Raising children certainly has changed over the years. But who has changed more: the kids, the parents or the outside agencies that are supposed to protect children?
You be the judge.
- - -
A young girl tugs at her mother’s arm while standing in a long line at a post office in Lee County.
“Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom,” says the cute girl in pigtails, who appeared to be younger than 5.
“Just hold it,” replies the mother.
But the young girl can’t wait any longer. She quickly creates a puddle at her feet. Her sisters start laughing. The crowd watches in dismay.
What’s the mother to do?
The post office doesn’t have a public bathroom.
- - -
A representative of the North Naples Fire District storms through the front door at Tropical Hair Salon in North Naples as if the place were ablaze. The firefighter confronts the only other man getting his hair cut.
“Did you leave your kids in the car?” the firefighter asks.
The man sitting in the barber’s chair goes quiet. His face turns as white as the smock around his neck. The man already has been in the shop for more than 20 minutes and even waited for one specific barber.
“But I left the windows open,” says the unnamed guardian of two kids who are both in car seats and appear to be under 4 years old.
The North Naples firefighter straddles the door of the establishment and waves his walkie-talkie at the man. He isn’t going to let the man leave until he receives an earful.
“You know I could call DCF (Department of Children and Families),” the firefighter states loudly. “All I have to do is make one call and they will take those kids away.”
I think to myself, “What are you waiting for?”
After receiving a stern and boisterous lecture from the firefighter, the man runs out to his SUV, where the kids are found safe, and speeds off.
I am left wondering, “Why didn’t the firefighter make the call?”
Who is more irresponsible?
The parent or the firefighter?
While the confrontation takes place inside the hair salon, the kids are left all alone.
- - -
A Lee County sheriff’s deputy is sent to 27373 Dortch Ave. in Bonita Springs to investigate a burglary in progress. Anselmo Hernandez, the owner of the home, tells police that two boys who are his neighbors went into his garage and removed a case of soda. Another neighbor identifies the culprits.
The police report doesn’t describe how much soda was taken, but Hernandez wants action.
After investigating and interviewing the suspects, Deputy Juan Santos arrests the boys, ages 13 and 11, and charges them with burglary of a dwelling and petty theft.
But where are the parents?
With my formerly red backside as my witness, I know that my parents’ punishment for such actions would have been much tougher than one any judge could hand down.
By the way, one of the boys already was under house arrest for burglary. You could say the youngster got popped again.
- - -
E-mail Tom Hanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.