose to not live in a world where I have to check on my sleeping child to get a restful sleep.

The ONLY time I can think of where I went "Man - those are some sh*t parents" for how they handled their sleeping child is the horribly tragic (and probably never to be solved) case of little Madeline McCann. In that case a British family was on "holiday" in Portugal and the parents (not just Madeleine's but other family members and friends on the group vacation) left their children sleeping at 8:30 PM to go to dinner at a restaurant about half a football field away. They returned at 10:20 PM to find her gone (all the other children were exactly where they were left - slumbering). The parents were believed to be suspects but were never charged and there were other suspects that were never formally charged either. I could argue they are horrible parents but a) I don't judge and b) I don't know if I would not have done the same thing (my gut instinct is "no" but - they are European and the resort was pretty secluded and yadda, yadda, yadda). I would like to think their own torture and lack of answers is enough to make them know to never do it again and - frankly - it is enough that I won't leave the house with my kid sleeping alone.

Would I run to the hotel lobby with the door locked behind me? Yep. I have done that. She was fine and still sound asleep upon my return. Judge allll you want, Mommy Bloggers.