January 31, 2011

MYOB

          Saturday was a beautiful day, so we packed up and took SB to the zoo. While we were enjoying lunch at an outdoor dining area, a little girl was playing in her chair and it tipped over, taking her face first into the pavement. I didn't see her go down; I heard the thump of impact. Upon realizing what had happened, I jumped to my feet.
          While her dad tried to comfort her (mom was in the restroom), I attempted to assess her injuries. No one had actually seen how hard she hit, but her top and bottom lips were split open and bleeding, and the lower part of her face was swelling rapidly. I gave the dad our unused napkins and ran inside to get a bag of ice from the concession stand.
          Long story short, she was OK. Members of the zoo staff trained in first aid tended to her, and her family headed off to get some ice cream. They thanked me profusely for my help. Another family took their place at the table, and within minutes both the kids were playing in the chairs.
          It was clear to me the chairs were back heavy and not at all stable (something I hope the zoo will address). I went over to let the parents know what had happened. If looks could kill, I would have died right then and there. The mother glared at me. She didn't say anything, but had her mouth opened, nothing appropriate for any of our children to hear would have come out.
          I returned to our table and we ate our food. Not only did the kids continue playing in the chairs, one was standing on them and jumping back and forth between chairs. My husband was furious with the other mom. He could not understand her reaction. I shrugged it off and explained she must have felt I stepped in where I didn't belong.
          I normally do mind my own business, but when a child's safety is at risk, I feel obligated to say something. What about you? Do you think you would have stepped in? Or do you focus on your own children's safety and assume other parents will do the same? Is there a line, and if so where does it exist? I'm really interested to know your thoughts...
 
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