Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Parenting Our Kids And Facing Our Own Gorilla

Oh, how the criticism has been strong... And oh, how the criticism has been constant.  You all are now well aware of the incident of which a 4-year-old boy fell into an exhibit where a silverback gorilla once dwelled. Oh Lord have mercy, did that gorilla ever drag that little boy as if he were a rag-doll!  Oh Lord have mercy, did it ever seem as if that gorilla was going to detach an appendage from that tiny little child.  Oh laawd! Oh my goodness! 

And then, the gorilla was suddenly killed by a sharpshooting zoo employee.  Oh laawd!  That poor poor gorilla!  That poor horrendously strong beast!  That poor mammal whose only 6 times stronger than the strongest human being! That poor gorilla who was once called a "pleasant animal" who would never hurt a soul.  Oh laawd!  "That poor animal should never have been killed," screamed many on the following day.  "How could such a thing have happened... I blame the parents."  Right?  That's what thousands of people said.  Those parents have to be the reason why such a gentle creature was killed?  Oh my!  And the father has a criminal record?  Crucify him!!.. Just crucify them all!  Huh?? Uhmm... But he wasn't there when it happened, right? (silence)... Crucify him, still!

Similar acts have happened in zoos where a human accidentally stumbled into an animal exhibit.  A year ago, a child fell into a cheetah habitat at the Cleveland Zoo.  Two years ago, a jaguar killed a toddler at the Little Rock Zoo.  At the Pittsburgh Zoo, a child jumped from the arms of his mother into an African dog exhibit and was mauled to death.  Surely, such things shouldn't happen; but they actually do. 

No one should automatically blame a parent in an incident like this.  Children are children.  They do what little kids do.  Toddlers run around non-stop until they need breaks. Children older than 5 bump into adults because they seldom look where they're going.  Adolescents can't hear the screaming voices of parents because their headphones are attached to their body like cyborgs.  Children (like adults) do very stupid things.

Who do we blame?  Well, I certainly didn't want to blame the parents of the kid who wiped his dirty little hands on my freshly pressed white pants while at the local grocery store. Oh, how I recall the intensity of the anger that was directly solely at the little kid.  (sigh). The horror.  However, it did make me a little curious.  How come people don't use those little child leashes anymore?  Okay, I know what you're thinking.  What kind of person would want to see a child on a leash?!  Well, giving a child an extended 15-20 feet of roaming space doesn't sound like too bad of an idea given the recent incident, right?  Right?  I thought you'd see it my way. 

Happy toddler... No gorilla... Mom with new shapely forearms. Parenting problem all solved.

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