And your response reeks of taking one incident of parents behaving like dicks and slathering all parents everywhere with that label. No one gets more frustrated with irresponsible parents than I do. Believe me, I’ve reprimanded other people’s kids for doing the same kind of shit you just mentioned.

Also: as I’ve mentioned in other comments, I’m not saying 100% that this WAS an accident. I wasn’t there. Were you? Was anyone else who is so sure that this mother was negligent because why else would something happen? The point of this piece is to highlight the fact that no one is even slightly entertaining that an accident is even possible in this case or ANY case where children are involved.

This is more a comment on how parenting, our culture, and the Internet intersect than on this one particular incident.

Also: I’m not saying that people without kids don’t have a right to pipe up, criticize, etc but I will say that people without kids do NOT know at all what it’s like to raise and care for young children 24/7 and how quick and wily the little buggers are. There are plenty of kids who, at the zoo, will say “I want to swim with the seals”, “I want to go play with the polar bears”, “I want to pet that lion” and guess what? None of them do. It would be insane for most parents to take the leap that the babbling of a 3 year old would end with that kid DOING THE ACTUAL THING THEY SAID.

Again, I could be proven totally wrong in this particular case. I wasn’t there, I don’t know all the facts. Neither do you. This was just my way of saying, uh guys, any chance this could be a really unfortunate accident? Like even a 1% chance? I love how the answer to that from people who are no better informed than I am is just a 100% NO. Okay.

Lastly, I don’t discount your reaction to her comments on Facebook. I think that has sent a lot of people over the edge. Perhaps in the moment she was just so overwhelmingly grateful that her kid was ALIVE that that was all she could think of. It wouldn’t be unexpected but again, who am I? I don’t know her. Neither do most of the people who are so certain of her guilt.

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AMATEUR HOUR (2018) and BUT YOU SEEMED SO HAPPY (2021) | The New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Cut | kimberlyharrington.me

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