I've been meaning to talk about something I saw at an Appleton grocery store a couple of weeks ago--but haven't had the chance. The wife and I are picking up a few items and walking past us was a mother pushing a cart with a heavy-set boy--who appeared to be about eight or nine years old--who was riding in cart, watching a handheld d-v-d player. The missus and I stopped--looked at each other--and then back at the boy-filled cart again.
To me, that scene summed everything that is going wrong with parenting today. Here is a child who should be more than capable of walking along with his mother in the store, riding in the cart. And--to be polite--he could have used the small amount of exercise that would have required. On another pass in a different aisle I noticed there weren't a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in the cart around the kid. The next time I hear a new study that finds obesity rates among children continuing to increase--I will think of the boy in the cart.
Now let me say that if the child had some kind of physical condition that prevents him from walking or standing--then I owe the mother an apology--but this boy wasn't wearing any braces--and wouldn't you think a wheelcair or electric cart would be a more proper way to get the child around then throwing him in the cart?
And the watching of the hand-held d-v-d player was significant as well. The mother and child were going to be in the store for what, a half-hour--maybe 45-minutes at the most. You're telling me an eight or nine year old can't go that long without some form of electronic entertainment? I couldn't see the screen and he had earbuds in so I couldn't hear what he was watching--but for some reason I doubt it was Reading Rainbow, Modern Marvels or something else educational. The next time I hear about how more kids are being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder I'll think of the boy in the cart.
I can already hear the responses to the Two Cents blog: "I can tell you are not a parent--because you don't know how hard it is to keep kids under control in the grocery store." And you are right--I don't have kids--but I was a kid once. And I know for a fact that I didn't ride in the cart beyond three years old--I didn't watch t-v while in the store--and when I got out of control my parents made sure I knew who was in control. Whether it embarrassed me or them.