Something that got my goat this week

Veronica over at Crunchy Vermont Mommy has the genius post where she lists the things that get her goat that week. I normally nod along and laugh out load because she is hilarious. And she is generous and offers a linky, but I have never participated. Mostly because mine would always be the same: my dirt biking neighbors who rev their bikes during naptime, off-leash dogs in children’s play areas and bicycles (pretty much all things bike – on sidewalks, too slow in traffic lanes, running stop signs, all the usual). But TODAY, something really got my goat.

Spencer and I were innocently watching the Today Show this morning, kind of half paying attention. We both find Meredith’s voice quite soothing. And a family with a toddler comes on and Spencer runs up to the TV, for there are few things he likes more than watching videos of babies/toddlers. Apparently, this child is some sort of miracle baby because he was pronounced dead at the hospital and then was later revived, after drowning in his bathtub. He seems to suffer no ill effects, which YAY, I don’t want this to seem like I am wishing ill on a baby.

But, I had to turn to Twitter because I thought I misheard. The child must have fallen in the bathtub while it was being run or something, the mom seriously could not have left the child in the bath and then he drowned.  I’m pretty sure that one of the first things that is drilled in a new parent’s head is don’t leave the baby unattended in the bath. Don’t let babies by the pool. Don’t let babies play with buckets of water (the baby going head first in to the bucket is one of my all time favorite warning logos). So basically, this mom neglected her child, but some miracle he survived and now they all get to go on the Today Show not once, but twice, because this was an update to when it happened earlier in the year.

If this were me, I would be too embarrassed to go on TV (twice) and tell anyone I left my child in the bathtub. Meredith did ask her if she blamed herself and she said yes and then they moved on. There was no warning in the whole piece about not leaving children unattended near water, but really I guess that would make the guests look bad. Here’s the thing. The mom was very pretty and very white. Honestly, I don’t think this story would have been painted with the same brush across the race/class spectrum. Overall, I found the whole thing appalling.

I think I also heard the mom mention that she blogged her way through the ordeal, so I hope an army of her fans aren’t going to come after me for this. In summary, if you are a pretty, well spoken mom and you almost kill your child, you get to go on TV. Ooooh, maybe they’ll get a reality show too.  I really this whole post turns me in to one of those super-judgey moms that I can’t stand. But she left her baby in a bathtub. And then went on TV.


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14 Responses to “Something that got my goat this week”

  1. I didn’t watch this but I feel the same way as you. All I can think (as a mother that is very prideful) HOW embarrassing. All I would think about anytime anyone looked at me would be OMG are they judging me? They are totally judging me. They must’ve seen me on TV. Crap.

    So dumb. That segment should have came with a warning and some sort of expert on their showing how to prevent anything like that ever happening again to any parent watching!


    Amy Reply:

    Like when Farrah left Sofia in the sink on Teen Mom – also should have had a disclaimer. It is just irresponsible programming.


  2. I actually went off about this to a friend of mine this week, not regarding that mom, but about my coworker. She has a 2 year old, and in the last 6 months I can remember her telling stories about her son taking a bath by himself! It makes me so, so angry, and I totally judge about it, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I judge her for this.

    Her excuse, he just loves bathtime so much that she can’t get anything else done. He can be in there for up to 2 hours. My thoughts on this? Either sit with him for that time, and realize your life will revolve around your child dictating what you do at 2 years old, or teach him that bathtime is shorter! She’s a single mother, and while I respect her for doing it alone, I don’t respect her for neglecting her child. The last story I overheard her telling my boss, who sits next to us, was about him SLIPPING in the tub while she was in another room. That didn’t even wake her up to the stupidity of her actions. He wasn’t seriously hurt, thank GOD, but really, what else needs to happen to get your attention?

    It makes me so, so, angry. Downright stabby.


    Amy Reply:

    I know. I am still so very annoyed. I thought writing it all out would help, but it just made me more irritated. It is like how MTV aired footage of Farrah on Teen Mom leaving her baby in the sink with out a disclaimer or just editing it out. Not safe.


  3. Amy says:

    Wait. What? You can’t leave your baby unattended in the tub???? Oh sh!t, be right back!

    Seriously. I would be mortified to tell ANYONE I broke the cardinal rule of child safety, let alone broadcast it on national TV. And I totally agree regarding class (and race). Had a it been an econimically challenged/minority family I’d bet CPS would have been involved!


  4. Yeah we tweeted back and forth about it but this is ridiculous. I’m too paranoid to even turn my back on the bub in the bath to like, get a towel from the rack right behind me. We saw the first segment she was ‘featured’ on and I was just kind of dumbly staring at the TV in that ‘oh no they didn’t’ way but my husband started to go OFF and said basically the same thing. Why is she on TV for this? The today show does some dumb shit sometimes.


    Amy Reply:

    I am still upset and the more I think about it the more pissed I am that they NEVER said anything about the safety issues. And the fact that essentially the family was flown to NYC (twice), so were compensated for their neglect. Ugh. So annoyed.


  5. Suzanne says:

    The first time I saw the story I was like “Oh look at the pretty white chick with the cute kid making TERRIBLE DECISIONS and being congratulated for it.” This time I shouted at the TV very very loudly (while, uh, also crying a little, because I could not imagine going through something like that even if it was my own fault).

    I mean, obviously I am glad her kid is ok now and I wouldn’t wish bad things on any mother. But yeah, stepping away for a second and “getting distracted” means you were out of the room WAY TOO LONG. That whole part of the story was totally glossed over, which is probably why they didn’t bring in a safety expert to state the totally obvious “don’t leave your kid in the bathtub” rule.


  6. Breezy says:

    I missed today’s piece but remember this story from the original a few months back, and I felt the same way. It is, indeed, a miracle her chid survived this accident, but how much more miraculous it would have been if it had never happened. Because it didn’t have to. I feel like every sad, terrible story about a child being hurt or killed starts with “I only turned away for a second…”.


  7. Ugh, judge all you want because it just makes me feel better when I do :)

    For instance, the single mom that couldn’t pay her electric bill and had the services turned off. She makes the decision to leave her 4 young children in the apartment alone with candles burning. My heart cries for the children but not really for the mom that didn’t appear shaken on the news report when the apartment burned down. Yes, you can only imagine the tragic ending and its true what the warning labels say, “Never leave candles unattended when burning”.

    So maybe we should be more judgmental if it’ll mean protecting children that don’t have a responsible adult nearby.


  8. Veronica says:

    It means a lot to me and probably other women of color that you take the time to notice things like this. Not to sound trite but it is important. Maybe it isnt even a color issue but a class issue. If this woman had lived in a trailer park I doubt she would have been invited on this show. People are always saying mothers shouldnt judge but fuck that a woman like this NEEDS it for the sake of her child. She is being celebrated for her neglect and it makes me sick. Awesome post. Thanks again xo


    Amy Reply:

    I spent years studying white-male-privilege in college (history major). Makes it pretty easy to spot. Although, I agree and think this one was probably more of a class issue. If this had been a less privileged family, the story would have been presented as how the miracle child survived despite his parents neglect. And they probably wouldn’t have all been flown to New York. Twice.


  9. Amanda says:

    This got my goat too! I watched in horror! Thank God someone retweet this post for me to see on twitter.

    I think it’s a class and race thing. If she had been even middle class I think CPS would be taking her kid from her for neglect. The Today show are a bunch of idiots for airing this not once but twice.


  10. Um, I totally had to come back to this post b/c I was talking with my sister about the whole deal over the weekend and remembered something from the original story on Today. The tub that she left her son in was not like, a regular tub but a freakin like whirlpool hot tub deal. Not that leaving your kid in a normal shallow tub is ok, but leaving them in one that’s at leas like a foot deeper (and he was probably sitting on one of the little seats on the side) is like WTF.


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