Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oh no, not again!

I live on a pretty busy road, about 5 houses up a small incline from a major intersection with an even busier road. Across from my house is a little road that leads into a maze of little post-World War II era homes.

This morning, I had to pick up my cousin who lives in the subdivision across the street to do some stuff. As I was pulling out of my driveway, I noticed a toddler on a plastic tricycle, pushing himself along the sidewalk of that street across the way. While I was waiting for traffic to clear so I could pull out, I watched him turn the corner, still on the sidewalk, but onto my very busy road. I look around and there was not an adult in sight. This kid could not have been more than 2, and he's pushing himself down the hill toward a major intersection, binky firmly in mouth. It didn't even look like he could reach the pedals.

I throw the car in park and run across the street, down the hill after him yelling, "little boy, little boy, hey you on the big wheel, STOP!". I caught up with him just around the time he stopped and looked around at me, about 30 feet before the intersection. "Hey, buddy, where's your momma?" He just stares at me with his big brown eyes, binky still firmly in mouth. "I know you're not supposed to talk to strangers, so it's okay not to talk to me, but let's turn around and go back up the hill and find your momma, okay?" He starts pushing himself backward, then turns it around and we start going up the hill, together. I tell him again, "I know I'm a stranger, but you're on a very busy road and you could get big boo-boos. We need to find your momma." How creepy does that sound? Add that I wanted to show him a puppy and feed him some candy and I could have just stolen him. Luckily for him, I don't like children.

Right after we turn around, I see a couple walking toward me, but it turns out they are not his parents. We keep going up the hill with me telling him he's doing a good job, trying to help him steer, pushing him up the hill and taking over the handlebars where I have to because he keeps trying to go off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic, until we get to the corner across from my driveway.

I look around and see a lady down that side road and across the street and yell to her asking if the kid is hers. Nope, not hers either. As I'm leaning over the kid and asking him if he knows which house is his, does he know where his momma is, my next door neighbor yells, "there she is!".

There is a lady walking up from the intersection, she looks vaguely familiar, but I can't place her, and she's way too old to be the kid's mother. She's saying something that doesn't make sense about going the wrong way when she was looking for him and had to go around the block. All I heard was yada-yada-yada. I said, "Sorry if I stepped on your toes, but he was headed down the hill toward the intersection". She says, "Did he put his brakes on?". I was flabbergasted. "Uh, no, he was pushing himself, not pedaling." Do those things even have brakes?

She gets to the kid and smacks him on the arm. "Bad boy, DANGER!" She pulls the kid off the bike, swats his rear-end and tells him he's walking home. "Bad boy, do you know how much trouble you are in?" I'm watching this with my jaw dropped open in disbelief. She finally turns and thanks me, but I could not reply.

I'm thinking, "you stupid cunt, why were YOU not keeping a better eye on him? You didn't even know which way out of the driveway he had gone! He could have gotten run over or stolen!". I have never been the kind of person to interfere with how other people want to raise their children. To some people that might seem wimpy, but I also don't go out of my way to poke bears with a stick. Especially when the bear already seems a little crazy. I wanted to punch her in the face, quite honestly, and I am not a physically violent person. Oh, sure, I get the impulses, but I don't act upon them.

It didn't help that the kid kept staring at ME with those big brown eyes while this was going on, like "I thought you told me we were going to find my momma?". Even when I crossed the road and got in my car, I looked over and the kid was still staring at me. He never cried, he never uttered a sound during all of that. All I could do was wave to him, and drive away. Because what I really wanted to do was swoop that baby into my arms and bring him to my house and feed him chocolate milk and sugar cookies until his momma really did come get him. And maybe get him a kitten. Again, it's a good thing I don't act purely on my impulses.

I was still shaking when I got to my cousin's house. She was kind enough to hug me and tell me I had done the right thing, and that she probably
would have punched the lady in the face. She and I did stuff for the next couple of hours, and I eventually stopped thinking about it.

After dropping my cousin off, the quickest way home is to go down the street I mentioned earlier across from my house. As I always do when passing by the house that I almost stole the cat from, I looked over to see if the cat was in the yard. Holy Mother of God, it was the same lady! That was why she looked so familiar. I almost stole her cat last year, I almost stole her grandson this year.

One of these days she is going to call the cops on me. And I don't know how I'm going to defend myself.


Saffyrre said...

As a mother of a 4 yr old, that post scared the crap outta me! Thank goodness you were there to help that boy or that grandmother might not have a grandson anymore!

There's a house in my alley that has about 6 kids, not sure if they are all related. There are 2 boys that are out in the alley almost every single day that are no older than 4 and 6. Never once have I seen an adult with them. Only thing is that they've decided that putting "Slow, Children at Play" signs on their fence is effective parenting. I couldn't fathom leaving my girl out to play unattended.

I just don't get people, I really don't!

Really liking your blog, tho!! And good job today, really!

foolery said...

Holy cow, Miss Fancy, that just breaks your heart, doesn't it? I'm an overprotective parent who has an iron grip on each daughter's hand in any parking lot (and I do mean an IRON GRIP) because of how fast people drive in parking lots. I cannot imagine being that cavalier about a child who'd gotten that far away. She should have been nearly hysterical, I would think.

Now that I think about it, though I would have done exactly the same as you, I might call the cops next time, so that she'd have some explaining to do.

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment -- I don't mind a house phone, but I don't want to get a call in the grocery store. I rather enjoy not being reachable.


Laurie @ Foolery

JoJo said...

Wow, what a lousy grandmother. She sounds like she couldn't care less about the kid. You did the right thing.

BTW, I posted a Dead album on FB, in my pictures. Think you might enjoy it.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Hey, ladies, thanks for telling me I did the right thing. I still want to feed that baby cookies, and hug him. Is that wrong? It took everything in my power not to pick that kid up and walk him to the corner. He looked just like my son did at that age.

Dr Zibbs said...

That lady is a jerk! But how funny would it have been if when you asked the kids where his mom was he was really a midge like on the Warner Brothers cartoons, "Listen seee, I'm a full grown man. Whadya talkin' about lady?"

Fancy Schmancy said...

Zibbs, the binky being a lit cigar would have been my first clue

Dr Zibbs said...

Yeah but sometimes they keep the cigar hidden. Didn't think of that huh? Huh?

JoJo said...

LOL!!!! Finster Baby!!!! He was the little bank robber in the WB cartoon w/ Bugs. I remember, after Bugs caught on that Finster was a small man dressed like a baby, he said, "you're. not. supposed. ta'touch. the dirty. money," and slaps Finster w/ each word.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Zibbs, first of all, I seriously bloggy love you. Second of all, I did actually think of that, but didn't want to go there. Since YOU did, I would assume the scenario would have been that he waited until I picked him up, then he pulled out the cigar, took a puff off of it, and felt me up. Got milk?

Fancy Schmancy said...

Jojo, too funny you were leaving a comment at the same time I was. I love that we all love the old cartoons. Somebody needs to put Bugs Bunny back on the air.

kate said...

Wow. You absolutely did the right thing! He obviously saw in you someone who was warm and loving. Who knows when he felt that last.

I think if you ever see him out like that again, you should call Child Protective Services. He is not being properly protected and probably gets very little love. So, so sad.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Kate, I'm really hoping he was just at Grandma's for the afternoon or something. I really hope his mother is better than that.

Aunt Becky said...

I found a child (no, seriously. Seriously, seriously) this past summer. She was all alone on the corner of one of the busiest intersections in my area. Another lady stopped at the same time I did (thankfully, since I didn't have a phone on me) and we had to call the cops. The little girl spoke no English and ended up being taken in by DCFS.

I wish I had a good ending to this other than I got a call from DCFS a couple months later to give a report.


What is WRONG with people?

Fancy Schmancy said...

Awww, crap, Becky. I was seriously wondering at what point that little baby didn't know where he belonged, and how many houses in the area I was going to have to search before I had to call the police. I cannot believe you had to go through that.

Coincidentally, this weekend a toddler was found abandoned in an apartment lobby in the capital city of my state. The child is now safely (and unharmed) in protective services of DCYS. Turns out the mother was only 14 and couldn't handle the responsiblity.

The baby was too old to just drop off at a hospital or safe place, along with our "no baby gets abandoned" program. Scary stuff, all the way around.

What scares me the most is a 14 year old stuck with a baby. Where are her parents helping to council her or help her in any way. My 14 year old IS STILL MY BABY.

I have a lot more to say on this subject, but I'm not going to bore anyone in my comments about it.

chaos37 said...

Holy crap Fantz. You handled that very well, better than I would have since I did have a serious altercation once with a woman who was endangering her child. I will never hesitate in the future to just plain call the cops. Let's hope he's an infrequent ward of "Grandma" she's a real piece of crap IMHO. Poor little guy!

Bob Stein said...

As the father of four former four-year-olds, that post scared the poopy outta me too. Some kids are wanderers and despite my best efforts a few did go on the lam once or twice. Once a lady knocked on the door to say she had stopped her car because there was a two-year-old in the middle of the street. Not a busy street, but my heart is thumping still over that. Of course I thanked the lady in buckets and tried to make the incident seem as rare as it was. I couldn't punish the little wayfarer because she didn't know better.

Anyway I'm just telling this story before that lady gets on here and tells the other end of it!

Fancy Schmancy said...

Hey, Bob, nice of you to stop by. I lost my kid in Walmart once, but he was 9 and was old enough to know better. Since I know where this lady lives, I know it had to have been him quite some time to push himself down the block and around the corner where she would not have been able to see which way he went. I couldn't understand what she could have been doing for that long not to at least be checking to see where he was every once in a while.