Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do NOT make me pull this car over!

Before I begin yet another rant.....allow me to acknowledge that our sweet, sweet baby Trey had his 1st birthday on Tuesday. I have not blogged about it yet because I'm waiting until after his party to be able to post some pics and cute stories...or cute pics and stories....whatever.

Anyway, while playing some highly educational, thought provoking, using all the primary colors game with the kids, something on the Dr. Phil show caught my attention. A woman in New York was arrested after kicking her kids out of the car and driving off without them and then not being able to find one of them. Stop me if you've heard this one....oh wait, it's not a joke. It peaked my curiosity, so I googled it to see what I could find out. Well! Look out Loretta, but people had A LOT to say about this story!

Allow me to fill in some details.....the woman is a successful lawyer in New York. She lives in White Plains, which according to 725 articles is an affluent suburb. Her 2 girls (10 and 12) would not stop fighting with each other, so mom pulled over in their downtown area and told them to get out. They were 3.5 miles from home. The 12 year old took off after mom and eventually caught up with the car and so mom generously let her back in. Mom drove around the block to get the 10 year old, but she was gone from where she was left crying on the corner of 1st and My Mom Just Abandoned Me Avenue. A "Good Samaritan" had taken the girl to get ice cream, then to a police car cruising the mean streets of White Plains. The mom, not knowing about the ice cream and cops, went home, picked up her husband and father, then went back to the area to look some more. Finally, after returning home, she called the police to report the girl missing. The police told her that the girl was with them and was safe if not a little bloated from all the free ice cream freely given by strangers. When mom arrived to pick her up, she was immediately arrested and charged with child endangerment.

I fully expected every message board to be jammed with outrage at this mother.....How could she do this to her children? What if something had happened to her baby? What about the trauma? But you know what? Almost every message was supportive of the mom....huh.

Some of the opinions were....At 10 and 12 years old they totally should be able to walk the 3.5 miles home. Good for the mom for following through on a threat. I remember when I was kicked out of the car as a kid and I found my way home. The 12 year old should be punished for leaving the 10 year old behind. If the mom gets punished, those girls will think they can get away with anything by threatening to call the cops. Kids have too much power these days. We've all thought about kicking the kids out and if you say you haven't then you're a liar. The 10 year old wasn't crying because she was scared, but because mom followed through.

Some leaned towards...I would have kicked them out, but would have parked to wait out the drama. I would have made them walk home, but follow them the whole way. I would train my kids to know the way home. I would have parked and gotten out myself to cool off.

Every one agreed that the mom should NOT be charged, but maybe (just maybe) could benefit from some parenting classes. A judge DID drop the charges, but mom has to stay out of trouble for 6 months...or else!

So, what would you do?

It's hard for me to imagine since my kids aren't that old, yet. I thought back to when I was 10...ahhhh the glory days. We (my brother and I) were allowed to, or more accurately never told not to, walk wherever we wanted. However, it needs to be considered that other activities never approved or disapproved of included setting fire to stuff, disassembling appliances, and throwing rocks at the window above the garage. So, that's not really a good guage.

In my heart of hearts, I have to believe that I would never kick my kids out of the car in anger (or happiness either). I think it would be different if the girls had asked to walk home and mom knew they could handle it. But clearly they were scared or else why would the 12 year old chase down the car, or the 10 year cry and go along with a stranger?! Praise the lord that it was a "good Samaritan" that stopped to help. All the pedophiles must have been at the mall...


Rebecca said...

Oh, Rachel...

you do like to make us think, don't you?

I for one, know I lean more towards the teenagers have way too much control these days (and let's remember, I have two almost teenage step-daughters).

However, I think dangers lurk even in an affluent town and I'm wouldn't think of dropping H and A (who are the same ages as the girls in the story) off anywhere to walk home.

Not that I haven't felt like it, mind you.

I don't think what that mom did was criminal so much, but certainly not in the best light of judgement either.

I'm neither going to support her or ridicule her. Goodness knows I've made mistakes in parenting...

I'm pretty sure Noah will be the one to one day make the long walk home...

Ha, I jest.

As for the pedophiles being at the mall...I'm not sure what to say!

Crafty P said...

I would have pulled the car over and told them to get out. that's the kind of mom I am. I wouldn't have driven home picked up my husband and gone back to look again. I wouldn't have driven off at all. But, I would have followed through with the threat, made them consider there actions and then followed all of that with a good ol family meetin' at home, also followed by some good ol time punishments.

strange story.

I totally can put myself in that mother's shoes, though.

Crafty P said...

of course I meant "their actions", not that there.

Courtney said...

I probably would drop mine off, and forget I had them in the first place....guess that's why I don't have kids yet! ;)

But seriously- my best friend has the most hilarious story like this. Her mom was very prone to getting agry with my friend and her sister (and me if I was joining in the fun!) and one time had enough. She yelled "Meredith, get out of the car! Get OUT, of the CAR!" So Meredith did. I guess her mom hadn't really thought about the next step, so she immediately screamed "Meredith, get back in the car! Get BACK in the CAR!". Meredith just stood there..."You told me to get out?" We thought it was absolutely hilarious of course. Crazy mom loses her mind, but I'm sure her mom didn't find it quite as funny. I bet more women can relate with these stories than we realize!

melodyofamom said...

Hi! I stumbled upon your blog through another blog...same way it usually happens, I guess. Anyway, to answer your "what would you do?" I have to say I am on the fence. On one hand, I think the mom chose a pretty smart way to teach her children that she meant business about "no fighting in the car." On the other hand, this is a dangerous world, and while in rural Arkansas the kids might have made their way home with no problems, in busy New York that is not necessarily the case. I guess when it comes down to it, I would have acted similarly but I would have only let the kids out at a shorter distance, as in maybe a half mile from home. And only if we were living in a safe area.