Monday, February 26, 2007

A Little Lift in Life

Something I Just Thought About:

Many times I have been in a situation where I go for a drink at a public drinking fountain lets say at the park or another public place where kids may gather and right in front of me is a little kid (that I don’t know) on his or her tiptoes with lips puckered desperately trying and get a drink of water. Years ago I would think nothing of giving the little one a little lift to quench his or her thirst.
Now in recent years with constant media coverage of kids being kidnapped and /or molested I have restrained myself out of respect for parents that might see me lift up their child and freak out. Is this just a sad sign of the times or am I being too cautious?


si said...

sad sign, i'd say.

bryan torre said...

i usually just start tickling the kid, then i ask if he/she wants to play hide-n-seek. that way the parents know there are other people looking out for them at the park.
serious answer: we all have to think about the same kind of thing now, and i think it bites. good that we're more cautious with kids, but sad whenever normal people's lives have to be cramped because of the behaviour of weirdos.

unca said...

I wonder, though, if there are really more weirdos or if we're just more aware of them. I agree, we've lost something when we have to be this cautious.

anya ransuns aka Roxy said...

Very sad. So, a poll for the blogger and any commenters: in the scenario where the kid needs to get a drink, and you can see that he needs a little lift, and with no other information (such as a glaring suspicious mom nearby or smiling parents giving you encouragement) do you or do you not lift him? I think it might be different, even, for men and women. For instance, I, in the above situation, would/do still lift him, I think. I'm not going to steal him. As for the touch required to lift him, I'm not really the "profile" child molester (for one thing, and I have no cite for this but I bet I could find one, the vast majority of molesters/sex criminals are men) so I think the likelihood of me being accused by the parents is low. Of course, there's the possibility of being accused by the kid, but I think that in the rare cases in which false accustations happen there's some sort of prior relationship between accuser child/accused. Again, no cite, just what I have heard. I don't know if I would do it if I were a man, though. Hmmm. Anyway, so sad. On a side note and a sad one, we all have to be very careful, even with children we already know and love. Recently, I was pushing a two-year-old boy on a swing. He always wants me to push him. I know him and his family well. Well, when you push a kid on a swing, where do you generally touch him? I touch him on the back and the top of the behind -- maybe sometimes just their behind, depending on where my hand actually makes contact with his body each time. He told me, "Don't touch me there," or something to that effect. AAAAaauuuuuuggggghhhhhhhhhhh. It was awful, scary, sickening, and also good in a way -- his parents are obviously teaching him -- and it was no big deal, I think. I just said, "OK, whoops,mI didn't meant to," and pushed him very definitely only from the back, and he continued to want me to push him and didn't want me to go inside. But ack. What a world we live in. Unca: I think there are more weirdos and we are more aware of them.

anya ransuns aka Roxy said...

P.S. It wasn't the kind of swing where you can touch only the swing. It was too small for that.

bryan torre said...

I think I lift the kid, but I do it around his middle instead of setting him on my thigh like I would do my own kid.

I have the same deal with the swings: my GF's daughter is 5 yrs old, and is an enthusiastic swingset-partaker. Guess who she always wants to push her? I try (not always successfully) to push her only on the back -- I shudder to think of her telling her dad "Bryan touches me on the butt when he pushes me on the swings" -- but back-only pushing requires effort & concentration and is annoying.

I think there *may* be an increase in weirdos as people are more inclined to explore their sexuality and be self-indulgent nowadays, but OTOH, we are more civilized in many ways and I think that in general there is *less* incest, abuse, etc than there was 100 yrs ago.
IMO, by far the biggest factor is (as unca suggested) we're just more aware of them now.

unca said...

I think for kids that have been atuned (with good reason) to "stranger danger" you might get a bad reaction from the drinker. Also, sad.

bryan torre said...

i forgot to say,
i would also ask the kid first if he/she wanted to be lifted up.
that way if a parent got antsy i could say "he asked to be lifted up" and put them on the defensive (ie, how come you haven't trained your kid not to talk to strangers? you're the child-endanger here; i think i'm going to call the police right now...)

blogball said...

Thanks for the comments.
Roxy that was an interesting comment concerning the boy on the swing that you know. You said it best when you said his" Don't touch me there" request is “scary, sickening, and also good” I guess I would add sad to that too.

I think now a days kids are more aware of weirdos out there than at any other time as unca suggested. Maybe this is why there are more reported incidences than at any other time.

Good suggestion Bryan about asking first and putting the ball in the kid’s court before you lift him or her.