When I had my first baby in 1987, I found myself newly graduated from college and newly out of a paying job. I wasn't sure how to keep my brain intact whilst whiling away the hours, topless on the couch, trying to figure out that nursing thing.
I tried reading, but had trouble with the balance issue and it always left an indelible book jacket dent on Jessica's tiny skull.
So, I resorted to watching educational programs — like the brand new, daytime talk show called Oprah.
I was learning really important things about critical issues of the day like her umpteenth weight loss, what not to wear this summer, and wives confess they are gay.
One day Oprah did an entire show about carjacking. A woman came on who had lived through a nightmare. (OK, most of Oprah's guests have “lived through a nightmare,” but that's beside the point.) The woman had been shopping with her kids and went back to her car to go home. She put the kids in the car, buckled them up, and went back to unload the groceries. As she did so, a thug came up behind her, whacked her, grabbed her keys, got in the car and drove away…with her kids. (Later all were recovered safely.)
At the conclusion, Oprah's sage parenting advice was along these lines:
When you go shopping, do not put your children in car seats while you put the groceries in the car. Keep them safe with you.
I'm sitting there nursing my baby just a regular stay-at-home mom, no media mogul thinking, “Are you insane?”
So, which do you think is more likely to happen and which should you first move to prevent:
- Kid falls out of cart or cart (with kid) rolls away while you're loading groceries or trunk door whacks kid in head or kid trips on a pothole and breaks a limb or kid gets finger smashed in trunk door or roaming car hits cart (with kid in it) or kid runs into parking lot and gets hit by roaming car or…
- Car is hijacked by a crazed felon
That was the day I could no longer pretend that watching Oprah had any redeeming value in my life and turned her off for good. Long may she reign.
Golly. I've wanted to get that off my chest for two decades. I feel purged.