Judge me, that’s fine, although I’m judging you, too, if your kids never, ever watch television, even just a few minutes between oboe and fencing lessons.
I join my kids on most of our asinine adventures. We talk about fears, face them together, and come out on the other side with a few scraped knees and muddy shoes. We read The Dangerous Book for Boys and wear helmets.
I can’t fit in a washing machine, though, and I don’t think any kid has anything to gain by facing his fear of one. It’s a stupid prank for sure. But still, I thought, the guy wasn’t trying to hurt the baby and he sure freaked out when he realized the washing machine had locked the little load inside.
Charges probably won’t be filed, police said. The kid was taken to the hospital and he was OK. Lesson learned. Maybe the baby’s YouTube fame will get him on Jimmy Fallon.
“Nobody should ever put a child in a washing machine,” the boy’s grandmother told NBC10.
I agree, particularly if it’s someone else’s kid. I’m so terrified of other people’s children, though, that I can’t fathom how this guy thought it would be OK to toss the kid in the wash. Try to discipline someone else’s rude kid in a store and see how that works out.
I hold newborn babies, if I’m forced to, like they’re full of plutonium. If a neighbor’s tot asks me to throw him in the air, like I do for my daughter, I stand there motionless, frozen with indecision. I’d jump off a bridge into a murky creek with my son but not with yours.
That’s probably flawed thinking, I know. Danger is danger. Dumb is dumb. But I did even dumber things as a kid and some say I turned out OK.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who intend to hurt children, and they’re really the ones I worry about, probably far more than I have to. I once sat face-to-face with a man who murdered an 11-year-old boy out riding his bike in the woods. He gave me chills. I fight the urge to keep my kids cooped up in the house all the time, away from the white vans, the predators, all the idiots who would put them in a washing machine for a gag.
My oldest son will be 11 next month, and I can already feel him bucking for a little more independence. That gives me chills, too, but I know he’ll check how deep the water is, or how fast a tide is running, before he cannonballs off a bridge, because that’s what I do. n
Contact Jason Nark at 215-854-5916, email@example.com or on Twitter @JasonNark.